Following a 6-6 regular season, the Oklahoma Sooners are headed to Orlando to face the No. 13 Florida State Seminoles in the Cheez-It Bowl. The game will kick off at 4:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, Dec. 29.
Following a five-year period of mediocrity, FSU is beginning to look a bit more like its old self under Mike Norvell. The key to that bounce-back has been redshirt junior QB Jordan Travis, who has cleaned up his game in 2022. Additionally, the ‘Noles finally have a functional offensive line, which hasn’t been the case since the midway point of Jimbo Fisher’s tenure in Tallahassee. As much as OU has struggled with mobile QBs in 2022, this will be a tough matchup for the defense.
Defensively, FSU ranks 35th in ESPN’s defensive efficiency metric, but they’ve been solid against the pass all season, allowing only 158.9 yards per game though the air. Run defense has been a bit dicier, so OU’s backs should be able to have some success. I assume Eric Gray will not be a part of that (although he hasn’t officially opted out of the bowl game), so we should get good looks at Jovantae Barnes, Tawee Walker and Gavin Sawchuk.
If we were hoping for a favorable matchup that would allow OU to finish with an above-.500 record, this wasn’t that draw. However, what we do have is an entertaining matchup between two big college football brands, and one that OU’s participating players will be pump to play.
For those of you planning to make a trip out of this, I highly recommend Epcot over any other park, particularly if you’re not traveling with kids. I’ve been unsuccessful in “Drinking Around the World” in my previous attempts, but you’ll have my full support from afar if you choose that particular adventure. Prost!