OUch! The Florida Gators came into Jerry’s World (aka AT&T Stadium) with a quarterback that was a Heisman finalist. But he had no weapons because 9 starters were missing because they opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft. The Oklahoma Sooners appeared to have their full complement of players. And, we all watched the Sooners steamroll Florida 55-20 to win the Cotton Bowl.
The 55 points were the most ever scored by an Oklahoma team in a bowl game.
For the season, the Sooners were outscoring opponents 134-17 in the first quarter. They continued that domination, outscoring the Gators 17-3 in the first quarter. The Sooner defense forced three first-quarter interceptions by Florida QB Kyle Trask, the first one being a pick-six that was returned 45 yards for the score.
The Sooners Steamroll Florida
Oklahoma moved the ball efficiently up and down the field all night, both throwing and running the ball.
Coming into the game, Oklahoma was ranked #75 in the FBS in rushing offense, gaining 154 yards per game. The Sooners ran and ran, and then ran some more as they gained 435 yards rushing, setting a new Cotton Bowl record. They averaged a whopping 10 yards per carry.
OU had 7 long scoring drives:
- 79 yards
- 60 yards
- 60 yards
- 86 yards
- 87 yards
- 97 yards
- 79 yards
And, had big yardage runs as well:
- 16 yards
- 22 yards
- 18 yards
- 73 yards
- 50 yards
- 15 yards (TD)
- 19 yards
- 46 yards (TD)
The Sooners were 4-9 on 3rd down conversions and gained 684 yards of total offense. Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler was 14/23 passing for 247 yards and 3 TDs, and zero INTs.
Running backs Rhemondre Stevenson and Marcus Major alone combined for 296 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
What The? The Sooners Play Defense?
The Sooners dominated the Gators on both sides of the ball. But the defense played lights out:
- Forced 3 INTs
- Held Florida scoreless in the 3rd quarter.
- Held the Gators to just 4 of 13 on 3rd down conversions.
A depleted Florida roster
The Gators entered the game without several starters, who made the decision to opt-out to prepare for the NFL Draft. They included TE Kyle Pitts, WR Kadarious Toney, and WR Trevon Grimes. Other players were out due to injuries/COVID-19 issues. So, a lot of young and inexperienced players had to step up and take advantage of the opportunity for playing time.
Florida, even though they ran 84 plays on offense (to Oklahoma’s 65), just couldn’t mount enough sustained scoring drives resulting in touchdowns. They gained 521 yards of total offense, but that fired up Sooner D kept them out of the endzone.
Trask was 16 of 28 passing for 158 yards, zero touchdowns, and the three aforementioned interceptions. That ended a streak of three straight games with over 400 yards passing.
Trask has declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
The Sooners in 2021
It was mentioned during the broadcast that Oklahoma could have as many as 10 starters returning on defense in 2021.
Couple that with the return of:
- QB Spencer Rattler,
- RB Marcus Major,
- WR Marvin Mims
- RB Seth McGowan
- QB Caleb Williams (5-star dual-threat quarterback recruit).
Oklahoma finished the 2020 season with a 9-2 record. Florida finishes 8-4.
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