Crystal Ball breakdown of OU FSU game says tight fit in store

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:26 pm
By: News 9

Originally Published: Sep 5, 2010 7:5 PM CDT

<STRONG>QB EDGE: FSU</STRONG></P><STRONG>Christian Ponder is duel threat, mature leader who was remarkable in game 1.The scheme&rsquo;s a perfect fit for his strengths and Ponder will test OU&rsquo;s unproven cornerbacks. Sooner blitzers best be ready for his quick feet because he runs like at tailback in the open field. Landry Jones had a bad night in OU&rsquo;s opener and his propensity to throw INTS and get sacked offset some big-play throws to Ryan Broyles. </STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>COACHES: PUSH</STRONG></P><STRONG>The numbers say OU will have the advantage over almost all coaching staffs. But OU&rsquo;s inability to win its share of big games is concerning, while FSU&rsquo;s staff had the Noles ready to rock in their game 1 route. Jimbo Fisher is an offensive wizard with a lot of energy and has assembled an impressive staff, including Mark Stoopsbrother of Bob and Mike Stoopsas his defensive coordinator. </STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>INTANGIBLES: OU</STRONG></P><STRONG>OU&rsquo;s incredible home win streak of 31 and an overall home record under Stoops of an unfathomable 67-2 edges the most potent ingredients in sports; momentum and confidence. Even though OU was awful in their opener played in Norman, perhaps the energy missing in that one will reappear against FSU. OU has responded to home game challenges near flawlessly, and needs that to continue. </STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160; </STRONG></P><STRONG>OFFENSIVE LINE: FSU</STRONG></P><STRONG>The rebuilt Sooner line was okay in the opener but they were not dominant by any means against a small defensive front from Utah Stateboth small and lacking in depth. Center Ben Habern must be effective both as a player and a leader of a group of young but deep and promising bunch.&#160; FSU is rock-solid up front with a combined 142 career starts. Rodney Hudson is All-ACC quality.</STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>LINEBACKERS: OU</STRONG></P><STRONG>Bob Stoops told me MLB Tom Wort played well, this despite the head coach getting in his cage for a personal foul that could have been a killer. WLB Travis Wilson is an All-American candidate and a possible first-round NFL draft pick. OU&rsquo;s much ballyhooed Ronnell Lewis was expected by fans to be a SAM backer, but he played exclusively as a DE in the Utah State game. FSU is athletic and Nigel Bradham is a player, but their 2010 results were poor.</STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>DEFENSIVE LINE: OU</STRONG></P><STRONG>Despite the fact that OU lost depth and Gerald McCoythe No. 3 overall pick in the draftthe strength at DE gives the Sooners the edge. Jeremy Beal is a preseason first teal AA and Lewis is a star in the making. The outstanding Frank Alexander will be a major boost to the Sooners. Florida State had a combined four sacks in 2010hard to imagine with the athletes in Tallahassee. Brandon Jackson leads the Noles.</STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>SPECIAL TEAMS: FSU</STRONG></P><STRONG>OU is solid to outstanding in every phase of the kicking game except its placekicking. Patrick O&rsquo;Hara duck-hooked a one-iron across the bar in&#160; game one and made all his extra points, but his erratic tendencies made it tough for Stoops to make the decision to go with him until five days before game one. Dustin Hopkins led the ACC last year with 25 touchbacks. Greg Reid returned a punt in the game one win for a TD and must be punted away from or covered like crazy.</STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>SECONDARY: PUSH</STRONG></P><STRONG>OU&rsquo;s corners and safety Jonathon Nelson were repeatedly burned allowing the multi-dimensional Aggie QB Diondre Borel to throw for a totally unexpected 341 yards and two TDs. That trio was often in position but failed to make the play. All-star safety Quinton Carter was outstanding. FSU is led by corner Reid but does not get quality play from its safeties.</STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>RUNNING BACKS: OU</STRONG></P><STRONG>Demarco Murray was outstanding in game one with 218 yards on 35 carries. He never tired and never fumbled and was the biggest factor in the opener. Mossis Madu returns from suspension and will lighten the load on Murray. Jermaine Thomas will challenge the Sooners but Murray is special and OU gets the edge.</STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><BR/>