An Oklahoman perspective

I have never been to Miami, but I have always wanted to, ever since Will Smith got me excited about it in the sixth grade, but I have never gotten around to it.

Will Smith never wrote a song about Norman, Oklahoma. Maybe that’s because he’s never been there. Or maybe it’s because Norman is nothing more than the OU campus, some flat land, a couple of Braum’s and the OU football team.

If this team is as good as I think they are, they should have little trouble taking care of Miami. I’m not predicting a 79-10 score like last weekend against North Texas.

The fact of the matter is, Miami is going to face an extremely talented, and for the most part, extremely experienced team this Saturday. The only big question mark for OU coming into the season was at the quarterback position, but it seems like redshirt freshman Sam Bradford has that well under control.

Against North Texas, Bradford played the first half and one and a half series in the third quarter. In that time, he went 21-23 for 363 yards and three touchdowns.

Again, I realize that this was North Texas and this Saturday, Bradford will be facing “The U,” who had one of the best defenses in the country last year. Still, those numbers are impressive.

The players around Bradford, like junior wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, who had 993 yards and 10 touchdown receiver last year, and senior tailback Allen Patrick, who rushed for 760 yards in practically seven games while Adrian Peterson was hurt, aren’t too shabby either.

Not to mention OU ushered in several new players, including redshirt tailback DeMarco Murray who rushed for five touchdowns in his Sooner debut and junior tackle Phil Loadholt, a 6-8, 350-pound junior college transfer.

Defensively, the secondary is being touted as possibly the best in the country, and the front seven is young, but extremely talented. Watch out for junior linebacker Curtis Lofton and sophomore linebacker Ryan Reynolds. You’ll know them by the end of the day on Saturday.

If OU is the team I think they are, they should walk away with a win. But it’s not that easy. Miami is Miami. I know the last few years have been forgettable, but there are still plenty of top Division I recruits there. And against Marshall, it showed. The running attack is solid and the defense has picked up where it left off last season.

The whole OU offense is going to see some new things Saturday. It’s going to be a frustrating when they realize not every team is like North Texas.

But I think they already know that. Luckily for Bradford and the offense, they face a pretty good defense everyday in practice.

A lot of people are ready to leave Norman about as quickly as they came, and by the time 3 p.m. comes around, the Hurricanes will probably know that feeling. It’s hard to tell from just one game against a shaky opponent, but if this OU team plays to its potential, Will Smith just might have to come to Norman to write a song about it.

Steven Jones may be contacted at

September 6, 2007


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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