Miami vs. Oklahoma

OFFENSE: Miami combined for 260 yards rushing in the season opener, but they need contributions from their passing game. Oklahoma was explosive against North Texas, scoring 79 points and putting together 668 total yards of offense. The Sooners recorded 26 first downs, while breaking in a new quarterback and running back.
Advantage: OKLAHOMA

O-LINE: Miami’s offensive line was much improved on Saturday. The unit allowed zero sacks, was less penalized and opened up the running lanes. The question is whether or not they can carry over their play into a hostile environment. Oklahoma’s unit, led by standout guard George Robinson, is very experienced. The Sooners allowed zero sacks against North Texas.
Advantage: OKLAHOMA

RUNNING BACKS: Sophomore Javarris James and freshman Graig Cooper combined for 215 yards on the ground last week. James recorded two touchdowns, while Cooper showed his breakaway speed with a 56-yard run. Oklahoma freshmen DeMarco Murray and Mossis Madu had no problem replacing Adrian Peterson and taking carries in place of injured starting running back Allen Patrick, as each rushed for 87 yards and recorded six touchdowns.
Advantage: EVEN

RECEIVERS: Miami’s receivers cannot afford to drop multiple passes this week. Senior Darnell Jenkins must step up after failing to record a catch against Marshall. Miami does receive a boost with Sam Shields returning, and freshman Leonard Hankerson showed a little bit of what he can provide the team. Oklahoma has a dangerous receiving corps, with tremendous speed, consisting of Malcolm Kelly, Juaquin Iglesias and Jermaine Gresham.
Advantage: OKLAHOMA

QUARTERBACKS: Junior Kirby Freeman managed the Hurricane offense effectively to a victory against Marshall. Freeman will need to make more plays this week, after going 9-for-21 for 91 yards. Redshirt freshman Sam Bradford had a remarkable start to his career, going 21-for-23 while throwing for 363 yards and three touchdowns against North Texas.
Advantage: OKLAHOMA

DEFENSE: Miami’s defense was dominant against Marshall, allowing three points, while recording four interceptions and six sacks. Oklahoma’s defense started the season well, recording six sacks, three interceptions and a touchdown.
Advantage: MIAMI

D-LINE: Calais Campbell, Teraz McCray and Eric Moncur all had strong performances while backups Vegas Franklin and Courtney Harris contributed. Oklahoma came into the season replacing a pair of all-conference defensive ends and does not have as many playmakers as the Hurricanes.
Advantage: MIAMI

LINEBACKERS: Miami’s Colin McCarthy was all over the field last week, recording six tackles. Senior Tavares Gooden had an important interception in the first quarter and posted nine tackles. Curtis Lofton and Lewis Baker led the Oklahoma defense with 11 and eight tackles, respectively, last week. The Sooners, though, do not have as much depth at the position.
Advantage: MIAMI

SECONDARY: Miami’s secondary was exposed over the middle of the field last week, which must be fixed if they want to contain a talented group of receivers. Oklahoma has a strong secondary, led by lockdown cornerback Reggie Smith, who had six tackles and three breakups last week.
Advantage: OKLAHOMA

SPECIAL TEAMS: Miami kicker Francesco Zampogna went 1-for-2 last week, punter Matt Bosher must improve on his consistency this week. Oklahoma’s Garrett Hartley was 11-for-11 in PAT’s against North Texas and was automatic last season, going 19-for-20 last season in field goal attempts.
Advantage: OKLAHOMA

Alex Kushel may be contacted at

September 6, 2007


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