TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CBSMiami.com) – The eyes of the college football world will focus on Doak Campbell Stadium this weekend when the number one ranked Oklahoma Sooners take on the number five Florida State Seminoles in prime time.
For both teams, the game will go a long way towards deciding either team’s chances of playing the BCS National Championship game. Of the two, Oklahoma has the easier path after this weekend’s game, but a FSU victory can propel them to the top of the rankings in college football.
The game is also a statement game for Florida State. The program fell off during the last decade after enjoying unparalleled success for the previous twenty years. Last season, FSU was humiliated in Norman, Oklahoma.
But after that loss to Oklahoma last season, the Seminoles refocused and played great football the rest of the year. The Noles returned most of their team from last season and finally look like they have the talent to compete with the likes of Oklahoma.
FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher put the game into simple terms, “It’s why you’re in the game.”
An FSU victory will only enhance Fisher’s status in college football. Fisher has already pulled in the number one recruiting class last season and is well on his way to doing the same thing in 2012.
An underlying storyline in the game will be the battle of the Stoops brothers. Oklahoma has won a national championship and been to countless Bowl Championship Series games under head coach Bob Stoops.
His brother Mark is the defensive coordinator at FSU and has plenty of tools to work with, namely a solid defensive line and cornerback Greg Reid. Stoops may deploy Reid to cover the Sooners’ Ryan Broles.
What’s untested for the Sooners is the running game. Oklahoma always has a stable of running backs, but none rise to the level of former backs like Adrian Peterson and others. FSU will still have to stuff the Sooners running game to survive this weekend.
Last season, the Missouri Tigers upset the Oklahoma Sooners by throwing the ball all over the field and stopping the Sooners running game. Sooners quarterback Landry Jones was then under pressure throughout the game and played well, but not good enough to win.
The Noles will take a similar approach by getting pressure on Jones, while also committing to stopping the running game. This season, the Noles have the defensive line and secondary to be able to pull out a victory over the Sooners.
The game is set for a kickoff just after 8 p.m. Saturday in Tallahassee.