We’ve reached the conclusion of the 2020 season as Florida takes on the Oklahoma Sooners in Wednesday’s Goodyear Cotton Bowl. Surely, you remember the last time these two teams met, back in 2008?
The following are our staff’s predictions for the Cotton Bowl:
This is a game I could see going in many different ways. I guess I’ve decided on this one: I think Florida is too good offensively to be stopped. I say that with an assumption that Emory Jones will see significant playing time. I think the young receivers step up led by Justin Shorter and Xavier Henderson. I also think Kemore Gamble can make an impact in the red zone from his tight end position. Furthermore, I think this is the game the defense starts to put it all together. I think we see a satisfactory performance by the defensive line and slightly above mediocre effort from the secondary. Also, Dan Mullen has a way of getting his team up for these NY6 Bowls. I’ll take Florida, 38-20.
This one is tough for me. I think Oklahoma has the better talent. But I think Florida can force (QB) Spencer Rattler to make some first year mistakes on defensive line. I also think Trask being in the bowl game helps even a depleted receiving corp. I think we see a lot of Emory this game too. I’m worried about Oklahoma’s run game and Jaydon Hasslewood along with Mims on the offensive side of the ball. I think this game is close. Very close, I think Kyle Trask wants this win for the team and for Dan, but I have a bad feeling. But I also think Oklahoma could be fools gold considering the teams they have played. The blowout over Oklahoma State seems not as impressive after I just saw them struggle against a 2nd string QB for Miami. I’ve teetered between picking Oklahoma and Florida with this same score prediction. This one is tough, but since I’m Mr. Optimistic I’m going to pick a Florida victory here. Florida wins 36-30.
A tough, and interesting, matchup to end the Gators’ year. This isn’t a typical OU squad either. The Sooners still own a good offense, just not as explosive or prolific as when Mayfield, Murray or Hurts manned the helm. Much is said about their defensive improvement. OU hasn’t allowed greater than 28 points in its last six games and allowed 300+ yards through the air twice all season. Its offense is like Florida’s: pretty unbalanced. OU is 75th in rushing and 79th in rushing success. But the return of tailback Rhamondre Stevenson helped improve their ground game. That will be a problem for the maligned Gator D. I expect points, and lots of em. The OU defense hasn’t seen a guy like Trask even if you count Sam Ehlinger. But Lincoln Riley’s boys will probably pick apart Todd Grantham’s defense. Should be a regular shootout in Jerry World. However, I got the Gators on top. Florida 45-41.
If you had asked me, on Sunday, who I thought would win this game, I would have answered Florida without even thinking about it. However, the Gators are now entering this game without their 4 leading receivers. Kyle Pitts, Trevon Grimes, and Kadarius Toney all opted out, choosing to prepare for the NFL draft. Jacob Copeland had his decision made for him when he tested COVID-19 positive on Monday. As a result, I’m not really sure what the team that takes the field on Wednesday night will look like. With that said, Florida will still have Kyle Trask and Dan Mullen. One’s a Heisman finalist and the other is one of the best schemers I’ve ever seen. I’m putting my trust in them to make it happen. Gators win, 38-31.
To say the last 48 hours have changed the outlook on this game would be an understatement. Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney, Trevon Grimes, Jacob Copeland, all gone. Kyle Trask is still around and is still Kyle Trask, and he’ll still have some familiar receivers in the likes of Justin Shorter and Kemore Gamble, among others. However, the Sooners have been one of the best teams in college football the last eight weeks. Since their back-to-back losses early, the Sooners have more wins by 28+ points (three) than less than ten points (two) and quarterback Spencer Rattler has thrown 15 touchdowns and just three interceptions against a few defenses I would volunteer as better than the Gators. At full throttle, I have zero doubts Florida can hang with and dispatch this Oklahoma team, but without their major weapons? One team is on a two-game losing streak and one has won seven in a row. Don’t expect a defensive showdown. Sooners win, 44-35.
Florida and Oklahoma kick off from AT&T Stadium in Dallas at 8:00 PM. The game is scheduled to be broadcast live on ESPN.
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