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Gameday blog: UM-Oklahoma

Whenever the Canes hooked up with Oklahoma when I was a kid, it was one of the most exciting games to get up for -- right up there with Notre Dame, Florida State, Penn State and the hated Gators.

But a lot has changed since the Brian Bosworth-Vinny Testaverde days. The Sooners don't run the wishbone anymore and Miami doesn't play the kind of defense it used to. Tonight's game will pit an eight-ranked Sooners team that has one of the best defensive front sevens in the country and a do it all offense (even with redshirt freshman quarterback Landry Jones at the helm) against a UM team looking to bounce back from an embarrassing loss at Virginia Tech.

Before the season started, I expected Miami to go 2-2 against its tough opening four-game stretch. I thought that would be good enough to show us this team has improved. But the closer we get to kickoff, the more I see this game as a giant measuring stick for Randy Shannon and his staff. This is year No. 3 and its time for UM to start showing signs it can really compete against the nation's elite teams. I know they're shorthanded on defense (safety, defensive end). But it feels like crunch time to me.

REWIND: UM owned the Sooners back in the 1980s when both teams were regular national title contenders. Their 2007 meeting in Norman was good for a half before the Sooners pulled away 51-13.

FAST FORWARD

> UM wins because: Jacory Harris plays like a Heisman candidate again and LandShark Stadium rocks like the Orange Bowl. That means UM's offensive line plays lights out and protects Harris and his receivers don't drop balls like they did last week. Defensively, UM is going to be hard pressed to shutdown Oklahoma's balanced offense. But the key for the Canes will be eliminating big, deflating plays and creating a few turnovers to slow the Sooners down at least a little.

> OU wins because: Quarterback Landry Jones doesn't make mistakes and the Sooners don't have breakdowns in the secondary. Pound-for-pound, Oklahoma is the better team in this matchup. The only place UM really has the advantage is at quarterback and receiver. That means unless the Canes outplay them or OU makes a few gaffs, the Sooner should win this.

> My pick: Oklahoma 30, UM 21. Last week, I picked with my heart. I really was beginning to believe Miami had something special going. They still could if they win tonight. But what Virginia Tech did was unmask a lot of the Canes' deficiencies. Like it or not, the Canes' offensive line -- and running game -- still has a long way to go. The defense has to prove it can do the basics -- like tackling -- consistently. Those aren't the type of troubles a team about to beat a Top 10 ranked team has to deal with. Then again, here's to hoping I'm dead wrong.

> Game balls - Offense: Jacory Harris. If UM's going to win, he'll be the triggerman. Defense: Eric Moncur. If the UM defense is going to surprise us tonight, create turnovers and turn the tables, the key will be getting pressure on Jones. It would be nice to see a kid like Moncur provide a lot of that. Special teams: Matt Bosher. He's missed a pair of field goals against Georgia Tech and had a punt blocked last week. A game-winning field goal would be nice wouldn't it?

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Comments

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Yea where is collin

Defense MUST step up to the plate. We should have over 200 yds on the ground tonite easily.

I heard on the radio that McCarthy's status is part time.

If they don't get shields out of this game it's going to get out of reach real early

This ref crew is killing the U.

Big 12 Refs are great

Block that punt

D

Come on D

run the ball and go with the tight end

Give it to jimmy

Impressive D, after last week I was worried. Worrying no more

Great defensive stand. Nice play by Spence on third down. Okay run the ball down their throats here. They look vulnerable against the run to me.

WE can do this!!!!!!!!

RUN THE BALL!!

By the way I hate the Jets.

Cane Fins fan here

Move around in the pocket Jacory run if you have to

Tired of Farve commercials

Is Shields in streets clothes yet?

We really need a defensive score big time

Come on defense keep us in the game!! And can someone tell me why the hell we didn't run the ball on that last drive we gashed them and we scored! That's terrible coaching!!

Recievers have to run routes past the chains, bad mistake on 3rd down

Hey mcarthy welcome to the game

Welcome to the game Collin

Ya D

Ray Ray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ray Ray is the man

thats how yoou wrap up! nice tackle ray ray!

Ray Ray Armstrong....finally a real deal for the U

How is the middle of the field WIDE open on 3rd down???

Ray Ray has already shown better instincts this game then we have seen out of our safety's all year.

PA pass?

Josephs done

Gotta get a stop here

Fail

Do we have anybody left to play defense. better get some backups from the student section

D lines hurting

can we just get out of the half without another score

Bout time a holding call

Wow good play by Shields

The middel of the field is always open when Mia is on defense...because this loser of a defensive coordinator John Lovett is no better than Bill Walton...Canes need to get rid of this guy.

D held, great job, gotta get better in the 2nd half

Dude 2 turnovers and we are down by 3. Not too bad

suit up Sebastian for the D line

I am really impressed with Miami's Offense. Um isn't going to win it, but I think it'll be close.

Ok down by 3. I'll take it

I meant defense, sorry I am toasted. brownies he he he

Wow, only 10-7; should be about 24-7.

OU's playing should consist of finding Shields and throwing there every single play.

Our D is stellar, we win this game!!!

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