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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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Baby j time !!!!!

Ray Ray, Vaugn T, B. Harris, Spence. Whats not to like

I love Jacory's delivery! Sweet!

They are setting up the bomb

OK blitzing every play, gotta beat it

Dink dink deep!

Defense lookin gr8 !!!

playin wit emotion and intensity

I am a prophet

Deeeeeep TD!!!!!!!!!

WOOOOOOOOO pedro come get ur medicine

Go Canes!!!

Wiiiiiide open

Great call by Whipple and nice throw by Jacory. Big TD. Now Oklahoma will get one dimensional.

Jetster yes u are

Lol

BLITZ, keep it going!!!

OMG!!!! I'm speechless....Looks like the 80"s all over again!!!!!!!!!

Lots of time left but the D will be why we win

Shields beat again, WTF????

Come on Shannon no wimping out

Wow very nice comments by Musberger about Shannon

Ray Ray got cheapshotted by OK 70

Nice stop!!!

Nice def sequence

Swarm tackling!

Horrible mustache on Jones. Lol

What???

What a BS call

Guys keep feeding me info I'm floor manager @ a club in NYC and I'm working right now. So I can't watch the game.

Refs trying their best to take it

Wow the refs hate us

TD OK

21-17 Canes

Oh god, why did the refs make that roughing the kicker call. Now we are going to have to hear about that flag for a year.

Got your back Nigeriancane

Big 12 refs will help OU with there mometum

Big 12 refs doing their best to give this one to OK!! Why are big 12 refs calling this game??? Should be different conference calling it for impartiality. Too many questionable calls

Gator fan don't talk till you beat someone who is ranked in the top 50!!

I just sharted myself

Jacory has got to do better with moving out of the pocket

Well almost

D gotta step up!!!!!

Watch the middle

No flag WOW!!!!

We shouldn't be going for a punt block. OU is 2 good to let back in the game from mistake from our young players.

Holly cow, the stash has returned

Yes we own the 4th quarter!

Nigerian the D is playing very well, you would be happy

that ruffing the kicker call was garbage ca;ll

Like I said James time !!!

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