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Monday, December 29, 2008

Pelini and Venables Mix Business With Pleasure

Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables recently made a road trip to catch up on old times with Bo Pelini on December 13th. "We just combined a little bit of business with pleasure,'' said Pelini, who coached with Venables as co-coordinators of the Oklahoma defense in 2004.

While I'm sure both coaches want to say it was more of a buddy-buddy get together, the fact is that Venables knows that when it comes to stopping the prolific Florida offense, Bo knows how. Pelini and the LSU Tigers were 2-1 vs. Florida during his time as defensive coordinator from 2005-2007. In those 3 games, Pelini kept the Gators to 24 or fewer points. That's something nobody else has been close to duplicating since Urban Meyer's arrival in 2005.

And judging by what Oklahoma's defense has done in 2008, Venables is going to need all the help he can get.

Notable games from the 2008 Oklahoma Defense:
  • 26 points - Cincinnati
  • 45 points- Texas
  • 31 points- Kansas
  • 35 points- Kansas St
  • 28 points- Nebraska
  • 28 points- Texas A&M
  • 41 points- Oklahoma St
The Oklahoma Sooner defense ranks #63 in total defense and #57 in scoring defense this season which could put a little too much pressure on Sam Bradford and the offense if they can't slow Florida's multidimensional attack. Keeping the versatile Gators' #3 scoring offense in check can be done if the Sooner's can stop the run. Tim Tebow and the Florida offense passed for an average of only 212 yards/game this season which ranks them in at 61st.

I'd like to think that Pelini's LSU defenses and the 2008 Oklahoma defense are compromable in talent which could fare well for the Sooners. I also believe that there is no question that Pelini's advice will vastly improve Oklahoma's chance. Slow down the run and you win the game. Simple as that?