Today the Oklahoma Sooners took on the Florida State Seminoles in the Cheez-It Bowl. Oklahoma honored the late great, former Offensive Coordinator Mike Leach as they displayed the pirate flag on their helmets.
Florida State once again scored on their opening possession after marching down to the goal line. The Seminoles, led by Jordan Travis, looked primed to put 6 on the board as they marched down the field with ease. However, the Sooners had different plans as the defense put together 2 consecutive goal-line stops, including another great play by none other than CJ Coldon who nearly came up with the pick. The kick from Ryan Fitzgerald was up and good and the Seminoles led 3-0. The Sooners answered back going 75 yards on 13 plays. The Sooners’ freshman running back duo of Jovantae Barnes and Gavin Sawchuk got it going for Oklahoma as both had some nice rushes. Dillion Gabriel capped off the drive finding Jalil Farooq for 6, and Sooners took the lead 7-3.
The Sooners’ defense came up with a 4th down stop as Mike Norvell was a little too greedy, going for it on 4th down on his own side of the field. However, Oklahoma was unable to make Norvell regret his decision as they went 3 & out. Oklahoma had to turn to Punter Michael Turk to flip the field, and Turk’s boot went 52 yards into the end zone for a touchback. Once again, the Sooners’ defense did not allow Jordan Travis to get anything going, forcing another 3 & out. Marvin Mims gave Oklahoma a great starting field position as he returned the punt 21 yards to the FSU 49. Gabriel had a really nice run for the Sooners, breaking free for a gain of 16 yards. At the end of the first quarter, Oklahoma led 7-3.
After a nasty bootleg, Gabriel leaped into the end zone to put the Sooners up 14-3. Danny got him! Danny Stutsman slowed down the FSU offense as he brought down Travis for a loss of 6, leading to another 4 down for the Seminoles. Oklahoma once again made Norvell regret his decision as they came up with another 4th down stop. Gabriel continued to feel the Cheeziest for the Sooners as he connected with Mims for a 46-yard gain. The Oklahoma drive however stalled, forcing the Sooners to settle for a field goal attempt. Zach Schmit attempted his season-long, a 45-yarder that he hooked left, giving the Seminoles a much-needed break. And boy did they capitalize, going 6 plays for 72 yards. Jordan Travis found Ontaria Wilson for a 16-yard score, followed by a successful two-point conversion, making the score 14-11 Oklahoma.
Florida State kept the momentum swing going their way forcing Oklahoma to have to punt the football away. After giving up a big play to the 6’7″ FSU wide receiver Johnny Wilson, Oklahoma doubled down, as Sooners’ defensive linemen Josh Ellison and Isaiah Coe came up with the sack on 3rd down, forcing the Seminoles to punt. The freshman duo of Sawchuk and Barnes continued their success as they ran all over the Seminoles’ defense, however, Oklahoma was forced to settle for 3. Schmit drilled it this time around, extending the Sooners’ lead to 17-11.
Oklahoma fans were dealt extreme flashbacks to the 2018 Rose Bowl as Oklahoma once again as Oklahoma squib kicked a kickoff right before the end of the first half. Once again, it looked to be a terrible decision for the Sooners as Travis got the Seminoles in field goal range just like Georgia did in 2018. However, this time around was different, and Fitzgerald did not have the leg to make the 54-yarder.
Oklahoma received the ball to start the 2nd half. The Sooners’ opening drive of the 2nd half took a decent amount of time off the clock, that’s about it. Once again, Oklahoma was forced to punt the football away. Michael Turk delivered another beautiful punt, downing the Seminoles at the 6-yard line. Tough field position however did not affect the Seminoles as they went 94 yards on 15 plays for a touchdown. Oklahoma answered back with another big 3rd down pickup, Gabriel to Brayden Willis for 31 yards. Florida State killed all of Oklahoma’s momentum by forcing a turnover on downs on 4th down.
On a 3rd and long, Jordan Travis once again exposed the Sooners’ pitiful zone defense finding none other than Johnny Wilson for the 3rd down conversion. Oklahoma responded, however, forcing another 4th down attempt. The Seminoles were once again unable to convert as Billy Bowman picked off Jordan Travis, giving the Sooners a much-needed momentum boost.
Fours are up for the final quarter of football for Team 128. On the first play of the 4th quarter, Marvin Mims was once again marvelous, making another unreal catch along the sideline. The freshman Gavin Sawchuk continued his big day capping off the critical drive with a 15-yard touchdown run. The Sooners weren’t done as Gabriel found Willis for 2, and Oklahoma leads 25-18. The Seminoles once again answered back, proving that they were going to make this game interesting as Treshaun Ward went 38 yards for the score to tie the game up. Drake Stoops took a jet sweep 21 yards, putting the Sooners in business. However, a true freshman mistake was made as Sawchuk fumbled and the Seminoles recovered.
Another big play from Trey Benson got the Seminoles rolling once again. After another terrible spot, Florida State was rewarded with another first down. Two plays later Travis found Markeston Douglas for the 17-yard score, and the Seminoles led 32-25.
Back-to-back keepers from Dillion Gabriel gave the Sooners consecutive first downs, which puts the Sooners in Seminole territory. Gabriel then swung one out to Farooq who went 29 yards into the red zone. There was somehow another injured FSU player following a big momentum swing, it was very interesting how that continued to occur.
Pay-dirt Jovantae! Jovantae Barnes went untouched for the 11-yard score. The Sooners tie it up at 32. Travis found Johnny Wilson for a gain of 58 as Wilson completely bullies Justin Broiles on the jump ball as he brought it in with one hand. Oklahoma having to waste timeouts in the 3rd quarter came back to bite them as they could only stop the clock once. Florida State wound it all the way down to 59 seconds. Fitzgerald drilled it from 32 yards out to give the Seminoles a 35-32 lead.
With only 55 seconds left on the clock, Oklahoma needed nothing short of perfection to win the Cheez-It Bowl. To no surprise, everything that could go wrong for the Sooners went wrong. From a false start leading to a 10-second runoff to a holding penalty to a 3rd down sack, everything went wrong. Florida State escaped with a 35-32 Cheez-It bowl victory.
Oklahoma ends the season with a 6-7 record. The first losing season for the Sooners since 1998. This is a loss that perfectly sums up this season, losing games that you should win. The little mistakes once again proved that it is impossible to win a game with this defense with anything less than perfection from the offense.
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