It's No. 1 USC Versus No. 2 Oklahoma In The Orange Bowl
Dec. 19, 2004
What a high-powered, star-studded match-up this BCS Championship Game in the 2005 Orange Bowl will be: top-ranked and defending national champion USC versus No. 2 Oklahoma, which played in last year's BCS contest. It's a meeting of 2 of college football's most historic programs. These teams have met just 8 times, and it's been a dozen years since the last faceoff. Each USC-OU game has featured a ranked team...and oftentimes a highly-ranked team. In fact, it's not the first time the No. 1 Trojans met the No. 2 Sooners (in 1981, USC won in the last seconds). Oklahoma is one of only 2 teams to ever beat a No. 1 Trojan team. And OU is the last team to hold the No. 1 ranking before USC's current run of 17 consecutive polls. This is a familiar trip for USC, which won the 2003 Orange Bowl, and Oklahoma, which has played in 17 Orange Bowls (it won the 2000 national title there). This is the second time Pete Carroll has coached against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. The teams are mirror images: Heisman winners at quarterback and finalists at running back, deep receiving corps, staunch defenses with a Cody anchoring the line, exciting returners, and the game's top head coaches in USC's Pete Caroll and OU's Bob Stoops. The teams also are very similar statistically. Questions abound: Can USC's stingy defense stop Oklahoma's balanced offense? Can USC's potent multidimensional offense have success against OU's testy defense? Will the game turn on special teams? Can anybody halt USC's Matt Leinart or Reggie Bush or LenDale White or Dwayne Jarrett? Or OU's Jason White or Adrian Peterson or Mark Clayton or Antonio Perkins? How do you contend with the likes of Troy's Shaun Cody or Mike Patterson or Matt Grootegoed or Lofa Tatupu? Or Oklahoma's Lance Mitchell or Dan Cody or Donte Nicholson? The game in Miami's 72,230-seat Pro Player Stadium is sold out and it will be shown live nationally in prime time on ABC-TV.
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