Cotton Bowl: Big 12 champ Oklahoma vs SEC runner-up Florida
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Oklahoma returns to the stadium where the Sooners just won their sixth consecutive Big 12 championship to face the SEC in Florida on December 30th at the Cotton Bowl.
The only time Oklahoma and Florida played against each other was 12 seasons ago in the BCS title game, when the Gators won 24-14 for their final national championship.
It will be the first Cotton Bowl for the 10th (8-3) Gators, who lost 52-46 in the SEC championship to Alabama No. 1.
Eighth-placed Sooners (8-2) finished a three-year run of the College Football Playoffs after taking another Big 12 title with a 27-21 win over Iowa on Saturday at AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys State won. Oklahoma finished sixth in the final CFP rankings published on Sunday, one place ahead of Florida.
Oklahoma is only in the Cotton Bowl for the third time, the first time since losing 41-13 to Texas A&M on January 4, 2013. That was 11 years after the Sooners defeated Arkansas when that Bowl was still in theirs eponymous stadium was played near downtown Dallas.
Both the Gators and Sooners only score more than 41 points in a major crime game. Florida averages 509 yards per game and Oklahoma about 476.
The Cotton Bowl is played two days before Alabama against Notre Dame No. 4 at the AT&T Stadium in a CFP semi-final that was originally planned as the 107th Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The January 1 game was postponed, reportedly due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the Los Angeles area, but also due to the ban on fans from spectator sports in California.
Lincoln Riley is 44-8 in his four seasons as the Oklahoma head coach. Dan Mullen is 29-8 in three seasons with the Gators since their former offensive coordinator returned after nine seasons as head coach of the state of Mississippi.
Redshirt freshman Spencer Rattler, the Sooners' fourth quarterback to win a Big 12 title in the past four seasons, has thrown for 278 yards per game. His 25 touchdowns are the most for a freshman QB and he has thrown seven interceptions.
Florida senior quarterback Kyle Trask is the NCAA's top passer at 375 yards per game with 43 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He'll end up with Kyle Pitt in the Cotton Bowl with no outstanding finish, but still have senior receivers Kadarius Toney (70 catches, 984 yards, 10 TDs) and Trevon Grimes (38 catches, 589 yards, 9 TDs).
Pitts announced that they would be going pro and not playing in the Cotton Bowl. The 6-foot-6 junior had seven catches for 129 yards and one touchdown in the SEC title game, and has scored 43 passes for 770 yards and 12 team-level touchdowns in his eight games this season.
Tim Tebow was the Florida quarterback for the national championship win over Oklahoma on January 9, 2009 in Miami. That was the season. The Sooners second quarterback Sam Bradford was the winner of the Heisman Trophy.
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