Big 12 champion Oklahoma takes a seven-game winning streak into its sixth consecutive New Year’s Six bowl game. The Sooners have lost their last three bowls, all of those being College Football Playoff semifinal games against other SEC teams. Florida is playing in its third consecutive NY6 game, having won the Orange Bowl and Peach Bowl the previous two years. This is the Gators’ first appearance in the Cotton Bowl, the third for Oklahoma.
Oklahoma’s “Speed D” vs. Florida offense. The Sooners gave up an average of 54 points in its NY6 losses to SEC teams the last three seasons, but have allowed only 303.4 total yards per game and 57 points overall its last four games. The Gators average 41.6 points a game, 7.4 yards per play and are the nation’s top passing team; QB Kyle Trask averages 375 yards passing a game with 43 TDs. But their top three receivers all opted out of the Cotton Bowl to focus on their pro futures, and a fourth missed the trip after testing positive for COVID-19. That quartet combined for 2,778 yards receiving and 34 TDs.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oklahoma: WR Marvin Mims has set a Sooners freshman record with eight receiving TDs in 10 games, and had a career-high seven catches (for 101 yards) in the Big 12 title game. The freshman TD record was seven, by Mark Andrews in 13 games in 2015, and CeeDee Lamb in 14 games in 2017.
Florida: Sophomore CB Kaiir Elam has an SEC-high 11 pass breakups, two interceptions and six of his 39 tackles this season came in the SEC title game. He has five career picks.
FACTS & FIGURES
Florida coach Dan Mullen said his team would have about 60 scholarship players in uniform. … Oklahoma is 5-2 at AT&T Stadium, including its fourth straight Big 12 title game there 11 days before the Cotton Bowl kickoff. … The Gators’ three losses were by a combined 12 points. … The Sooners are playing in a bowl game for the 22nd season in a row, with Georgia’s 24 in a row the only longer active streak.