Friday, June 18

Florida LB trashes Oklahoma ahead of Cotton Bowl – 247Sports

Bragging rights are on the line during bowl season, especially within the New Year’s Six when many of the nation’s top teams who finished just outside the Playoff picture try to cap their respective campaigns with a victory. One of the most intriguing matchups comes in the Cotton Bowl, pitting Big 12 champion Oklahoma against SEC runner-up Florida.

Gators linebacker James Houston says this showdown is an opportunity for Florida to show the SEC is college football’s top conference.

The veteran defender didn’t mince words in preview of the Top 15 battle at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

“I don’t think we’re too much worried about home field advantage or teams being close to there,” Houston said Tuesday during media availability. “It’s more about what we want to put on film, what we want to put on tape, going out and showing what the Florida Gators can do. Showing that Oklahoma is a good match-up, but they’re not on our level.

“They’re not SEC. They’re not the Florida Gators. So we should put on a good show.”

Oklahoma’s offense should present a number of challenge for Houston and the Florida defense, a unit that has underperformed at times this season. Alabama scored 52 points on Saturday night in the SEC Championship Game, including a monstrous effort from Heisman candidate DeVonta Smith.

The Gators now go into Big 12 country and will try and beat an opponent that’s won seven straight since a 1-2 start.

“Yeah, it’s a—I mean, we love playing there. It’s been a great stadium,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said this week when asked if there was a home-field advantage for his team. “We’ve had some pretty good memories over the last several years. Now is that going to make a difference in this game? I doubt it. It’s just going to be two good football teams going at it, like it should be.

“But we certainly enjoy it, and it’s one of the best venues in all of sports, in my opinion. And, again, if—I guess if you’ve got to choose, having some good memories there is a good place to start.”

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Florida opened as a 3-point favorite in the game, slated for Dec. 30.

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