Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
MIAMI -- Oklahoma came into the FedEx BCS National Championship Game hoping to force some uncharacteristic turnovers from Tim Tebow and convert when they got close to Florida's goal line.
The Sooners' maligned defense did just that with two turnovers in the first half, but the Sooners' nation-leading offense uncharacteristically struggled. Oklahoma couldn't produce on two drives inside Florida's 6-yard line as the Gators' defense produced when challenged.
Florida coach Urban Meyer has to feel rather fortunate leaving with a 7-7 halftime tie after his defense came up with two huge stops in the second quarter deep inside its own territory.
Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford didn't seem to be hamstrung with the Heisman jinx as he had a strong half except for the interception by Major Wright on the next-to-last play of the first half. The juggling interception was made after three Gators touched the ball.
The play likely wouldn't have made a touchdown anyway. The Sooners were out of timeouts so they wouldn't have scored even if intended receiver Manny Johnson had made the catch.
After some early jitters, the Sooners moved the ball smartly late in the first half after Florida dominated most of the first quarter.
But the Sooners had a balanced attack on their final two drives as Bradford completed seven straight passes at one point late in the first half. He finished completing 17 of 23 passes for 145 yards.
Florida had taken an early 7-0 lead on a 26-yard pass from Tebow to Louis Murphy only 58 seconds into the second quarter.
But after that, Oklahoma turned the game around with the use of their vaunted no-huddle offense that seemed to flummox the Gators. On the first four Oklahoma plays of the second quarter, the Sooners gained 16, 14, 16 and 12 yards en route to a touchdown.
And after another turnover the Sooners moved inside the 1, but came away empty after an attempted quick snap fourth-down run by Chris Brown was stuffed by Florida sophomore defensive tackle Torrey Davis. Davis had made five tackles all season long, including two in garbage time against the Citadel.
Here are some other things I've noticed:
Oklahoma hasn't missed DeMarco Murray in the first half. Brown has rushed for a game-high 79 yards on 12 carries, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. The Sooners have produced 80 rushing yards as their big line has dominated in the trenches on most plays.
The Sooners have gotten some big plays out of defensive end Frank Alexander, who seems especially active tonight.
Tebow is living on the edge with some of his throws. He was intercepted twice -- as many as in 268 throws this season -- and was nearly picked on a couple of other throws. He seemed to have trouble with Oklahoma dropping linebackers and even defensive linemen into coverage.
The Sooners did a good job of protecting Bradford for most of the half, although they had trouble picking up a couple of delayed blitzes late in the first half. Bradford was sacked once and was hit twice in the first half. Florida's most successful plays came when defensive coordinator Charlie Strong cooked up a blitz-heavy scheme from all across the field.
Oklahoma's kick coverage has held up so far. On their only kickoff, Brandon James was swarmed at the Florida 15 after a 12-yard return.