September 6, 2007

Conference capsule: Like old times

The last time Oklahoma and Miami met on a football field, Nintendo was just getting started, "We Are The World" was sweeping the nation and The Boz was making big-time hits on the gridiron instead of starring in second-rate movies. The teams will meet for the first time since the 1987 Orange Bowl when the Canes face the No. 5 Sooners in front of a national audience in Norman on Saturday.

"I remember watching them back in the mid-80s and their great teams with great players all over the field," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "They were great games, for sure. Between the two teams, there aren't a lot of losses there."

From the days of tight-rolled pants come these gems: Miami won all three times the teams met between 1985 and 1987. In 1985, Troy Aikman broke his leg and Jamelle Holieway took over. Although unranked Miami won the game 27-14 in Norman, the Sooners won the national championship. A year later, No. 2 Miami behind Vinny Testaverde and Michael Irvin beat No. 1 Oklahoma 28-16 in Miami. Both teams finished 11-1 that season. It foreshadowed a national championship classic in 1987 as Steve Walsh guided the Canes to a 20-14 win for their second national title.

Both teams went 33-3 during those three seasons.

Miami will enter unranked for the third time in six contests between the two teams. It entered this season unranked for the first time since 1998, but Randy Shannon was successful in his debut as head coach of his alma mater in a 31-3 win over Marshall in Miami.

The Canes, who intend to show they have improved upon a 7-6 mark last season, will face a tough challenge on the road. Oklahoma has won its last 12 home games and is 48-2 at Memorial Stadium under Stoops. Stoops is also 21-1 in non-conference home games.

Oklahoma softened the Mean Green to the tune of 79-10, as sophomore Sam Bradford threw for 363 yards (his 350 by halftime was the most for a half in OU history) and tied a school-record with 18 straight completions.

"(Bradford) manages emotions really well, was great at the line of scrimmage and threw the ball well. That will give him confidence to just do his job," Stoops said. "You don't have to be Superman, just do what you're capable of doing and le the guys around you support you."

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