Sunday, August 27, 2006

Interview with Steve Irvine

It’s finally game week for the Sooners and I’ll have you covered with as many opinions as you can handle in regards to Saturday’s game against the UAB Blazers. However, we also want to know what the Blazers are thinking as well, right? Steve Irvine of the Birmingham News was gracious enough to give us the low down on the Blazers as we approach game day.

Thanks for your time Steve!

My Opinion on Sports: We know about defensive end Larry McSwain and linebacker Orlandus King but who are some other play makers for the Blazers on each side of the ball?

Steve Irvine: Kevin Sanders is the team's best cover guy in the secondary and has had a strong fall camp. Jermaine McElveen, who plays the opposite end from McSwain, played hurt the past two years. When healthy, he may be as disruptive as McSwain.

On offense, UAB has three very good running backs in Corey White, Dan
Burks and Marculus Elliott. Wide receiver Norris Drinkard could also have a big year.

My Opinion on Sports: In their second scrimmage the Blazers ran the ball 70 times and only passed 39. Should we expect to see the Blazers try to pound the Sooners’ defense on the ground or do you think their offense will be more balanced?

Steve Irvine: UAB will definitely be a run-first team, which is much different than the past four years with Darrell Hackney at quarterback. With that being said, UAB will have to throw the ball against Oklahoma to keep things balanced.

My Opinion on Sports: If you are Blazers head coach Watson Brown, how do you game plan against the OU offensive attack?

Steve Irvine: Try to devise some way to keep Adrian Peterson from having a huge game. That's easier said than done. I would rather make Paul Thompson beat me than Adrian Peterson.

My Opinion on Sports: Coach Brown has a history at Oklahoma (offensive coordinator 93-94) and his brother coaches for the Sooners’ chief rival Texas Longhorns. In more ways than one is this more than just a non-conference game for him? Any chance he will talk with Mack for advice on beating the Sooners?

Steve Irvine: Chances are pretty good that the Brown brothers have discussed this game. Call it a hunch. As far as being more than a typical non-conference game, Watson loved his time at Oklahoma and he looks forward to seeing some old friends.

My Opinion on Sports: The Blazers played Tennessee to within a touchdown in last season’s opener in Knoxville. What do they need to do to stay in the game with the Sooners?

Steve Irvine: Run the ball successfully, minimize Peterson's success, avoid turnovers and pray a lot. Prayer may be the best option.

My Opinion on Sports: Give us your final score prediction.

Steve Irvine: Oklahoma 23, UAB 10

Thanks again Steve. However, I have to disagree with you on the final score. I think the Sooners will score more than 23.

You can read more of Steve’s work on the Birmingham News website.