Sooners and Crimson Tide On Collision Course
The Oklahoma Sooners and the Alabama Crimson Tide will on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. They will be playing in t he Capital One Orange Bowl. The bowl game is the setting for a College Football Playoff semifinal matchup. These two squads have the two top ranked offenses in the nation.
Top-seeded, and top-ranked, Alabama begins pursuit of a second straight College Football Playoff title. It would be the third in five seasons with a win. when it matches up with fourth-seeded Oklahoma in a semifinal game at the Orange Bowl in Miami. The Crimson Tide sailed through the regular season without a close call. They then had a heavyweight title fight in the SEC Championship game. They notched a 35-28 victory over Georgia. The fourth-seeded Sooners engaged in several shootouts during a one-loss season. They are back in the CFP for the third time in the past four seasons.
Oklahoma junior QB Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy over Alabama sophomore Tua Tagovailoa. Both quarterbacks put up superb statistics this season. Murray passed for 4,053 yards and 40 touchdowns and had only seven interceptions. He also rushed for 892 yards and 11 scores. Tagovailoa threw for 3,353 yards and 37 touchdowns and was only picked off four times. While Murray ponders whether to change his plan of playing professional baseball (1st round draft pick and signed with the Oakland Athletics) in favor of the NFL, Tagovailoa has more immediate concerns. He recovering from the left ankle surgery he underwent earlier this month after the beating he took against the Bulldogs. He is also dealing with season-long issues with his right knee.
While they are the top two scoring teams in the nation, Oklahoma at 49.5 points per game, Alabama at 47.9, the Crimson Tide has a huge edge on defense. The Crimson Tide ranks fourth in scoring defense at 14.8 ppg and held eight opponents to 17 points or fewer. The Sooners are giving up 32.4 per game gave up 40 or more five times. It was four straight November games where the defense got pummeled. The Sooners lone blemish is a 48-45 loss to Texas on Oct. 6th. The unit faces a huge challenge in slowing down an Alabama attack that rolled up 45 or more points nine times.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Sooners were 12-1 overall and 8-1 in the Big 12 during the regular season. The status of All-American receiver Marquise Brown may remain unclear until close to game time, but he is expected to play. He suffered a left lower-leg injury in the Big 12 title game victory over Texas. Brown has 75 receptions for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdown receptions. He is one of a strong cast of skill players Murray has at his disposal. Wideout CeeDee Lamb has 57 catches for 1,049 yds and 10 scores. Running back Kennedy Brooks rushed for 1,021 yards and 12 touchdowns. RB Trey Sermon chipped in 928 yards rushing and 12 scores. The terrible defense has solid players in middle linebacker Kenneth Murray. He had 140 tackles and four sacks. Weak-side linebacker Curtis Bolton had 130 stops with four sacks.
The Crimson Tide made it through a brutal schedule undefeated. Tagovailoa also has an All-American target in wideout Jerry Jeudy. He has 59 catches for 1,103 yards and 12 touchdowns. Henry Ruggs III chipped in 42 catches for 724 yards. He also has been a big-play target with 10 scoring catches. All-American defensive tackle Quinnen Williams put together one of the top campaigns of any defensive player in the nation. He had 18 tackles for loss, including eight sacks, while making 66 stops. All-American safety Deionte Thompson had two interceptions and four forced fumbles. Linebacker Dylan Moses had a team-high 76 tackles.
PREDICTION: Alabama 56, Oklahoma 24
Capital One Orange Bowl Trends
Alabama Crimson Tide Trends
- Trend Over is 9-2 in Crimson Tide last 11 bowl games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. Hit % 81.80% (11) O/U 9|2 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 20-5-2 in Crimson Tide last 27 neutral site games as a favorite. 80.00% (27) 20|5 2
- Over is 11-3 in Crimson Tide last 14 neutral site games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. 78.60% (14) 11|3 0
- Over is 9-1-2 in Crimson Tide last 12 neutral site games as a favorite of 10.5 or greater. 90.00% (12) 9|1 2
Oklahoma Sooners Trends
- Trend Under is 8-2 in Sooners last 10 neutral site games as a favorite. Hit % 80.00% (10) O/U 20|5 Push 2 W/L
- Under is 6-1 in Sooners last 7 neutral site games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0. 85.70% (7) 11|3 0
- Under is 4-0 in Sooners last 4 bowl games as a favorite. 100.00% (4) 10|4 0
- Over is 8-1 in Sooners last 9 games as a favorite. 88.90% (9) 9|4 1
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