Oklahoma rolls Alabama in the Sugar Bowl



I know everyone in college football saw this coming, right? UCF over Baylor last night, and tonight Oklahoma, led by quarterback Trevor Knight, beat the 15-point favorites Alabama 45-31. This wasn’t Alabama being disinterested; this was Oklahoma outplaying and outcoaching the Crimson Tide. How many times has Nick Saban been outcoached in back-to-back games?

The Good:

  • Freshman RB Derrick Henry is going to be a star; he’s already a star, and he arrived tonight. Henry finally garnered consistent touches for the first time all season, and he repaid Nick Saban and Doug Nussmeier because of it. Henry carried just eight times for 100 yards and one touchdown, and he caught a little dump pass and took it 61 yards for the touchdown. Henry is a hybrid between Trent Richardson and Brandon Jacobs — a machine.
  • WRs DeAndrew White and Amari Cooper were unstoppable. White caught three passes for 139 yards and one touchdown, while Cooper caught nine passes for 121 yards. Both White and Cooper return in 2014.

The Bad:

  • I’ll start with Alabama’s leader, AJ McCarron. He did not handle the pressure well tonight. This wasn’t the AJ McCarron we’re used to seeing in big games. Whether it was the actual pressure from Oklahoma or whether it was the pressure of trying to bring his team from behind, NFL scouts will watch this game and pick it apart. He did throw for 387 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw two very costly INTs and fumbled to essentially end the game. McCarron had such an incredible career for such a tough ending on his final play.
  • The biggest reason McCarron was flustered was because his offensive line was dominated the entire night. Cyrus Kouandjio was exposed against the speed rush, and the O-line gave up a total of seven sacks. That’s amazing, and he was under pressure the entire night. The Tide gave up 10 sacks the entire year and seven tonight. The Sooners had just enough lead the entire game to bring pressure the entire night – and it paid off. Mike Stoops had a very well executed game plan.
  • Alabama’s offense lacks a big blocking TE like Michael Williams last year. It’s obvious they want to run power, but they lack a power rushing TE.
  • Alabama’s secondary got torched against Oklahoma’s passing game. And it’s fitting after struggling against better passing teams. Knight threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns, and he was at the top of his game. He played more like Trevor Football than Trevor Knight. If Alabama’s going to get back to championship-level defense, corner is a great place to start.
  • Turnovers killed Alabama, and Oklahoma made them pay for it. The Sooners scored 28 points off five Alabama turnovers. That’s astounding. The Tide lost the TO battle at -4 after finishing +6 during the season.

Photo Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports



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  • Tonight’s loss for Alabama was very odd. It seemed like the problems that were minor annoyances at the beginning of the year, like O-line play and Cornerback depth, became Bama’s Achilles’ Heel. TJ Yeldon and AJ McCarron, who have been consistent all season seemed to lack heart in this game. That being said, Derrick Henry is going to be a beast in the next two seasons, and he did remind me of Trent Richardson. If they had relied on him more in the game, they could have won.

    • You are dead on, Aubie.

      The O-line and the dbs were not quite there this year. And Yeldon—I mean, this goes back to the A&M game—should not be given goal-line carries. He fumbles way too much.

      AJ was pressing from the start for some reason. Not sure what that first pass into triple coverage was about, good grief. Kouandjio needs to get better or get out.

    • Also, best of luck vs. FSU.

    • Completely agree, bro.
      Go win the Crystal for the state and SEC and Roll Tide!

      • Holy Harvey Updike …what is wrong with you people and this “keep it in the state” stuff? When I see this it just makes me cringe. You can’t seriously be rooting for Auburn if you’re a bama fan…no way …no how. Hell I’m not even rooting for them and our rivalry is supposedly nothing compared to yours.

        • Sorry that you don’t get it JP. If Auburn wins it makes Bama look better. It makes Georgia look better. It makes Mizzou look better. It makes our super-conference look better. You don’t have to cheer. You don’t have to like it. People just want us to win more than FSU.

        • No….guess I don’t get it…not at all. You don’t root for your rival…auburn winning does not help anyone as a fan of UGA or Bama. We very seldom recruit against FSU. We are in constant recruiting wars with auburn. And Bama/ Auburn is supposed to be the biggest rivalry in the universe. It is the equivalent of a Boston fan rooting for the Yankees. It just isn’t supposed to happen.

  • I think it’s hilarious that all season we hear how Bama is the elite in the SEC after they really only played a sub par LSU team, TAMU, a middle of the road Ole Miss team and then ran into AU. The loss last night doesn’t surprise me at all, OU beat Bama in every facet of the game and in the trenches they owned Bama. I’ve told folks all season that this Bama team wasn’t the best team in the SEC much less the whole country! Also, by virtue of OU beating Bama I’d say that would make Bama probably the 4th best team if they were to play in the Big 12 huh, and hopefully after this beating this will stop the propaganda that other conferences can’t play with SEC teams. BTW, before anyone goes off on me I’m a Gamecocks fan, I root for my team, not every other team in the conference. Especially Alabama.

  • Ole Miss smoked Texas, who beatdown Oklahoma, who handled Alabama, who…..wait for it…..crushed Ole Miss. This is why Bowl Season is difficult to predict. No matter who may have been the better team most of year, one team may go into a bowl game with more enthusiasm & excitement to be there, and thus beat a team that is better than them. This is not a pass for Alabama getting hosed by Oklahoma, just more an indication of the difficulty of predicting bowl games. Does Alabama beat OK 4 out of 5 times? Probably, but last night was that 5th game & they got hosed.

  • This was as shocking a win during the Stoops era as there’s ever been. Alabama, on paper, was bigger, more physical, more athletic, more talented, etc., etc., etc., at virtually every position on the field. There was obviously some let down from the Tide to play this poorly, but this was also the best Sooner performance in quite some time.

    Mike Stoops’ blitz schemes confused McCarron and Bama’s O-line all night and OU got the turnovers they had to have to pull the upset. OU will be very good next year behind Knight, and it doesn’t hurt that the Big 12 is still a very average league. The SEC is still king, and this doesn’t change that, but for OU to go beat up on this high-quality of an SEC opponent hopefully shows that the program is on the uptick.

    It still makes me sick that Missouri got into the SEC when OU could have had their spot. Last night’s game was just a brief sampling of what an OU-in-the-SEC world might look like. I don’t believe the current Big 12 is viable long term, so I hope the next conference shakeup somehow gets OU out of this watered-down excuse of a conference and into the SEC where we belong.

    It was really nice, however, to see OU hopefully quiet some SEC doubters and show they are as legitimate as any program in the SEC, and all of college football for that matter….boomer freakin SOONER!

  • McCarron showed very little poise when pressured last night. I was surprised. He’s gotta handle that better if he’s gonna make it in the pros. He had incredible O-line play last year, so maybe he wasn’t used to it?

  • AJ McCarron is like the 4th or 5th best QB in the SEC. And, as said earlier. Trying to predict bowl game outcomes is crazyness. Good point about Ole Miss beating Texas and Texas beating OK that beat Ala who ‘shut out’ Ole Miss. So to say a Big 12 schedule of games compares to an SEC schedule is stupid. Look at Ole Miss’ 2013 schedule. I submit OK would have lost 3 maybe 4 games with that schedule. Even though Ala had a somewhat soft schedule ths year. And, LSU beat Auburn and lost to Ala and Ala lost to Auburn. So picking bowl games is a crapshoot at best. The winner of 8 straight NC’s might give a conference an edge. Who knows?

  • Am I the only one that noticed AJ has already started his post-playing career beer belly?

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