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?
- 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.
- 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.
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