What Lincoln Riley said about facing LSU in the Sugar Bowl
Lincoln Riley and No. 4 Oklahoma will head to Atlanta on Dec. 28 to face No. 1 LSU in the Peach Bowl. The winner will punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff national championship game on Jan. 13.
And in the middle of the Sooners offense this year is Jalen Hurts, who knows LSU well from his time at Alabama. Riley, though, downplayed any advantage Oklahoma might have as a result.
“I don’t think it hurts. Does it make a huge difference? I don’t know,” he said, during a media teleconference on Sunday. “Probably having played in the playoffs and handling just all the hype and all the outside noise that comes along with this, I would think he’s going to be as prepared as anybody going into that. But obviously, he’s doing it in a different place. This is a different LSU team. I mean, there’s so many different factors too. So if it is an advantage, that’s great, but we’ve got to go take it for what it is right now, and that’s just, again, kind of staying here in the present.”
Oklahoma, though, will have to contend with stopping LSU’s own high-powered, high-scoring offense.
“They’ve done a great job all year,” Riley said. “Joe Burrow’s had a great run, obviously played extremely well at the quarterback position. A lot of dynamic playmakers on the outside. And from what I’ve been able to see so far, their offensive line has done a great job as well.”
While it is the first Playoff appearance for the Tigers, it is the fourth for the Sooners and their third straight, with the team holding a 0-3 record in CFP games, a point that hasn’t been lost on Riley.
“The thing in this playoff is you’re going to play great teams, and you’re going to have to play really well,” he said. “Everybody here is going to have to play well to beat the other teams, and that’s how it should be. So it’s certainly important. It’s a good accomplishment, but it’s not, certainly not our end goal. Our focus will be trying to play our very best here on the 28th.”