The upcoming Orange Bowl won’t be the first time Kyler Murray will have faced Alabama’s defense. The Oklahoma quarterback, playing as a freshman for Texas A&M, was on the losing end of a 41-23 result against the Crimson Tide in College Station.
Murray went 2-for-4 passing for 21 yards and an interception. He also lost 10 yards on two carries. During the Heisman Trophy events last week, Murray recalled to reporters what he remembers about that game more than three years ago. He replaced Kyle Allen after two of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns.
“I was really young — real young,” Murray said last week in New York, according to AL.com. “They were, what I remember of the team? The team was full of NFL players, I remember that. You had Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne as a freshman, you had Minkah (Fitzpatrick), Eddie Jackson, Cyrus Jones, (Marlon) Humphrey, Reggie Ragland, the list goes on. Tim Williams. It was a good game too, by the way. We turned the ball over a lot. For me, I think that helped with confidence a lot, being a freshman playing against all those guys early in my career definitely helped me out a lot.”
“Rolling out, rolling out, I think I threw it to (Christian) Kirk and Eddie came over,” Murray said. “Like I said, I was young and obviously the game was moving a little faster at that time. Yeah, that’s all I can say about it.”
Murray’s best game that season was a 35-28 win over South Carolina as he rushed for 156 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. He was 20-for-28 passing for 223 yards and a TD. Overall, he completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 686 yards, with five touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2015.
Not long after that season, Murray transferred to Oklahoma, sat out a year, was Baker Mayfield’s backup, and then recently won the 2018 Heisman Trophy.
Murray said his teammates are prepared for the College Football Playoff semifinal, even if it is against an Alabama team comfortable playing in marquee games.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that have played in big games,” Murray said. “We’ve been in a lot of big games. And we’ve got a lot of guys that have been in the playoffs. We went to the playoffs the past, what is it, three out of four I think? I don’t know. I think everybody, they know what a playoff game feels like.”