Alabama is 13-0 and picked up the No. 1 ranking in the final CFP rankings of the season. Oklahoma and coach Lincoln Riley are 12-1 and No. 4. While coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide won the title a season ago, the Sooners lost to Georgia in a CFP semifinal in the Rose Bowl.
Alabama-Oklahoma: Orange Bowl time, TV channel
Alabama and Oklahoma play at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 29, from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The game is on ESPN.
Alabama-Oklahoma: Orange Bowl prediction, preview
Kyler Murray might have won Oklahoma’s second consecutive Heisman, but he and the Sooners will be huge underdogs against No. 1 Alabama.
Not only is Alabama the reigning champion, but the Tide are only two wins away from winning the sixth national title in the Nick Saban tenure.
The biggest reason for Crimson Tide confidence has to start with Alabama’s powerful offense going up against Oklahoma’s…not-so-great defense.
Even if QB Tua Tagovaila isn’t completely healthy, Jalen Hurts proved he is ready to be the difference-maker thanks to his heroics in rallying the Tide against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.
On paper, Oklahoma probably won’t offer up too much resistance against Alabama. The Sooners might score 49.5 points per game, but they allow 448 yards and 32 points per game. Those 448 yards rank 108th nationally. Even though some of that is because the offense is so deadly and can score quickly, that’s still a huge discrepancy among the rest of the CFP four — Alabama averages more points than Oklahoma, but even the Tide surrender only 295.4 yards per game (10th in the country).
Murray might need to play an almost-perfect game, with the Sooners turning this into a shootout with a score approaching arena football levels. Turnovers could be the great equalizer, but Alabama is too tested and too good to go against now.
Alabama-Oklahoma: Stats, how they compare
|13-0 (8-0 SEC West)||Record (Conference)||12-1 (8-0 Big 12)|
|No. 1||CFP ranking||No. 4|
|47.9||Points per game||49.5|
|527.6||Yards per game||577.9|
|295.4||Yards allowed per game||448.1|
|178.4||Passing yards allowed||291.4|
|117.0||Rushing yards allowed||156.7|
3,353 yards (37 TDs, 4 INTs)
|Passing yards||Kyler Murray
4,053 yards (40 TDs, 7 INTs)
771 yards, 7 TDs
|Rushing yards||Kennedy Brooks
1,021 yards, 12 TDs
1,103 yards, 12 TDs
|Receiving yards||Marquise Brown
1,318 yards, 10 TDs
66 total tackles, 18 tfl, 8 sacks
|Defensive leader||Kenneth Murray
140 total tackles, 12 tfl, 4 sacks
Alabama-Oklahoma: Score prediction
There might be only so much Heisman winner Murray can do to keep the Sooners in this for the entire game. Even if Murray plays well, the Sooners probably won’t have enough on defense to slow down the Tide — and that’s even if Tua isn’t 100 percent.
Alabama 42, Oklahoma 28