ORANGE JUICED: Alabama holds on after keeping Oklahoma, Murray in check

31 December, 2018, 10:03 | Author: Judy Cobb
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The Tide will next face No. 2 Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship for the third time in four seasons.

Both have regularly been winning games by wide margins this year. "We're going to hold that tall skinny (national championship) one here in a couple years and we're going to hold it in a large part because of the fight from these seniors in this program, all the players, the staff".

On the defensive side, Alabama was third in the country in success rate (31.7%), fourth in points per game (14.6), and eighth in S&P+.

Oklahoma made a game of it after that 28-0 start, getting within two scores of Alabama at points in the second half. "We had a hard time breaking their string of momentum".

"It was stunning", said Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray of Alabama's fast start. "The only time we really got stopped in the game is when we stopped ourselves". "It's like nobody expected any of this but me, the people that are closest to me, people that I've always known, who have always watched me play whether it was football, baseball".

"I think this is a testament to what this team has been doing the entire season", Tagovailoa said in a postgame interview on ESPN afterward. I just kind of feel like some of our guys were pissed off because we knew that was not as good as we can play. Losing the Heisman to Murray was not a huge injustice because of just how good Murray was in every facet and in closing out the year.

Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy victor Kyler Murray passed for 308 yards and ran for 109 - but didn't throw his first completion until the Sooners were already in a 21-0 hole.

We know it won't be the NCAA, but we don't know if it will be the National Football League or MLB. If you didn't know any better, you might think he was trying to send a message to the Heisman Trophy voters when he completed a almost picture-perfect 24 of 27 passes for 318 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Just all around, I think it was a night we let the team down.

"If anything, last night just makes me hungrier", said Riley Sunday morning. "Everybody also had a hand in outscoring them by 17 the rest of the way, including our defense, including Curtis". In his 11th start, he will try to become the first true freshman quarterback to lead his team to a national championship since Oklahoma's Jamelle Holieway in 1985. Alabama scored in its first four possessions. Lawrence was 13 for 15 for 229 yards in the quarter.

Tua Tagovailoa, the Crimson Tide's star quarterback who finished second to Oklahoma's Kyler Murray in the Heisman Trophy race, was 24 of 27 for 318 yards, with four touchdowns (to four different receivers) with no interceptions. I think he's done a tremendous job with the offense; Lincoln Riley's done a tremendous job as well. Maybe, we can finish that sentence for you.

"He's got a very cool, calm demeanor about him and he's handled it extremely well", Gundy said.



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