By Yousaf “Da Guru” Khan
Returning national champion and number #1 Alabama will face #4 Oklahoma in the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 29th as part of the semifinals for the college football playoffs.
Both teams share some similarities and some major discrepancies on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they rank 1 (Sooners at 49.5 ppg) and 2 (Bama at 47.9) in scoring offenses and are led by dynamic stud qb’s. The Sooners Kyler Murray and Crimson Tide’s Tua Tagovailoa finished 1 and 2 in last week’s Heisman and both truly deserved it. Kyler came off a season where Baker Mayfield left the Sooners fresh off a Heisman and playoff appearance and was selected 9th in the MLB draft. This season he accounted for 51 total touchdowns, over 4,000 yards passing, and close to 900 yards rushing.
Tua, fresh off helping win the national championship last season, had the best passing season in Bama history throwing for 3,353 years and 37 TD’s. One thing to note was that until the SEC championship, he only attempted a couple passes in the 4th quarter because Bama was usually in a comfortable lead. Both team have great offensive lines and a bevy of talented playmakers like Marquise Brown for the Sooners and Jerry Jeudy for the Tide.
The big difference is on the defensive side of the ball where the Crimson Tide have a top notch unit limiting opponents to 14.8 ppg or 4th in the nation. The Sooners on the other hand rank 96th in the nation allowing 32.4 ppg and have allowed over 40 points 5 times.
This game might resemble a video game with all the scoring expected to happen. First half both teams should be trading scores but in the second half Bama will make adjustments and get a few stops/turnovers to put the game away.