Oklahoma too much for the Tide
The biggest question marks coming into the Sugar Bowl for Alabama were that of emotion and focus. The team talked about it all week and said that they were ready and wanted to prove that they could rebound from the Iron Bowl. But it was the Oklahoma Sooners that did the proving on the night defeating the third ranked Crimson Tide 45 – 31 giving them their second straight loss on the season.
Bob Stoops and his Oklahoma team came out of the locker room fired up and never let down all night. Alabama allowed Oklahoma to march up and down the field during the first half scoring on each of their first five possessions and hanging 31 points on the Tide. The hurry-up-no-huddle offense still proves to be a thorn in Nick Saban’s side. Not only did Alabama’s defense not stop the Sooner offense giving up 516 total yards and the most points allowed by a Saban team, but the Tide offense had four turnovers resulting in 28 points.
The defense had no answer for the crossing routes and swing passes picking up first down after first down and the Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight just couldn’t miss, connecting on several deep passes. Kirby Smarts defense did hold the Sooners to under 100 yards rushing (98) but the secondary proved they are very young and the in-experience showed through.
Alabama never really seemed to be in a good rhythm all night even though McCarron and the Alabama offense had 429 total yards. The change in the offensive line took its toll resulting in 7 sacks on the night and a loss of 54 total yards.
The four turnovers, seven sacks and only 183 yards rushing on the night combined with the defense that couldn’t stop the high powered Sooner offense proved that they were not the best team on the field and did not make the statement they wanted to make. It did however prove that they were still lacking the focus after the Auburn game.
Truth be told, it appeared as though this Alabama team believed they had two games to win this season, Texas A&M and LSU. After the LSU game, it seemed as though this team lost their focus and believed all they had to do was show up to win. Saban said it best after the Sugar Bowl loss, “ever team that plays us has something to prove” and that is exactly what Oklahoma did – prove they were the better team on the night. The Alabama defense has allowed 79 points in the last two games while only allowing 102 total in the first 11.
No matter how you look at it though and as disappointing of a loss it is, with an 11-2 record, every Alabama fan should be proud of the way this team and this group of seniors have performed for the University. They have had tremendous seasons and a outstanding career at the Capstone.
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