The two most exciting players in college football will lead their teams into the Capital One Orange Bowl. Quarterback Kyler Murray will try to lead his Oklahoma team to an upset win over top-ranked Alabama in this game. The Crimson Tide will hope that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa can match the exploits of Murray in this game. There should be plenty of points scored in this game.
Alabama rolled to a perfect 13-0 regular season, and they earned the top overall ranking in the College Football Playoffs. The Crimson Tide were able to sneak past Georgia, 35-28, in the SEC Championship Game. Oklahoma finished the regular season with a 12-1 record to earn the final spot in the College Football Playoffs. The Sooners avenged their only regular-season loss by beating Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game. Alabama is a 14 point favorite in the Orange Bowl.
Can Oklahoma Score Enough Points?
The big question for the Sooners in this game is if their offense can score enough points to pull off the upset. Oklahoma averaged 54.8 points per game during the regular season, and they needed each one of them. The Sooners gave up 32.4 points per game this season, including giving up 40 or more points five different times. Oklahoma will have to play at least a little defense to take some pressure off of Murray.
Kyler Murray put up eye-popping numbers on his way to winning the 2018 Heisman Trophy. Murray was responsible for close to 5,000 yards of offense this season and combined to score 51 touchdowns. Wide receivers Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb combined for more than 2,300 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns this season. The Oklahoma offense can put up points in a hurry.
How Healthy is Tua?
The status of Tua Tagovailoa’s injured ankle could play a huge role in this game. Tagovailoa looked shaky in the SEC Championship Game, but when healthy is the best passer in the country. The Hawaiian QB completed nearly 68 percent of his passes this season while throwing 37 touchdowns to just four interceptions. If Tagovailoa is close to 100 percent, the Alabama offense can score with any team in the country.
Head coach Nick Saban will try to use his running game and terrific defense to slow down the Sooners. Alabama allowed just 14.8 points per game this season, and they have plenty of future NFL players on that side of the ball. Running back Damien Harris should see plenty of carries in this game to try to chew up some clock. Harris averaged over 6 yards per carry during the regular season.
Tide Win Tight Game
Alabama has been the most dominant team in college football this season, but they never faced an offense like Oklahoma. Kyler Murray has the ability to make plays with his arms and his legs, and should be able to keep his team in the game. The Crimson Tide are the more complete team, and the Sooners have yet to prove they can stop anyone. Look for this game to be closer than most experts think, but the Tide will advance. Take the points and bet the Oklahoma Sooners +14.0 in the Capital One Orange Bowl.