Lincoln Riley 'Hungrier' to Stay at Oklahoma After CFP Loss to Alabama

Ruben Holloway
December 31, 2018

They were in NY a few days later for the Heisman Trophy presentation, where Murray claimed the top prize.

The Crimson Tide's fun-loving sophomore responded two days later as No. 1-ranked Alabama held Murray and the vaunted Oklahoma offense at bay through much of the first half of a 45-34 victory. We know where you were going there, Mr. Williams.

Alabama got sick of hearing about the Sooners prolific offense, and was flat-out offended by questions from reporters about importance of "holding serve".

"Not anxious one bit", Sooners offensive lineman Ben Powers said. "I feel like [our quarterback] had a chip on his should because of the Heisman".

The Crimson Tide brought that big-stage physicality on both sides.

34 - Oklahoma's point total against Alabama, the most points the defending national champions have allowed all season. Every time we'd have a good play, we'd seem to kind of shoot ourselves in the foot.

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Boston College running back AJ Dillon recorded the only score of the game before the game was called off. Dillon capped Boston College's first offensive possession of the game with a 19-yard touchdown run. Statistically, it added up to a passer rating of 236.7.

The biggest football game of Kyler Murray's life may have marked the final time the Heisman Trophy victor stepped on a football field. Murray was Mayfield's backup, saw some action in key games and had the athleticism to stress defenses in a similar fashion when lined up alongside the Sooners' plethora of playmakers.

However, after the Orange Bowl the Oklahoma quarterback finished his season with a rating of 198.7. It was certainly a game we fully expected to win.

Alabama (14-0) advanced to the national championship game for the fourth consecutive season and will play January 7 in Santa Clara, California against familiar foe Clemson, which beat Notre Dame 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl. Tagovailoa was named the Orange Bowl MVP for his performance.

It was at the start of the game. At halftime, the score stood Alabama football 31 - Sooners 10.

Alabama drive the length of the field and scored. Alabama football defensive leaders were Dylan Moses with six tackles, followed by Deionte Thompson and Xavier McKinney with five tackles each. But on the field, you've got to go out there. Oklahoma went 24 yards and punted.

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Murray ended up with 308 yards passing and 109 yards rushing, the third time this season he had both 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing in a game (tied for second most in a season over the past 20 seasons).

The Sooners fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter and found themselves down 28-0 two minutes into the second stanza. "We started to protect better and gave him some time, so he was phenomenal". Offensive coordinator Cale Gundy didn't even know Murray was sick until he got into the auto that took the Sooners to the interview site and realized his Heisman victor wasn't along for the ride. "He's what everyone said he was".

Whether Murray is taking the right direction in his career or not is up for debate, but one thing is for sure - his game on the gridiron is no fluke.

There is always something to chase, and Oklahoma was simply the latest team in Alabama's way.

That was the real theme of the night, which even the Sooners had to concede.

No. 1 Alabama (14-0) is angry, and you won't like them when they're angry. They made a run on us there early. 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.

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