Staff Predictions for Alabama vs Oklahoma
The Alabama Crimson Tide chase number 18 as the travel down to Miami for a meeting with the Oklahoma Sooners as the two blue bloods of college football battle for the Orange Bowl and a spot in the national championship game.
From Heisman trophy winner Kyler Murray and runner-up Tua Tagovailoa facing off down in South Beach, this game will be the battle of which defense can make the most stops and what team will be in position to add some hardware to the trophy case in Santa Clara.
Here is who the Tide 102.9/100.9 staff has coming out with the victory in the Orange Bowl.
Martin Houston, Host of The Blitz
Well it’s finally here! If playing for an opportunity to win their 18th national championship and back-to-back titles was enough, Alabama is playing to avenge the travesty of finishing runner-up in the Heisman for the best player in college football, as well as the OL finishing second to Oklahoma’s OL. I look for Alabama to have another stellar performance and absolutely take advantage of the weak OU defense. I went conservative on my on-air prediction w/ a 45-31 score, taking into account a little rust. However, if Alabama plays without rust, they will when
Alabama 59 - Oklahoma 31
Wimp Sanderson, Co-Host of Inside the Locker Room
This offense will cause Alabama defense some problems. The only problem is you have to be good in all phases to beat this team. Look for a close game through 3 quarters and Alabama to pull away in the end.
Aabama 43 - Oklahoma 28
Barry Sanderson, Co-Host of Inside the Locker Room
Look for Alabama to run the wide open offense early. Once they get a comfortable lead they will begin to pound the running game to choke the clock. Murray will cause problems with speed but that won’t be enough.
Alabama 51 - Oklahoma 27
Gary Harris, Host of The Gary Harris Show
There has been so much talk about the explosiveness of the Oklahoma offense, that it’s easy to overlook the fact that Alabama’s offense isn’t far behind the Sooners statistically. The difference in this game is that Bama also plays defense.
Alabama 52 - Oklahoma 35
Travis Reier, Host of Southern Fried Sports
Kind of hard to feel good about a score prediction when the health statues for two elite offensive performers - Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Oklahoma's Marquise Brown - figure to be at less than 100 percent. One thing I'm certain of is that Alabama's receivers will get open against the worst pass defense in all of FBS.
Alabama 48 - Oklahoma 31
Ryan Fowler, Host of The Game
Alabama is simply the better team and Las Vegas agrees, as they have the Crimson Tide as a 14 point favorite. The difference in the game is that Bama’s defense will stop Oklahoma’s offense more than the Sooner defense will stop Alabama’s offense.
Alabama 48 - Oklahoma 28
Marquis Munson, Brand Manager
There is a lot of talk about Oklahoma's defense and how bad they are, but I think they will make a few key stops and maybe force Tua Tagovailoa into a few bad throws. However, a few bad throws from Tagovailoa won't save the defense for four quarters and that will be the Sooners downfall. Kyler Murray will get his, but he won't walk away with the Orange Bowl.
Alabama 45 - Oklahoma 31
Ben George, Digital Managing Editor
Just how well has Tua Tagovailoa recovered from his ankle injury? That's the biggest question I have for Saturday. If he's close to 100%, there's no reason to think Alabama won't score 40+. And honestly, I wouldn't be shocked to see 35-40 points at halftime if everything is clicking. The Oklahoma defense has been that bad this season. On defense, I can't wait to see how the Tide defends Kyler Murray. Whether or not you feel he deserved the Heisman, Murray can straight play and he's the most dynamic QB Bama has faced since Johnny Manziel. Is this team up for the challenge? I think so. Regardless, this Crimson Tide offense is just too good.
Alabama 55 - Oklahoma 28
Josh Smith, Producer
The last time Alabama was able to get the best of Oklahoma, "The Andy Griffith Show" had only been on air for two seasons. Alabama defeated the Sooners 17-0 in Miami, however since that Orange Bowl in 1963, the Crimson Tide haven't had any success against Oklahoma. All eyes have been on Tua's recovery, but whether it's Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts taking majority of the snaps, the question remains if Alabama will change their tempo and attempt to control the clock. I think Alabama will keep the aggressive offensive scheme through the air, to open up the running game and test the secondary early. Defensively, if Alabama is able to limit Kyler Murray's rushing influence and force him to play from one-dimension, the Crimson Tide will end their 4-game losing streak to the Sooners.
Alabama 48 - Oklahoma 35
James Hardy, Producer
Alabama 52 - Oklahoma 38