Three Things You Need to Know about Oklahoma
After nearly four weeks off from competition, top ranked Alabama and fourth ranked Oklahoma get set to square off in the Orange Bowl to see who advances to the national title game on January 7.
Both programs have a lot of similarities including Heisman Trophy caliber quarterbacks, rich tradition and similar color schemes. However, the two teams have rarely faced each other on the football field.
Oklahoma and Alabama have played each other five times with the Sooners holding a 3-1-1 series advantage. In their most recent meeting, Oklahoma outpaced Alabama 45-31 in the 2014 Sugar Bowl.
Kickoff from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, is at 7 PM on ESPN.
Prior to Saturday's Orange Bowl clash, check out the three things you need to know about the Oklahoma Sooners.
Historic Numbers on Offense
When you examine the 2018 edition of the Oklahoma Sooners, the first area you will look at is their record setting offense.
Of course, Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray factors prominently into the equation with 4,053 yards passing along with 40 touchdowns.
Across the board though, the Sooners are on the cusp of history as they could become the first ever FBS team to produce a 4,000 yard passer, two 1,000 yard rushers and two 1,000 yard receivers.
Also to note, for the first time in school history, Oklahoma has five players score at least 10 touchdowns in a season.
All of the production has catapulted them to the top spot in the FBS rankings in total offense (577.9 yards/game) and scoring offense (49.5 points per game).
Experienced Offensive Line
As important as quarterback Kyler Murray has been to Oklahoma's repeat trip to the College Football Playoff, don't discount the importance of their experienced offensive line.
The Sooners have two seniors (left guard Ben Powers and right guard Dru Samia) and two fourth year juniors (left tackle Bobby Evans and right tackle Cody Ford) have combined to start over 140 games in their collegiate careers.
The only starter along the line without more than a season's worth of experience is redshirt freshman center Creed Humphrey. The Shawnee, Oklahoma, native has started in 11 of his 13 games played this season. Humphrey was named a Freshman All-American by The Athletic and came out of high school as America's third best center according to 247 Sports, ESPN and Scout.
No conversation about Oklahoma this season can be complete without acknowledging many of their issues on defense.
The Sooners rank at the bottom or near the bottom in nearly every major statistical category in the Big 12.
Going against one of college football's top offenses, third down conversions and red zone efficiency could prove to be their downfall on defense.
Out of 129 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision, Oklahoma is second from the bottom allowing 40 touchdowns and four field goals out of 47 total red zone trips for opposing offenses.
On third downs, the Sooners aren't much better as they are 112th in third down conversion defense as opponents have successfully converted 45 percent of their third down opportunities.