On the quest to capture its 18th National Championship, the Alabama Football team has to face the Oklahoma Sooners and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray in the Orange Bowl Playoff Semifinal. If Alabama wants to advance to the National Championship, it must follow this game plan to reach the ultimate goal.
For Alabama Football, the Oklahoma Sooners present numerous challenges especially on the offensive front behind QB Kyler Murray. However, Alabama’s game plan both defensively and offensively will dictate whether Alabama will remain perfect following the Orange Bowl. For the Crimson Tide to capture victory they must accomplish three tasks: Run the football, limit Murray’s rushing threat, and pick up the blitz from the Sooners Defense.
Run the Football
Many experts have predicted Alabama Football to run the score up above 50 points. While I believe that Alabama is more than capable of doing so, I believe Alabama would rather not be in a shootout with the Sooners. Rather Alabama will look to control the clock early and often with an established rushing attack that will provide two key factors to the game: Wear down the Sooners defense and keep Kyler Murray off the field.
When looking at the old fashion Nick Saban gameplan it is rather simple. Wear the opponent’s defense down so that in the second half, the rushing attack and run the clock out and score at will on a tired front.
Scoring at will on the Sooners defense is a luxury that comes with a price. In a back and forth shootout it takes only a mistake by the Alabama offense in the form of a turnover or a non-score that could change the outcome of the game. The Sooners have shown this season they are capable of winning shootouts. However, if you look at one of their closer games versus Army that was no shootout, you see a path to victory.
Army controlled the clock with the option running attack for the entire game. In fact, Army had the ball tied at 21 with the Sooners late in the fourth quarter. Army was put into a long third-down conversion and ultimately threw a pick, giving the Sooner offense the ability to score before the clock expired.
Army’s game plan kept the score low because they did not allow Kyler Murray to get into a rhythm. Army limited the times he had the ball by running the football and controlling the clock. The strategy limited Oklahoma to its lowest point total for the entire season.
Not only does this method keep Kyler Murray off the field, but it allows an Alabama defense to be rested and provide a better pass rush for each and every series, which will be needed to keep Murray in check.