Alabama Football: Bama Hammer Orange Bowl Prediction by Ronald Moody


The road to the College Football Playoff Championship begins December 29 between Alabama football and the Oklahoma Sooners. Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray faces a motivated, determined Crimson Tide defense.

Alabama football fans, Bama Hammer will provide a series of individual game predictions from our entire writing staff. This is the first in the series that continues on Thursday and Friday.

Rewind to January 2, 2014 – Fresh off the absurd lunacy of the infamous “Kick Six,” Alabama football limped into “play for pride” Sugar Bowl matchup with Oklahoma instead of competing for back to back to back BCS championships.

The improbable star of the night, OU quarterback Trevor Knight, shredded the Crimson Tide for 348 yards and four touchdowns in a Sooners 45-31 triumph. Alabama’s only bright spot–true freshman and future Heisman winner Derrick Henry, produced two mesmerizing, electrifying runs announcing impending doom for future Tide opponents.

The following week, Boomer Sooner Nation littered Paul Finebaum’s radio show declaring Alabama and SEC football overrated, dead, buried and gone.

To put it in perspective, when Alabama football lost to Oklahoma that early January night, the following things occurred during the previous year: House of Cards debut on Netflix, Miami Heat’s LeBron and Wade captured their second championship together over the San Antonio Spurs, Blackberry faltered, Mariano Rivera retired, Jameis Winston stole soda from Burger King, Twitter launched its IPO, Jimmie Johnson won his sixth Sprint Cup title, and the iconic top five TV series of all time, Breaking Bad concluded. Of course, everything has changed.

Fast forward to the 2018 Orange Bowl. No.1 Alabama squares off against Big 12 champion No.4 Oklahoma. Staking a claim as only the second team in college football history to defeat every opponent by 20+ points since 1888 Walter Camp’s Yale squad, the Crimson Tide found itself in an old-fashioned knock-down, drag-out, 15 round heavyweight title bout with Georgia in the SEC title game.

Injured on the fourth play of the game, Heisman favorite Tua Tagovailoa quickly morphed from quintessential, indestructible Superman to mere mortal Clark Kent in nanoseconds. Jalen Hurts properly seized the moment, delivering Alabama singlehandedly out of the clutches of approaching doom. After overcoming adversity, the Crimson Tide left Mercedes-Benz Stadium smelling like a blooming rose.

Enter Heisman Trophy winner, Kyler Murray.

Dismiss everything you remember about the 2015 Texas A&M Kyler Murray.

Different coach. Different system. Different player.

Murray is not as famous as Manziel or Newton, as familiar as Baker, as respected as Mariota and even as hyped as Leinart. Hailed for his monstrous video game numbers (4,053 passing, 892 rushing, 51 TDs), like it or not, Kyler belongs in the hallowed pantheon of great players.

The young star had 95, 15-plus passing plays coupled with 51, 25-plus explosive passing plays. Add in eight, 20-plus yard rushes to summate his greatness. The Alabama defensive front four applying immense pressure on Murray forces him outside his comfort zone. If primary receiver Marquise Brown does not suit up, the Sooners offense will fire blanks rather than their usual armor-piercing bullets.

Last time Oklahoma encountered an SEC foe, Georgia running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel averaged a stupendous 13.5 yards on 25 carries. Tua insists he is 100 percent healed from the high ankle sprain suffered during the Georgia game. However, Tagovailoa does not need an out-of-body experience performance for handing the ball off to Damien Harris, Najee Harris, and Josh Jacobs. All three backs could easily rush for 100 yards apiece.

Although Alabama has set several school offensive records this year, it is time to revert to 2009 Alabama.

Play good defense, lean on defenders with the offensive line, and pound the ball. Run the ball down their “you’ve never experienced this in the Big 12” throats.

Shorten the game, keep Oklahoma’s flag football defense on the field and limit Murray’s uncanny ability to thrive in a shootout. Athlete for athlete, Oklahoma loses. Alabama delivers big stops on defense and scores at will by ground and air.

Oklahoma fans, enjoy South Beach–college football ends for the Sooners December 29.

Ronald Moody Game Prediction: Alabama Football 59 – Oklahoma Sooners 31

Next. All the history between Alabama football and the Sooners. dark

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