For the 2018 University of Alabama football season, TideSports’ Terrin Waack will provide select stellar stats, obscure facts and notable quotes from the most recent game to show how the Crimson Tide uses “The Process” against its opponents.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — No. 1 Alabama defeated No. 4 Oklahoma 45-34 at Hard Rock Stadium last Saturday in the College Football Playoff’s Orange Bowl semifinal with 66,203 people in attendance.
• With 109 rushing yards, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray is the first quarterback to rush for 100 yards or more against Alabama during the Nick Saban era.
• Alabama had nine different receivers catch a pass: DeVonta Smith, Jerry Jeudy, Josh Jacobs, Henry Ruggs III, Damien Harris, Jaylen Waddle, Irv Smith Jr., Jalen Hurts and Najee Harris. That’s a season-high total.
• After throwing for 318 yards to give him 3,671 on the season, UA quarterback Tua Tagovailoa now holds the single-season passing yard record. He topped Blake Sims’ 3,487 yards in 2014 and is just the fourth quarterback in program history to have 3,000 yards in a season.
• Damien Harris became the eighth Alabama running back in school history to reach 3,000 career rushing yards. He’s at 3,013 after picking up 48 against Oklahoma.
• The Crimson Tide scored on its first four possessions for the third time this season.
• Nine penalties were called on Alabama. That’s the most since the season opener when Alabama had 10 against Louisville. There were four in one drive alone, with three of those at the fault of UA offensive lineman Jedrick Wills Jr.
• The Crimson Tide’s 21 points in the first quarter is an Orange Bowl record. The previous mark was 19 in 1942.
• Oklahoma’s 34 points were the most by an Alabama opponent since Ole Miss posted 43 in 2016. At the same time, it was Oklahoma’s second-lowest score this season. The Sooners were averaging 49.5 points per game. The Crimson Tide was allowing an average of 14.8 points per game.
• Hurts caught a 9-yard pass from Tagovailoa in the first quarter.
• Alabama started this season’s CFP run the same way it ended last season’s: with the ball in Smith’s hands. The wide receiver had the 41-yard reception at the end of last season’s national championship and started this game with a 50-yard catch. Last play. First play.
OddSharks.com had Alabama as a 14.5-point favorite over Oklahoma. The Crimson Tide did not cover. It won by 11 points.
Quoting Nick Saban
On why it was more fun throwing the oranges than his headset …
“My son was young and playing like junior high basketball. He got mad in a game, and I gave him a lecture, he and Kristen both, about not showing their emotions, keeping their cool, and their response to me was, ‘And how many headsets have you broken?’”
Quoting the Crimson Tide
Offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher on how it feels knowing he’ll be playing in his fourth-straight national championship game …
“Going into this program, It’s something you never even think of. I knew this program was towards the top, but this is something pretty special. Once we leave and sit back and realize what we accomplish, for me it’s just surreal.”
Quoting the opponent
Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley on how close his team was to winning a national championship this season …
“Well, I think we’ll see what happens here in eight or nine days. But I mean, I think it’s pretty clear that Alabama is a national championship caliber team, just like Georgia was. I think we’re right on the doorstep. There’s no doubt.”
Top 3 rushers
1. OU: Kyler Murray, 17 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown
2. UA: Josh Jacobs, 15 carries for 98 yards
3. UA: Damien Harris, 13 carries for 48 yards and two touchdowns
Top 3 receivers
1. OU: CeeDee Lamb, eight receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown
2. UA: DeVonta Smith, six receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown
3. OU: Charleston Rambo, three receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown
Top 3 passers
1. UA: Tua Tagovailoa, 24-27-0 for 318 yards and four touchdowns (sacked once)
2. OU: Kyler Murray, 19-37-0 for 308 yards and two touchdowns (sacked three times)
3. UA: Jalen Hurts, 1-1-0 for 10 yards
Top 3 defenders
1. OU: Kenneth Murray, 11 total tackles (half a sack)
2. OU: Caleb Kelly, 6.5 total tackles
3. OU: Patrick Fields, 6.5 total tackles
Alabama (14-0) will play No. 2 Clemson (14-0) for the CFP national championship on Dec. 7 in Santa Clara, California.