Alabama starts strong but Sooners make inroads on Tide D after halftime

Brad Zimanek
Montgomery Advertiser

Rushing offense — B — Alabama returned to yesteryear with the employment of Josh Jacobs to establish a dominant running game while keeping the ball away from Oklahoma’s offense in the second half.

Rushing defense — C  — The Sooners' tailback tandem of Trey Semon and Kennedy Brooks started to gain ground after halftime when Quinnen Williams was shaken up, and the elusive Kyler Murray caused Alabama major problems.

Passing offense — A — The game’s first play was a 50-yard hookup from Tua Tagovailoa to DeVonta Smith. The passing game never slowed. It looked like Alabama was playing Louisville or Ole Miss.

Passing defense — B — Alabama sacked Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray twice on Oklahoma’s first three snaps. He was chased and harassed as the Sooners’ high-power attack was thwarted until it was already 28-0 in favor of the Tide.

Special teams — A — Alabama did not miss an extra point (which is rare considering the Tide has missed eight this season) or field-goal attempt, rarely punted and did not allow the Sooners' speedsters to break a long kick or punt return while recovering a pair of onside kicks.

Coaching — A — Not typically a fan of the Tua Tagovailoa-Jalen Hurts offense with both on the field at the same time, but coordinator Mike Locksley kept the Sooners wondering where the ball would go when he employed it.

Overall — A — All the pregame hype about Oklahoma’s offense must have got under the Tide’s skin because Alabama made sure the Heisman Trophy-led attack struggled until it was too late for the Sooners to recover.