Heisman winner Murray, runner-up Tua battle evenly in Orange Bowl

Brad Zimanek
Montgomery Advertiser

1. Runner-up Tua wins battles to draw against Heisman winner Murray

After Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray defeated Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to win the Heisman Trophy, Tagovailoa’s teammates were not too thrilled.

Defensive end Isaiah Buggs tweeted: “Tua suppose to bring that Heisman Trophy back home.” Linebacker Lyndell "Mack" Wilson tweeted: “Make them regret it 13 … Not saying Kyler isn’t good but he took 200 more snaps.”

Tagovailoa did make the Sooners think twice in the Tide’s Orange Bowl national-semifinal win. He connected on his first pass of the game to DeVonta Smith for 50 yards and didn’t throw an incompletion until his 11th attempt.

Tagovailoa completed 15 of 17 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. He completed 24 of 27 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns on the game. Oh, yeah, by the way, he did play into the fourth quarter. Murray completed 19 of 37 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 109 yards on 17 attempts, but it wasn’t enough.

More:No. 1 Alabama keeps No. 4 Oklahoma, Murray in check early, holds on for 45-34 semifinal win

More:Alabama haters beware: The best may be yet to come for Crimson Tide

2. Part IV: Clemson-Alabama should be a doozy

Two southern conference champion powerhouses will decide the national college football championship for the third time in four years.

That’s nothing new. You can’t blame the country for getting tired of Clemson and Alabama, but at least you know you can expect a good game.

Alabama and Clemson are tied at 1-1.

The Crimson Tide won 45-40 on Jan. 11, 2016 in Arizona. Clemson defeated Alabama 35-31 on Jan. 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. The two teams also met in last year’s semifinal in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans with Alabama winning 24-6.

More:Alabama defense not willing to overlook Heisman snub

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

3. Crimson Tide guilty of several critical penalties

Alabama was flagged nine penalties for 86 yards, but the timing of several cost the Crimson Tide dearly. Before halftime, Alabama committed three pre-snap penalties — two by lineman Jedrick Willis Jr. and a false start by running back Damien Harris.

A penalty by Wills cost Alabama a first down on the 1-yard line.

Harris’ false start forced Alabama into a fourth-and-6 when the Crimson Tide had already made the decision to go for it on fourth down. Alabama had to settle for a 38-yard Joseph Bulovas field goal.

Alabama coach Nick Saban broke his headset after Harris was flagged.

On Oklahoma’s first possession of the third quarter, the Sooners were faced with a second-and-15 on their own 20-yard line. Kyler Murray threw incomplete, but Dylan Moses was penalized on a personal foul for a horse-collar takedown. Oklahoma scored on a field goal on the drive.