by CollegeFootballPoll.com Staff
January 3, 2014
Thursday night (January 2) in New Orleans, Oklahoma shocked Alabama with a 45-31 victory in the Sugar Bowl to end 'Bama's 4-game bowl winning streak.
The loss was the second straight for Alabama which fell 34-28 to Auburn in the final regular season game. It's the first 2-game skid for the Tide since losing the 2008 SEC Championship game to Florida and the Sugar Bowl to Utah.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight got the surprising start over Blake Bell and became the unexpected hero with a 32-of-42 passing performance that accounted for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns.
The Oklahoma offense scored more points against Alabama than any team had all year, including Texas A&M. In fact, the 45 points was just 5 points fewer than 9 'Bama opponents scored cumulatively from September 21 through November 23. And Oklahoma managed to score more points against 'Bama than it did against every team besides Tulsa (51) and Iowa State (48).
The Sooners opened a 2-TD lead just before halftime and maintained at least a 7-point cushion the remainder of the game.
Alabama's last chance at a comeback ended when A.J. McCarron was sacked from the blind side by Eric Striker and Geneo Grissom returned the forced fumble 8 yards for the game's final score with 47 seconds left in the game. It was Oklahoma's 7th sack of McCarron on the night.
Both teams finished the season 11-2.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com had forecasted a 2.93-point Alabama win, far less than the 17-point Vegas line.