MIAMI, Fla. – A lot of Sooner fans left Hard Rock Stadium disappointed on Saturday night following the University of Oklahoma’s loss in the 2018 Capital One Orange Bowl.
It took a while for the Sooners to get into a rhythm, and that time cost them dearly. OU ended the first quarter down 21-0. After that stuttering start, OU found a way to create speed bumps for Alabama and also capitalized on plays of its own.
After the first quarter when Alabama held a 200 to 24 advantage in total yards, OU out gained the Crimson Tide 447 to 328 in total yards.
Ultimately, the deficit from the first quarter was simply too big to overcome. OU fell 45-34 to Alabama.
“Yeah, it’s not the result that we wanted or expected. Kind of a tale of two different games for us. The start of the game, give Alabama credit, they’re a really good football team. They made a run on us there early. We just had a hard time
breaking their string of momentum. But I felt like our team, until really the last run down there at the very end felt like we were going to win the football game, even despite going down 28-0. We just kind of kept talking, hey, we’ve been here, so we’ve been here with way less time and still found a way to come back before. We’ve trailed in seven, now eight
ballgames this year and found a way to win almost all of them,” said OU head coach Lincoln Riley. “After that we outscored them by 17 the rest of the way. So we played much more — just much closer to what we felt like we were capable of there the last three quarters, and unfortunately we just dug ourselves too big of a hole and we were just one play away there in the fourth quarter from making it a game that could go either way. Disappointed in the way we played early, but I am proud as hell of our guys’ fight and our belief.”
Riley says that he isn’t sure he’s ever had a team with more fight than the players in OU’s locker room.
“So it’s been a hell of a ride. Hate that it ends right now, because you’re sick, you feel like you’re right there, being ready to play next week. It was certainly a game we fully expected to win. But give Alabama a ton of credit. They’re a really,
really good football team, coached very well, outstanding players all around. It was fun. I mean, it was a heavy hitter just like we all expected,” he said.