MIAMI, Fla. - While many fans and analysts were prepared for a wild shootout between two of the nation's most potent offenses, the Orange Bowl turned out to be quite different than many expected.
The Alabama Crimson Tide stuck to the narrative, breaking an Orange Bowl record for the most points scored in the first quarter.
The Tide struck early and often, leading the Sooners 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Sooners eventually found their rhythm, outscoring Alabama in points and yardage.
However, the early lead was simply too great for them to overcome.
"We've trailed in seven, now eight ballgames this year and found a way to win almost all of them. 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," said OU head coach Lincoln Riley.
OU finished the season with a fourth straight Big 12 Championship title, a second straight Heisman Trophy winner and a 12-2 record. The Sooners have also lost all of the last three College Football Playoff semifinal games, and six straight post-season games where the championship was on the line.