Play­ing the Soon­ers

Tulsa World - - Sports -

Ok­la­homa's de­fense took plenty of crit­i­cism dur­ing the 2018 foot­ball sea­son.

In New York on Fri­day, Alabama quar­ter­back and Heis­man Tro­phy can­di­date Tua Tago­v­ailoa was asked about fac­ing the Soon­ers in the Orange Bowl.

“For me, I re­spect all of our op­po­nents. I def­i­nitely think they are a re­ally good de­fense even if said other­wise,” Tago­v­ailoa said dur­ing a me­dia avail­abil­ity at the New York Stock Ex­change. “I think they have a re­ally good DC (de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor). I played with a cou­ple of their guys – Tre Brown, Robert Barnes, Grant Cal­caterra, who is on of­fense.

“I tried to re­cruit some of them while we were play­ing in The Open­ing to­gether to come to Alabama. Un­for­tu­nately, they didn't. But I def­i­nitely think they are a well-rounded team.”

Ok­la­homa and Alabama will meet on Dec. 29 in the Orange Bowl, which is a Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off semi­fi­nal game.

“I just got the op­por­tu­nity to meet Kyler last night. Noth­ing but pos­i­tive things to say about him. He's awe­some. He comes from a re­ally great fam­ily,” Tago­v­ailoa said. “Dwayne, we ex­changed scrip­tures be­fore games and what not. We've en­cour­aged each other.”

A quar­ter­back has won the Heis­man tro­phy in seven of the past eight sea­sons, in­clud­ing Ok­la­homa's Baker May­field in 2017.

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