❚ Who has the edge?
Capital One Orange Bowl
When Alabama runs: Alabama’s running backs got too little credit for the work they did during the regular season. Three backs will see the field against OU, led by senior Damien Harris. Look for the Tide to pound away and find holes through the middle. EDGE: Alabama
When Alabama passes: Here’s another area where Alabama will have a major edge, especially if Tua Tagovailoa shows no lingering issues with the ankle injury that sidelined him in the second half against Georgia and required surgery. Oklahoma is tied for last in the country in passing yards allowed per game. EDGE: Alabama
When Oklahoma runs: The Sooners rank second nationally in yards per carry while Alabama ranks 16th in yards allowed per carry. But the Tide have improved since the start of October and seem ready to at least slow down the Sooners’ powerful ground attack. EDGE: Alabama
When Oklahoma passes: Alabama might try, but there’s really no stopping Kyler Murray through the air. The key will be preventing the big plays that have come to define the Sooners’ passing game. The Tide might slow Murray down but they won’t shut him down. EDGE: Oklahoma
Special teams: Both teams have been great in the return game. Oklahoma might be a touch more explosive, but it’s essentially a wash. Where the Sooners have an edge is in the kicking game, particularly at punter. Field position will matter with these offenses. EDGE: Oklahoma
Coaching: Nick Saban isn’t just the best coach in college football but one of the very best in history. Lincoln Riley is joining an elite club of college coaches, but nobody can sniff what Saban brings. EDGE: Alabama
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa has thrown 37 TD passes this season and three in last season’s CFP title game.