Oklahoma Rolls Tide in Sugar Bowl Stunner
Trevor Knight wasn’t the Heisman finalist on the field. But he certainly played like one, throwing for 348 yards and four touchdowns as No. 11 Oklahoma upset the two-time defending champion Crimson Tide, 45-31. The underdog Sooners and No. 3 Alabama traded big plays early in the game and were tied at 17 midway through the second quarter. But Oklahoma scored two touchdowns in the final three minutes of the first half to take a lead they would never relinquish.
Knight, who had completed just 47 passes all season, was supposed to be OU’s best running threat at quarterback. But he was seldom called on to use his legs as he torched the Crimson Tide for a Sugar Bowl record 32 completions while the Sooners managed just 81 rushing yards.
In addition to Knight’s career day, the other big story was an OU defense that forced five turnovers, sacked Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron seven times and put the nail in Alabama’s coffin with a fumble return for a touchdown with less than a minute left in the game. The Sooners held Alabama, which averaged 212 rushing yards per game and almost six yards per carry, to just 129 yards on the ground. Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron, the runner-up in the Heisman voting, threw for 387 yards and two touchdowns. But he also threw two interceptions and fumbled once, all of which led to OU touchdowns.
The loss gives Alabama its first two-game losing streak in four years. This is the first time in Sugar Bowl history that both quarterbacks in the game threw for 300+ yards. Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops is now the only coach in NCAA history to win all four of the BCS bowl games and a BCS national championship. Stoops also evened his record against Saban and Alabama at 4-4, not a bad mark against such a powerhouse program.