OU football: Oklahoma has reasons to believe it might upend Alabama in Sugar Bowl

For the third time this season, OU will enter a game as a double-digit underdog. But here are five reasons why the Sooners might — might — have a better chance than most expect in the Sugar Bowl.
by Jason Kersey Published: December 15, 2013

In Auburn's upset victory Nov. 30, the Tigers rushed the ball 52 times for 296 yards, and attempted only 16 passes. If that's the recipe for beating Alabama, Oklahoma might have the personnel to put up a fight, as long as the quarterback — whomever it might be — is capable of completing enough timely passes to keep the Tide defense honest.

4. The Sooner defense has been solid.

Oklahoma's defense has really played well for the most part this season. Even in the Sooners' embarrassing loss at Baylor, the defense held strong early, and only fell apart after it continued to get no help from its offense.

The Sooners are 23rd in the nation in scoring defense, and 13th in total defense. If OU's offense can do its part and avoid three-and-outs, it's not unreasonable to think the defense could have some success against Alabama.

5. The chip on OU's collective shoulder.

For as much as Stoops, his staff and his players insist they don't pay attention to what's said and written about them, it's obvious that they're at least aware of the overall perception of the program: The talent is down; the program is in decline; OU isn't near the level of the Alabamas and Auburns of the world; etc.

The Crimson Tide really don't have much to prove in the Sugar Bowl — three out of the last four national titles says everything you need to know about the state of their program — but the Sooners have everything to play for and lots to prove.

We've seen time and time again that in football, a team can be greatly overmatched physically, but still find a way to prevail. Oklahoma faces long odds and a steep, uphill battle against Alabama, but an embarrassing loss is in no way a foregone conclusion.

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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