Sugar Bowl: OU defenders Eric Striker, Geneo Grissom haunt 'Bama quarterback AJ McCarron

Striker and Grissom combine for five sacks, force fumble that leads to insurance touchdown.
by Ryan Aber Published: January 3, 2014


photo - Oklahoma's Eric Striker (19) reacts after a sack on Alabama's AJ McCarron (10) during the NCAA football BCS Sugar Bowl game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide (UA) at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014.  .Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Eric Striker (19) reacts after a sack on Alabama's AJ McCarron (10) during the NCAA football BCS Sugar Bowl game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide (UA) at the Superdome in New Orleans, La., Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. .Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

NEW ORLEANS — Eric Striker and Geneo Grissom put the perfect capper on Oklahoma's 45-31 upset win over Alabama in Thursday night's Sugar Bowl.

On Alabama's first play of a last-gasp drive, the two players who had been wreaking so much havoc for the Sooners all night came through once again.

Striker got pressure on Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron, forcing a fumble, and Grissom picked it up and rolled across the goal line to put the game out of reach for good.

A season ago, Grissom spent much of the night chasing Texas A&M's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel as the Aggies routed the Sooners in the Cotton Bowl.

Against Alabama, Grissom sacked Heisman Trophy finalist McCarron twice.

The Crimson Tide had allowed just 10 sacks on the season going into the Sugar Bowl, and the Sooners got to McCarron seven times.

“How many sacks you all say we had?” Striker asked, before getting the answer. “Good grief. That helped a lot.”

Striker, who spent last season as a backup linebacker and didn't see much action, had three sacks.

“Geneo and Strike was killing them up there, getting pressure,” Sooners safety Gabe Lynn said.


by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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