Published on NewsOK Modified: January 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm •  Published: January 1, 2014
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SUGAR BOWL

No. 3 Alabama (11-1) vs. No. 11 Oklahoma (10-2), 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Alabama by 16.

Series Record: Oklahoma leads 2-1-1.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

After being bounced from the national title picture in its final regular season game, Alabama still has a shot to finish as high as No. 2 in the rankings. The Crimson Tide also is looking to increase its nation-leading bowl victory total to 35 and its Sugar Bowl victory total to nine. Oklahoma aims to finish with a Top 10 ranking and back up coach Bob Stoops, who last offseason said the notion that the Southeastern Conference is the best league in college football is based on "propaganda."

KEY MATCHUP

Oklahoma's defense, ranked 13th nationally, will have its hands full with an Alabama offense that features Heisman Trophy finalist AJ McCarron at quarterback, as well as running back T.J. Yeldon and receiver Amari Cooper.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Oklahoma: RB Brennan Clay leads a Sooners running game averaging 235.8 yards per game. Clay has rushed for 913 yards and six TDs, averaging 5.8 yards per carry.

Alabama: McCarron is playing his final game for the Crimson Tide. He was the Heisman Trophy runner-up, winner of the Maxwell Award for player of the year and won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He is 36-3 in three seasons as a starter. Linebacker C.J. Mosely won the Butkus Award given to the nation's top linebacker.



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