OU to Face Alabama in the Orange Bowl

Mike Houck
By Mike Houck
Assistant A.D. / Strategic Communications
NORMAN — Winner of its last seven games and 34 of its last 37 going back to 2016, Oklahoma will make its third College Football Playoff semifinals appearance in the last four years when it faces Alabama in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 29.

The Orange Bowl, to be played at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., will start at 7 p.m. CT and be televised by ESPN.

The Sooners, under the direction of second-year head coach Lincoln Riley, are the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff while Alabama is the No. 1 seed. The other semifinals game will pit No. 2 Clemson vs. No. 3 Notre Dame at the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, also on Dec. 29.

The Oklahoma-Alabama winner will meet the Clemson-Notre Dame winner in the College Football National Championship on Monday, Jan. 7, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

The OU-Alabama matchup will mark the sixth meeting between the programs, with the Sooners holding a 3-1-1 lead. Oklahoma's wins came in the last three meetings. In the most recent matchup, OU posted a 45-31 Sugar Bowl victory over the third-ranked Crimson Tide to cap the 2013 season. OU also won 20-13 in 2003 in Tuscaloosa and 37-27 in Norman in 2002. The teams played to a 24-24 tie in 1970 in the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston, while Alabama notched a 17-0 Orange Bowl victory in the 1962 season in the first meeting between the schools.

Oklahoma boasts a rich and successful Orange Bowl history. This year's Orange Bowl appearance will be OU's 20th (it is 12-7). Four of the Sooners' seven national championships culminated with Orange Bowl wins.

The Sooners are 12-1 on the year and are coming off a 39-27 win over Texas in the Big 12 Championship on Saturday. It marked OU's fourth straight Big 12 title and 12th overall (all in the last 19 years).

Defending national champion Alabama is 13-0 overall and went 8-0 in the SEC to win the West Division. The Crimson Tide, which beat Georgia 35-28 on Saturday in the SEC Championship Game, rank second nationally in scoring offense (47.9 ppg) and fourth in scoring defense (14.8 ppg).

Oklahoma, which is still the only Big 12 program to qualify for the College Football Playoff, boasts the nation's most prolific offense. The Sooners lead the country by averaging 49.5 points per game, 577.9 yards per contest and a would-be FBS-record 8.7 yards per play.

The Sooners are led by Heisman Trophy hopeful Kyler Murray. The redshirt junior quarterback leads the nation in total offense (school-record 4,945 yards), passing efficiency rating (would-be FBS-record 205.7), yards per pass attempt (would-be FBS-record 11.9) and yards per completion (16.8; tied). He also ranks second in passing TDs (40), points responsible for per game (23.5; tied) and completion percentage (.709).

A finalist for the Maxwell, Davey O'Brien, Manning and Walter Camp Player of the Year Awards, Murray has completed 241 of 340 passes this year for a 4,053 yards and 40 touchdowns to just seven interceptions (5.7-to-1 ratio) while rushing for 892 yards and another 11 scores. He is the only FBS player in history to average at least 300 passing yards (311.8) and at least 60 rushing yards (68.6) per game heading into bowl season.

The Sooners are making their 20th straight bowl appearance. Heading into this season, only two schools owned longer active consecutive streaks of bowl appearances recognized by the NCAA: Virginia Tech (25) and Georgia (21). Oklahoma owns a 29-21-1 all-time bowl record.

OU's three appearances are the third most in the five-year history of the College Football Playoff. Only Alabama (five) and Clemson (four) have more appearances.

Official Orange Bowl gear is available at Shop.Soonersports.com.

Ticket Information
Sooner Club members will be notified via email within 24 hours of the bowl announcement regarding the number of tickets they have qualified to receive, with a deadline of 2 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Dec. 4, to cancel orders.

OU student football season ticket holders will be notified via email and social media regarding the process for student bowl ticket purchases within 72 hours of the bowl announcement.

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