ORANGE JUICED: Alabama holds on after keeping Oklahoma, Murray in check

ORANGE JUICED: Alabama holds on after keeping Oklahoma, Murray in check

ORANGE JUICED: Alabama holds on after keeping Oklahoma, Murray in check

On Thursday, an MLB scout did just that, by questioning the mental maturity of Heisman Trophy victor, and MLB prospect Kyler Murray, insinuating that Murray lacks the mental toughness needed to succeed in baseball. When the Alabama Crimson Tide and Oklahoma Sooners meet at the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, two star-studded rosters will square off, and at least one matchup figures to set the tone all night.

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley met with reporters Sunday morning at the Diplomat Beach Resort - the Sooners' team hotel - for an exit interview of sorts, less than 12 hours after his team's 2018 season ended in a 45-34 Orange Bowl loss to No. 1 Alabama. Oklahoma cut the lead to 31-20 in the third quarter before Tagovailoa led an early fourth-quarter touchdown drive capped with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Smith to put the game out of reach.

Conversely, Murray and the Sooners, who entered with the top offense in the nation, had managed exactly zero yards of total offense to that point. "It's like nobody expected any of this but me, the people that are closest to me, people that I've always known, who have always watched me play whether it was football, baseball".

"Me and Kyler just told each other, 'Great game, '" Tagovailoa said.

He finished 24-for-27 for 318 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. "I'm sure it'll be a great challenge for us, and I'm sure we'll need to play better than we did today".

Right now, National Football League teams are viewing Murray as a first-round selection. "I truly think he loves playing football". "It's been a fun year", Murray said.

That's why when Riley says that Murray could be "both" a Pro Bowler and a MLB All-Star, we should probably listen up.

"I wanted to win the national championship".

But if it was the last time he put on a helmet and shoulder pads, he left little doubt about why his decision between baseball and football became increasingly hard as the season went on.

This year's version of Nick Saban's machine did things a little bit differently, killing teams early and often with offense rather than slowly choking them out on defense.

"I think this is a testament to what this team has been doing the entire season", Tagovailoa said in a postgame interview on ESPN afterward.

Saturday night, Mullen and the Gators saw how far they have to go, how far everybody in the SEC has to go, how far everybody but Clemson has to go.

Riley doesn't think it will be long before this team takes the next step. "After that we outscored them by 17 the rest of the way".

The Alabama Crimson Tide came out and blitzed the Oklahoma Sooners in Saturday's College Football Playoff semifinal encounter, beginning with a first quarter that could not have been more one-sided.

"Not being 100 percent, it hurt me, but I was out there trying to fight for my team", Brown said.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy favorites against Clemson in the college football playoff title game next Monday.

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