Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Michigan State tight end Andrew Gleichert, center, is tackled by Stanford cornerback Alex Carter, left, and safety Jordan Richards during the first half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Sugar Bowl: Oklahoma rips Alabama, 45-31
Sugar Bowl » Oklahoma quarterback passes for record 348 yards in victory.
First Published Jan 02 2014 11:17 pm • Last Updated Jan 03 2014 05:01 pm

New Orleans • Bob Stoops declined to announce a starting quarterback before the Sugar Bowl, and when freshman Trevor Knight took the field on the Sooners’ first possession, Alabama’s defenders couldn’t have anticipated what was in store.

Knight completed a Sugar Bowl-record 32 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns, and No. 11 Oklahoma took down third-ranked Alabama, 45-31 on Thursday night.

At a glance

No. 11 Oklahoma 45,No. 3 Alabama 31

Oklahoma 14 17 0 14 — 45

Alabama 10 7 7 7 — 31

First Quarter

Ala » Yeldon 1 run (C.Foster kick), 13:11.

Okl » Bester 45 pass from T.Knight (Hunnicutt kick), 9:43.

Ala » FG C.Foster 27, 7:02.

Okl » Saunders 8 pass from T.Knight (Hunnicutt kick), 1:53.

Second Quarter

Ala » White 67 pass from A.McCarron (C.Foster kick), 14:03.

Okl » FG Hunnicutt 47, 11:45.

Okl » Saunders 43 pass from T.Knight (Hunnicutt kick), 2:59.

Okl » Shepard 13 run (Hunnicutt kick), 1:05.

Third Quarter

Ala » Henry 43 run (C.Foster kick), 8:49.

Fourth Quarter

Okl » Shepard 9 pass from T.Knight (Hunnicutt kick), 10:44.

Ala » Henry 61 pass from A.McCarron (C.Foster kick), 6:22.

Okl » Grissom 8 fumble return (Hunnicutt kick), :47.

Attendance » 70,473.

Okl Ala

First downs 24 20

Rushes-yards 30-81 35-129

Passing 348 387

Comp-Att-Int 32-44-1 19-30-2

Return Yards 55 18

Punts-Avg. 6-42.3 4-43.5

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 3-3

Penalties-yards 11-95 6-45

Time of Possession 30:55 29:05

Individual Statistics

Rushing » Oklahoma, Clay 17-44, Ford 3-15, Shepard 3-14, T.Knight 5-7, Saunders 1-4, Team 1-(minus 3). Alabama, Henry 8-100, Yeldon 17-72, A.McCarron 10-(minus 43).

Passing » Oklahoma, T.Knight 32-44-1-348. Alabama, A.McCarron 19-30-2-387.

Receiving » Oklahoma, Shepard 7-63, Clay 7-36, Bester 6-105, Saunders 5-75, Finch 2-18, Reynolds 2-14, D.Woods 1-20, Green 1-13, McNamara 1-4. Alabama, Cooper 9-121, White 3-139, Norwood 2-30, Yeldon 2-23, Bell 2-13, Henry 1-61.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Knight’s completion percentage entering the game was 52.2. He had completed 47 passes all season, before a breakout performance in which two of his TDs went for more than 40 yards.

Oklahoma (11-2) needed him to play that well in the 80th Sugar Bowl, the first in which quarterbacks for both teams threw for more than 300 yards.

The victory was a sweet one for Stoops, who last offseason called talk about the Southeastern Conference being the best league in college football "propaganda."

His Big 12 team vanquished an Alabama (11-2) squad that had been ranked No. 1 much of the past three seasons, winning the previous two national titles before its shot at a third straight was derailed by Auburn on the last play last month in the Iron Bowl.

AJ McCarron passed for 387 yards and two TDs, but his two interceptions set up Oklahoma TDs, and his fumble, returned for a score in the final minute, sealed ’Bama’s first two-game skid since its Sugar Bowl loss to Utah in January 2009. McCarron, meanwhile, lost his last two starts after going 36-2 before those games.

Freshman Derrick Henry’s 43-yard run in the third quarter pulled Alabama to 31-24, and the Crimson Tide defense forced four punts while giving up only one first down in the third quarter. But Alabama was unable to add another score before the Sooners starting moving the ball again early in the final quarter.

Knight lofted a perfect pass to Lacoltan Bester for a 34-yard gain to the Alabama 9. Shortly after, Knight rolled left all the way to the sideline before rifling a touchdown strike to Sterling Shepard, making it a two-touchdown game again with 10:44 left.

Henry, a 6-foot-3, 238-pound true freshman, pulled Alabama back with in a score once more when he turned his first career completion into a tackle-shedding 61-yard TD with 6:22 still to go.

story continues below
story continues below

But Oklahoma was able to burn several minutes off the clock, and then Oklahoma registered its seventh sack when Eric Striker stripped McCarron, and Geneo Grissom returned it 8 yards for a score.

Both teams entered the Sugar Bowl with defenses ranked in the top 15 nationally, but quarterback play dominated a first half highlighted by five passing plays of 43 yards or longer, three of which went for scores. But McCarron threw two interceptions twice, each time setting up Sooners TDs on the very next play.

Alabama took the opening kickoff and scored in four plays. McCarron hit Amari Cooper for 15 and 53 yards, and T.J. Yeldon ran it in from the 1 two plays later.

It appeared to be getting worse for the Sooners when Alabama’s Landon Collins made a diving interception of Knight’s tipped pass, but Oklahoma got it right back when Gabe Lynn picked off McCarron’s pass on the next play. One play later, Knight found Bester down the right sideline for a 45-yard score to tie it at 7.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.