No. 10 Oklahoma 45, No. 3 Alabama 31: Quarterback Trevor Knight set career highs with 348 yards and four touchdowns as the Sooners stunned the Crimson Tide in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Lacoltan Bester finished with 105 yards receiving and a score while Jalen Saunders notched a pair of first-half touchdown catches for Oklahoma (11-2). Sterling Shepard added a 13-yard TD run on an end-around and hauled in a critical 9-yard scoring pass early in the fourth quarter as Alabama (11-2) was threatening to tie the game.
AJ McCarron threw for a career-high 387 yards and two scores to become the first quarterback in Crimson Tide history to throw for 3,000 yards in a season. Freshman Derrick Henry accounted for two touchdowns and ran for 100 yards on only eight carries while DeAndrew White (three receptions, personal-best 139 yards) and Amari Cooper (career-high nine catches, 121 yards) spearheaded the passing attack for Alabama.
The Crimson Tide ran out to an early seven-point lead on their first possession, but Knight directed five straight scoring drives and Oklahoma scored 21 points off three first-half takeaways to take a 31-17 advantage at the break. The Crimson Tide defense buckled down in the second half, however, forcing the Sooners to punt on their first four drives while Henry halved the deficit with a 43-yard run up the middle early in the third quarter.
Knight ended Oklahoma’s second-half scoring drought with his final scoring toss to Shepard to restore the Sooners’ 14-point margin. Henry countered with a 61-yard TD reception on his first career catch to bring Alabama within 38-31, but Eric Striker sealed the game with 47 seconds left when he strip-sacked McCarron and Geneo Grissom picked up the loose ball and ran it in from 8 yards out.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops became the first coach to win each of the four BCS bowl games plus a national championship. … Alabama gave up a season-worst seven sacks, set a season high with five giveaways and surrendered the most points in Nick Saban's seven years as coach on the five-year anniversary of its only other bowl game loss under Saban. … Knight and McCarron became the first pair of quarterbacks to throw for more than 300 yards in the Sugar Bowl.