By Kelly Reed
#14 Oregon Ducks vs #16 Oklahoma Sooners
Wednesday – December 29 – 8:15 p.m.
Alamodome – San Antonio, TX
Records Before the Game
#14 Oregon Ducks (10-3)
#16 Oklahoma Sooners (10-2)
Before the start of the 2021 season if there was a bowl match up between Oregon and Oklahoma most football fans would have thought it would be in the College Football Playoff and there would be a ton of excitement. Well these two marquee universities are meeting in a bowl however they will not impact the national title game in any manner. Their respective diehard fans will be excited as will the Alamo Bowl committee, however the path to reach this game is one of decline and disappointment. Still when a pair of 10 win teams match up and have the reputation that Oregon and Oklahoma possess for a bowl game you know that there will still be excitement in the air.
#14 Oregon Ducks
The Ducks had the pleasure of handing Ohio State it’s first loss of the season and that was a huge boost to the program along with some bragging rights, but the team ended up losing two of its last three. In the past month, the Ducks saw their former head coach Mario Cristobal leave the program for the Miami Hurricanes position. Interim coach Bryan McClendon will be the man making the final decision for the Ducks at the Alamo Bowl. QB Anthony Brown (senior) has accounted for 24 touchdowns this season, 15 passing and 9 rushing. His athleticism speaks for itself. His experience will allow him to manage the offense against a salty Sooners defense. Brown will need to bring some consistency to be productive in this one. He’ll make his fair share of passes to various receivers and tight ends. Rushing defense has been the Achilles heel of the Sooner defense and RB Travis Dye is one of the best in the Pac-12. Expect Dye to put up some great numbers in this one. The rest from the Pac-12 title game until now should help out the Ducks defense tremendously. They were beaten up and needed the break. Even without pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux who is off to the NFL, the Ducks should provide enough to keep the game interesting.
#16 Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners were shocked like the rest of the college football world when former head coach Lincoln Riley announced he was taking his talents to Los Angeles and a gig at USC. Then “Big Game” Bob Stoops agreed to take the reins for the team in this year’s Alamo Bowl and a sense of calm returned to Sooner Nation. Stoops gets to coach his son, WR Drake Stoops in a bowl game and new head coach Brent Venables gets time to put his staff together and continue to recruit. Win/win? I think so. Bob Stoops has a pantry full of talent to work with in QB Caleb Williams, RB Kennedy Brooks and WR Marvin Mims. They will continue to use run/pass option plays to exploit the Ducks defense and maximize Caleb Williams skills at quarterback. The Sooner defense has given up some points at critical times, but the offense usually bails them out. Expect more of the same at the Alamo Bowl.
I expect a high scoring affair in this one. The Ducks defense is missing more pieces than the Sooners, but the Sooners lost their defensive coordinator Alex Grinch to Riley and USC so there’ll be some communication issues. The Ducks losing Devon Williams (getting ready for the NFL) to an already inconsistent group hurts even more. That could be the real difference in this game. The Ducks will be able to run but their passing game will have issues. The Sooners have most of their key offensive and defensive pieces with big game experience for this one. Bet the over and believe in the ESPN prediction giving the Sooners a 70% chance of winning the Alamo Bowl. First half will be close with the Sooners pulling away in the second half.
#16 Oklahoma Sooners – 41
#14 Oregon Ducks – 27