Jan 2, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Sterling Shepard (3) makes a touchdown catch in front of Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Landon Collins (26) during the fourth quarter of the Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Game Grades: Oklahoma 45, Alabama 31

I’m still in shock, and I’m going to try to make sense of what I just saw. Please stay with me, because even though I thought OU could win, I did not think it would be in this fashion. Let’s hand out some grades, though, to an amazing group who overcame a lot to be in this position.

Trevor Knight – A+
Behind the arm of a frosh, Oklahoma knocked off a team that has won three of the past four National Titles. Knight’s been hampered by injuries this year, and with a stat line of 32-of-44, 348 passing yards, and four touchdowns through the air, there was no question who deserved the Sugar Bowl MVP award. He was reminiscent of a Johnny Manziel who beat the Alabama Crimson Tide a year ago, though, Trevor had a lot of help from his defense. It was an incredible performance, and hopefully just the beginning.

Run Game – B
Oklahoma’s strong suit this year has been the powerful running game. Though, Alabama’s front put the stop for the most part on OU’s rushing attack. They made OU beat them through the air. Which before the night, sounds like a solid strategy to beat the 2013 Sooners. However, Trevor Knight’s spectacular performance made up for what was a tough day on the ground for Brennan Clay.

Receivers – A
Take away a few dropped passes and a Jalen Saunders tipped ball turned interception, and this was an impressive day from the receivers. Saunders had two TD receptions, LaColtan Bester had one and so did Sterling Shepard. The receivers did an exceptional job of making defenders miss. We got to see some Derrick Woods who made a huge catch. Trevor Knight was thankful to have a great group of receivers, who made all the difference in this game.

Run defense – C+
Derrick Henry was a beast. Plain and simple. The Sooners get a pass, because I do not know how any team hopes to contain him next season. The Sooners struggled all night to wrap up Bama’s athletes. The good news is that Alabama was forced to pass if they wanted a chance to win the ball game in the last minute. Also, a fumble by TJ Yeldon helped the Sooners early in the second quarter.

Pass defense – B
While Zack Sanchez struggled early on and the Crimson Tide tried establishing an efficient passing attack, the Sooner defense got to AJ McCarron more often than not to force a lot of mistakes out of the quarterback in his last game. The Sooners picked him off twice and sacked him seven times. Credit Eric Striker and Geneo Grissom who had monster days.

Special Teams – B+
There weren’t any big Jalen Saunders returns and Bama almost broke off a few, but Michael Hunnicutt nailed a season-long 47 yard field goal and every one of his extra points. The Sooners, also, converted a humiliating onside to throw salt in the wounds of Alabama. What a way to end the year for a group that’s been SPECIAL all season.

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Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Football Oklahoma Sooners

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