Here is everything you need to know about the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oregon Ducks in our Valero Alamo Bowl preview and prediction.
Wednesday, December 29, 2021; 8:15 p.m.; Alamodome; San Antonio, TX
TV: ESPN (Jason Benetti and Andre Ware)
Radio: Oregon: Oregon Radio Network (Jerry Allen and Mike Jorgensen); Oklahoma: Sooner Sports Network (Toby Rowland and Teddy Lehman)
Spread: OU by 4.5
2021 Records: Oklahoma 10-2; Oregon 10-3.
Rankings: Oregon No. 15 AP Poll and AFCA Coaches Poll; Oklahoma No. 14 in AP Poll; No. 13 in AFCA Coaches Poll.
Last Week: OU lost to Baylor 27-14; Iowa State lost to Texas Tech 41-38
Fun Facts: Oklahoma leads Oregon 6-1 in the overall series; Big 12 teams lead the Pac-12 teams 8-4 in the Alamo Bowl series; Oregon is 1-1 in the Alamo Bowl while Oklahoma is making its first appearance.
Running Back Travis Dye
The junior leads Oregon in rushing and receiving. Dye has 1,118 yards rushing (86 ypg; 5.8 ypc) and 15 touchdowns and has caught 41 passes for 374 yards and 2 TDs.
Safety Verone McKinley III
A sophomore, McKinley earned consensus All-American honors and was one of three Oregon players named to the All-Pac 12 first-team defense. He leads the nation with 6 interceptions. McKinley is the Ducks’ second-leading tackler with 72 total stops. He also has broken up 6 passes and forced a fumble.
Defense End Brandon Dorlus
This year, the sophomore logged 7 tackles for loss, including 2.5 sacks and 4 QB hurries. Dorlus was also named to the All-Pac 12 first-team defense.
Linebacker Noah Sewell
The sophomore leads the Ducks with 106 tackles, 8.5 behind the line of scrimmage, including 4 sacks, 1 interception, 4 passes broken up, and 2 forced fumbles. Sewell was named to the All-Pac 12 first team.
Quarterback Caleb Williams
A freshman All-American, Williams is eighth nationally and leads the Big 12 with a 166.7 passing efficiency for the season by completing 115 of 184 (62.5%) for 1,670 yards with a TD/INT ratio of 18/4.
Running Back Kennedy Brooks
The redshirt junior has rushed for 1,111 yards (92.6 ypg; 6 ypc) and 10 TDs this season. Brooks rushed for 139 yards against Oklahoma State, which had allowed 86 rushing yards before the Bedlam matchup.
Punter Michael Turk
The redshirt senior and transfer from Arizona State leads the Big 12 with a 51.3-yard average. For the season, 19 of Turk’s 33 punts have traveled for 50 yards or more, and 14 inside the 20-yard line.
Cornerback Woodi Washington
The redshirt sophomore missed most of the season with an injury but returned in the Sooners’ final three games of the year. Washington was a menace to Oklahoma State in the season finale with 2 interceptions, another pass broken up, and 7 tackles.
The Ducks won the Pac-12 north division, but Utah, the south division champ, throttled them by four touchdowns in the conference’s championship game. The Utes also hammered the Ducks by 31 points two weeks before the championship tilt. Oregon upset No. 6 Ohio State on the road in week 2 of the season and shot up to fourth in the national rankings. Stanford stunned the Ducks in overtime for Oregon’s first loss three weeks later. The Ducks’ other two losses came at the hands of the Utes. Oregon had three players selected to the All-Pac 12 defense first-team, but they struggled in their last four games by allowing nearly 10 points more per outing 22.4 ppg to 32.2 ppg) compared to the first nine games. The Ducks also gave up 144 rushing yards per game in the last four games compared to 123.1 ypg in the first nine. They also allowed an average of 247.2 passing yards in the last four games, up 2.8 average in the first nine outings.
The Sooners failed to capture their seventh straight Big 12 Championship as they lost to Oklahoma State, 37-33, in the season finale. Six of Oklahoma’s 10 victories this year were decided by a touchdown or less. After rolling to a 9-0 record, the Sooners struggled against a stout Baylor defense and then beat Iowa State but lost to the Cowboys, snapping a four-game appearance (all victories) in the Big 12 title tilt. Oklahoma’s loss to OSU was a result of 12 penalties and a muffed punt return which soon gifted the Pokes with a touchdown. In their losing effort, the Sooners scored 18 more points, and 174 more yards than the Cowboys had averaged in their first 11 games.
Prediction: Oklahoma 38 Oregon 31
Head coaches for both teams have taken new jobs elsewhere—Oregon’s Mario Cristobal to Miami and Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley to USC. Interim coaches will lead the Ducks and Sooners for the Alamo Bowl. Bryan McClendon was elevated from his position as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Bob Stoops, who recently was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, returns after a five-year hiatus to lead the Sooners. Stoops holds the most victories in Oklahoma football history, with 190 wins in 238 games. Dan Lanning, Georgia’s defensive coordinator, takes over for the Ducks when the Alamo Bowl is over. Brent Venables, former defensive coordinator at Oklahoma and Clemson, takes the reins for the Sooners.
Both teams have numerous defections either to the transfer portal or preparing for the NFL Draft. The most significant defectors for Oregon are All-American linebacker Kayvon Pittman, cornerback Mykael Pittman, receiver and punt return specialist Mycah Pittman, and wideout Devon Williams. For the Sooners: quarterback Spencer Rattler, receiver Jadon Haselwood, tight end, defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey, defensive end Isiah Thomas, and linebackers Nik Bonitto and Brian Asamoah.
Both teams will put up some points in San Antonio since most of the defectors are outstanding defensive players. The better offense will be in the crimson uniforms. Haselwood was the Sooners leading receiver with 39 receptions and 6 touchdowns, but Oklahoma still has a stable of good pass catchers. Brooks will gain a bunch of yards, and Williams will be back to making some magic again, this time for the Hall of Famer, who gets his 191st victory before once again riding into the sunset.