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Big-time QB battle set for Orange Bowl, regardless of who plays for Alabama

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, right, congratulates Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray after Murray won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night in New York. [PHOTO PROVIDED BY HEISMAN TROPHY TRUST]

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, right, congratulates Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray after Murray won the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night in New York.
[PHOTO PROVIDED BY HEISMAN TROPHY TRUST]

NORMAN — Alabama knows which quarterback it’s going to face in the Orange Bowl when No. 4 Oklahoma tries to upset the No. 1 Crimson Tide on Dec. 29.

That’d be Kyler Murray, the Sooners’ Heisman Trophy winner.

Oklahoma isn’t quite as clear who to prepare for, with runner-up Tua Tagovailoa recovering from ankle surgery after suffering an injury in the SEC Championship Game.

It’s a routine Lincoln Riley knows all too well, having had to prepare for multiple quarterback options several times this season — including each of the season’s first three games.

This isn’t quite getting ready for Iowa State’s Zeb Noland or UCLA’s Dorian Thompson- Robinson, though.

“They’ve both played so much ball for them,” Riley said Wednesday. “Jalen (Hurts) obviously brings a little more athletically to the table. Tua’s a good athlete as well, no question.

“The one nice thing here — it’s always a good and bad — we’ve had some of these games where we’ve had maybe a guy that’s gonna play that we have virtually no tape on, which is good because it means he hasn’t played much either.

“We’ve seen these guys. We kinda know what they can do.”

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