MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — With his Sooners down 21 points at two junctures Saturday night, OU coach Lincoln Riley opted to kick a pair of 26-yard field goals rather than keep his offense on the field.
The first came with 7:30 left in the second quarter when Oklahoma trailed Alabama 28-7. The Sooners faced fourth-and-five at Alabama’s nine-yard line. OU kicker Austin Seibert made the kick to cut the deficit to 28-10.
Then with OU trailing 31-10 with 9:42 left in the third quarter, Riley called on Seibert rather than having his offense attempt a fourth-and-six. Seibert again made a 26-yard attempt, making it a 31-13 game.
Oklahoma averaged 6.8 yards per play against Alabama. Odds are the Sooners would have converted at least one of the two attempts.
Riley had to weigh OU’s inability to stop Alabama’s offense with the difficulty of converting fourth-and-mediums against the Crimson Tide.
“I felt it had started to turn, there in the middle,” Riley said of the momentum. “We were starting to get some stops. We were really moving the ball well at that point. So we considered (going for it). We felt like, they were long-enough yardage situations, it was get the points.”
OU converted two of three fourth-down conversions for the game.