Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma Football vs. LSU | Here’s What You’ll Want To Know About The Peach Bowl

M. Hofeld

matthofeld

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

December 28, 2019

Kickoff: 3:00 p.m.

Location:  Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Georgia)

Television: ESPN

The “Chase for Eight” continues for Oklahoma as the Sooners make their third consecutive College Football Playoff Appearance and fourth in the last five years. Only Alabama and Clemson (five each) have more appearances than OU. Ohio State is making its third appearance and LSU its first.

First Time Caller

Oklahoma is making its first Peach Bowl appearance and will be playing its first game in Georgia. LSU is 5-1 in the Peach Bowl.

No Stranger To Big Games

The Peach Bowl will mark the sixth time LSU has faced a Top 10 opponent in 2019. The Tigers are 5-0 against Top 10 this year – the most wins over Top 10 team in a season in school history. LSU has won six straight and nine of its last 10 games against Top 10 teams.

Bowling Is A Holiday Tradition At Oklahoma

This marks Oklahoma’s 53rd bowl appearance, seventh most nationally. Thirty-eight of those 53 have come in bowls that comprise the current New Year’s Six (Orange [20], Sugar [8], Fiesta [5], Cotton [2], Rose [2] and Peach [1]). The 38 does not include OU’s BCS Championship Game appearance on Jan. 1, 2009.

The Sooners own a 29-22-1 (.567) bowl record. Their 29 bowl wins are tied with Penn State and Texas for the fourth most nationally.

A Brief…But Storied Rivalry

The Peach Bowl will mark the third meeting between Oklahoma and LSU, with each program owning a Sugar Bowl win. The Sooners posted a 35-0 victory to end the 1949 season and the Tigers prevailed 21-14 in the BCS title game to cap the 2003 campaign.

13 Isn’t A Lucky Number

LSU is 13-0 for the second time in school history. The only other 13-0 start in school history came in 2011 when the Tigers started 13-0 before falling in the national championship game.

OU vs. The S.E.C.

Oklahoma has played six games against SEC teams over the last seven seasons and has gone 4-2. OU scored at least 31 points in each of those six contests and has averaged 38. The Sooners downed No. 3 Alabama 45-31 in the Sugar Bowl to end the 2013 season, beat Tennessee 34-10 in 2014 in Norman, outlasted No. 23 Tennessee 31-24 in double-overtime in 2015 in Knoxville, and handled No. 17 Auburn 35-19 in the Sugar Bowl to cap the 2016 season. Two years ago in the Rose Bowl (CFP semifinal), OU led Georgia 31-17 at halftime but lost 54-48 in double-overtime. The Sooners dropped a 45-34 contest to Alabama in last year’s Orange Bowl (CFP semifinal).

The Juggernauts

LSU leads the nation in total offense with 554.3 yards per game. In 13 games, the Tigers have gone over the 500-yard mark 10 times, which includes three 600-yard games and one 700-yard game.

Oklahoma ranks just behind LSU at 554.2 yards per game. The Sooners average a national-best 8.2 yards per offensive play while the Tigers rank third at 7.8.

Making History

Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts will be the first quarterback to start a College Football Playoff game for two schools. He started two CFP games in each of the 2016 and 2017 seasons for Alabama. He also played in both of the Crimson Tide’s CFP games last year in a reserve role. The Peach Bowl will mark Hurts’ seventh CFP contest.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is where Hurts was the star for Alabama in last year’s SEC Championship vs. Georgia, rallying his team to a 35-28 win after it trailed 28-21 when he replaced injured starter Tua Tagovailoa with 11:15 left in the fourth quarter.

No Stranger To The Tigers

Hurts started games against LSU his freshman and sophomore seasons and led Alabama to wins in both. In 2016, Hurts ran for 114 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while completing 10 of 19 passes for 107 yards (one interception) in a 10-0 road win. In 2017, he ran 14 times for 44 yards and a TD while completing 11 of 24 passes for 183 yards and a score in a 24-10 home victory. He did not play in the meeting last season, a 29-0 Crimson Tide win in Baton Rouge.

The Heisman Winner

Heisman Trophy winning QB Joe Burrow is first player in SEC history to throw for 4,000 yards and 40 TDs in a season. He’s the SEC single-season record holder for passing yards (4,7156) and passing TDs (48).

Burrow leads the nation in passing TDs (48), completion percentage (77.9) and points responsible for (308), and he’s second nationally in passing yards (4,715), yards per game (362.7), and total offense (384.9).

When The Defense Flipped The Switch

Since trailing Baylor 31-10 at halftime on Nov. 16, Oklahoma has held the Bears, TCU, Oklahoma State and Baylor again to a combined 873 yards (62.4 per quarter) while gaining 1,762 yards itself over the last three and-ahalf games. During that span, the Sooners have held major advantages in plays (278-168), first downs (95-43) and time of possession 134:30-74:30).

The Guy You Can’t Lose In The Secondary

Biletnikoff Award winner Ja’Marr Chase tied the SEC record for TD receptions in a season with 18. He’s caught 73 passes for 1,498 yards (124.8 per game). Justin Jefferson leads the Tigers in receptions with 88 and he’s second on team in yards (1,207) and TD receptions (12).

Mind Blown!!!

In a stat that speaks to their success on both sides of the ball, the Sooners have run just 72 more plays than their opponents this season (5.5 more per game) but have outgained them by a staggering 2,907 yards, or 1.65 miles. OU ranks second nationally in total offense (554.2 ypg) despite ranking 80th in plays per game (just 68.0).

A Huge Loss If He Can’t Go

LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a hamstring injury in practice this week and is questionable for the game. He led the SEC in rushing TDs with 16 and he’s No. 2 in the league in total TDs (17), trailing only teammate Chase (18). He rushed for 100+ yards in six of LSU’s nine SEC games. His 1,290 rushing yards in the second-most in the SEC, while his 99.23 ranks No. 4 in the league.

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