Nick Saban, Tua Tagovailoa and the undefeated No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0; SEC champions) are aiming for back-to-back national championshisp as they get ready for Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, head coach Lincoln Riley and the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners (12-1; Big 12 champions) in the Orange Bowl — the second College Football Playoff game — at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida on Saturday night.
The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch a live stream of the game (or DVR it) on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, including all the ESPN channels. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
ESPN and ESPN 2 are both included in the “Sling Orange” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
Additionally, you can also watch a live stream of the game on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app. You’ll need to log in to a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don’t have that, you can still sign up for one of the above options and then use your Hulu or Sling TV credentials to sign in and watch on the ESPN digital platforms.
In last season’s National Championship Game, it was Tagovailoa who replaced then-starter Jalen Hurts, eventually leading Alabama past the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime, including the game-winning, walk-off touchdown pass. After struggling for three quarters against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game back on December 1, it was Saban who turned to Hurts to provide the offensive spark the Crimson Tide needed to push past the Bulldogs again.
The full circle moment was nice for Hurts, who will be back on the sideline on Saturday. The reason for Tagovailoa’s struggles were an ankle injury, which he eventually had surgery for. Tagovailoa’s status remains good for Saturday, but nobody knows what to expect or how well he will play on that injured ankle.
The usual recovery time for a high-ankle sprain injury is six to eight weeks, but with the surgery, the recovery time is reduced to closer to three or four. Tua himself believes he is close to 100%, and he reiterated that to reporters during the week:
“I’m getting treatment at this moment. It’s been a lot better. If I could grade from a scale of 0 to 100, I would say it’s at 80 to 85 percent.”
A late-season surge allowed Oklahoma’s Murray to overtake Tagovailoa in the Heisman Trophy voting. The first-round pick of the Oakland Athletics finished the 2018 season completing 70.9% of his passes for 4,053 yards and 40 touchdowns, while adding 892 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
The 5-foot-8 Murray has been dissected for the past three months, and despite his acknowledgement to start his baseball career, many pundits believe despite his size he would be capable of playing quarterback in the NFL:
While Murray doesn’t compare too much skill-wise to a recent Oklahoma quarterback, Baker Mayfield, many believe the baseball choice over football isn’t obvious. Mayfield himself was 5-foot-10, making him the shortest quarterback in the Super Bowl era to be drafted with the No. 1 overall selection. Alabama typically struggles against quarterbacks and offenses led by players with Murray’s ability, so it will be fascinating if questions about Murray come back to play here.
Murray and Oklahoma wrestled away the final College Football Playoff spot from Georgia and Ohio State. Despite Ohio State winning the Big Ten Conference Championship Game against Northwestern, a brutal blowout loss at Purdue ultimately doomed Urban Meyer’s group in the eyes of the committee in comparison to the Sooners.
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