Leading up to the College Football Playoff semifinal games on December 29, coaches and players have standard media availability to talk about the upcoming heavyweight bouts. When the Alabama Crimson Tide and Oklahoma Sooners meet at the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, two star-studded rosters will square off, and at least one matchup figures to set the tone all night.
Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding interior lineman this season. The rising star was asked about what it’ll be like facing a fellow First-Team All-American in Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. The 295-pound defensive lineman started with his opinion, but something stopped Williams from saying what he really meant right in the middle of his sentence.
At Orange Bowl Media Day, Williams started into his take on the Heisman Trophy winner, then abruptly stopped mid-sentence to avoid any bulletin board material in one of the strangest interview responses ever.
With a clearing of his throat and an awkward stare, the Crimson Tide’s leader on defense refrained from saying something that, clearly, he probably shouldn’t have.
“No I don’t feel like I have gone against a quarterback slightly resembling Kyler Murray, but I feel like Kyler Murray is not what everybody… nah, I’m good.” — Quinnen Williams
Whether it was head coach Nick Saban‘s angry face popping into his head or a sudden revelation that he should just keep his mouth shut, Williams’ about-face on the question shows that the Crimson Tide won’t budge to help the Sooners with any motivation once Saturday night comes around.
Despite the questions about if coach Lincoln Riley’s defense can slow down Alabama on offense, the most anticipated matchup features a high-powered Oklahoma offense, which leads the nation in total offense (577.9 YPG) and scoring (49.5 PPG) going against Alabama’s defense, which only allows 14.8 points per game, fourth-fewest in the country.
Williams will lead the pursuit of the Heisman Trophy winner, but even this near slip-up on his part reveals one thing: Alabama players see a weakness in Kyler Murray that hasn’t been exposed yet. When a Big 12 offense takes on an SEC defense, something has to give, but maybe Alabama’s Quinnen Williams knows exactly how to win that matchup at Hard Rock Stadium.