Key matchup: Colvin vs. Cooper

A lot of matchups are going to dictate how the AllState Sugar Bowl goes down between Oklahoma and Alabama. The battle between Amari Cooper vs. Aaron Colvin is going to be one to watch.

NEW ORLEANS – Conventional wisdom is whoever wins the battle of the line of scrimmage is going to win the 2014 AllState Sugar Bowl between Oklahoma and Alabama.

It has been with the line play where experts believe the Crimson Tide have a decided advantage against OU. But that doesn't mean the Tide don't have playmakers and don't have the ability to stretch the field.

One matchup to watch is going to be OU senior cornerback Aaron Colvin against Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper.

"I am definitely excited for the matchup," Colvin said. "I realize that he is a great player, but at the same time he's not the only good player Alabama has. They have a lot of great wide receivers that are going to present us with different challenges."

Cooper and Colvin are in a similar boat. Both were expected to have huge seasons. And to the naked eye, both disappointed. Nagging injuries have hampered both of them, but they've persevered and are ready to roll.

"At the start of the season, I was really banged up," Cooper said. "But throughout the season I worked every day to get better. This break gave me more time to rest and now I feel as good as I did last year."

Which could spell bad news for the Sooners except for the fact the time off has been desperately needed for Colvin as well. Battling a shoulder injury throughout most of the second half of the season, he, too, is in a much better spot than he was walking off the field at Bedlam.

"I feel even better than before," Colvin said.

Colvin has 49 tackles, five for loss, one sack, one interception and four pass breakups this season. Cooper led Alabama with 36 catches for 615 yards and was third on the team with four touchdowns. Included in that was a 99-yard touchdown reception.

"Their secondary is very quick and they have a lot of solid players," Cooper said. "It's going to be a good matchup."

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