No. 3 Alabama, No. 11 Oklahoma face off in Sugar Bowl - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

No. 3 Alabama, No. 11 Oklahoma face off in Sugar Bowl

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Alabama Coach Nick Saban (right) and Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops (left) shake hands at a news conference. Alabama Coach Nick Saban (right) and Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops (left) shake hands at a news conference.
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WSFA) -

After more than a month of preparation, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Oklahoma Sooners will kickoff in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans Thursday night.

No. 3 Alabama is favored by double digits over No. 11 Oklahoma.

This is Alabama's 14th appearance at the Sugar Bowl. The Tide has won the game eight times. This will be Oklahoma seventh appearance in the game -- the most by a non-SEC school. Oklahoma has won the Sugar Bowl four times.

The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. WSFA 12 News sport reporter Stephen Gunter and new reporter Bryan Henry will have updates on Twitter throughout the game, and reports from the Superdome on WSFA 12 News at 10.

Tune in for post-game coverage on Today in Alabama starting at 4:30 a.m. Friday.

On the eve of the Sugar Bowl, Alabama coach Nick Saban and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops met face to face for a brief photo session -- right behind the trophy their teams are battling for.

Both coaches went in front of the microphone to talk about the game for the last time before kickoff.

Saban told media he is pleased with the way the Crimson Tide has prepared. When asked if the team is mentally ready, Saban quoted one of his players by saying, "our victory is what defeated us."

"When you win, sometimes you start to lose focus on the things that are important to being successful," Saban said.

Saban said this is an important game and the challenge is responding and "getting back to doing the things that we need to do to play Alabama football."

[READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT OF SABAN'S NEWS CONFERENCE]

Stoops said Wednesday that in his eye, Alabama is still the best team in the country.

The teams have been preparing for the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans all week, holding practices in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 

Following practice Monday, Saban and members of the Alabama team visited with patients at the Children's Hospital of New Orleans. 

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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