No. 4 Oklahoma's season ended in the College Football Playoff semifinal for the third consecutive year after a 63-28 blowout loss to No. 1 LSU in the 2019 Peach Bowl on Saturday night. The OU offense was held to its lowest point total of the year (tied with Week 11 against TCU), while the Sooner defense surrendered season highs in points and total yards (692).
Here's what Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley had to say after the contest:
On a slow offensive start for the second consecutive year
"This one's different. Bama last year jumped up — it was 28-0 before you could even blink. We weren't really playing good on any of the sides. I thought we kind of steadied after we hit the big play to CeeDee and then Kennedy scored the first touchdown. I thought we were going to steady there. We traded blows early. It was just that run there.
"What it is, I mean, you play really good teams in this playoff. And when you don't play your best ball, good teams are going to take advantage of it. And LSU took advantage of us not playing our best ball there."
On competing with a talented LSU team
"Oh, they're a good team, no question about it. You look at their quality wins this year. They're a good football team. Give them credit. I thought they played well, and I thought we — again, the disappointing thing is we helped them play well way too much.
"I felt like if we played well, we would be able to stand in there and trade blows with them. I really did. And we did early. But when you start making mistakes, combination of that and a talented team playing well, they go on a run like they do."
On the impact of sophomore safety Brendan Radley-Hiles' ejection and missed contributions of suspended players
"I don't know how you measure that. Certainly, of course, you love to go into these games with every single player healthy and every player feeling good and available and all that. Of course you'd want to, especially when you're playing another great team.
"That wasn't the hand we were dealt. Honestly, that hasn't been the hand we've been dealt all year. It's been one of those years here. And despite all that, we were able to win a fifth straight Big 12 Championship, able to get back here to the College Football Playoff..."
On advancing toward the goal of winning a national championship
"We're continuing to make strides. There's no doubt about it. I mean, just putting yourself here four times in five years is — I mean, that's so hard to do, man. I mean, it's so hard to do.
"So I think we've made some great improvements with the program. I'm excited about where we're heading defensively. I think we've just scratched the surface about how good we can get on that side.
"This program has championship DNA. We kind of find a way, and we'll be back."