Kyler Murray said he had not thought about whether he played the last football game of his career on Saturday night against Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl.
But if it was the last time he put on a helmet and shoulder pads, he left little doubt about why his decision between baseball and football became increasingly difficult as the season went on.
After Murray and his Oklahoma teammates got off to a slow start and fell into an early 21-0 deficit, the player who dazzled en route to the Heisman Trophy showed himself, rallying the Sooners back in the second half before falling short 45-34.
Murray ended up with 308 yards passing and 109 yards rushing, the third time this season he had both 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing in a game (tied for second most in a season over the past 20 seasons). Murray also became the first quarterback with 100 yards rushing against Alabama under Nick Saban.
"I think most teams in the league or in the whole damn country would have kind of gave up against a team like that, but as you saw, we just continued to fight — and pretty damn close to winning the game, so I couldn't ask for much more out of my teammates," Murray said.
Murray walked off the field with a towel draped over his head, and he cried in the locker room over the outcome. He knew the questions about whether he would go play for the Oakland Athletics or enter the NFL draft would come, the way they have over the past two months, but he said, "I really haven't thought about it right now."
All he could think about was the way the season ended.