📅 Date: Thursday, December, 29
🕚 Game Time: 9 ET
📺 How To Watch: ESPN
On Thursday night at the Alamodome, the Texas Longhorns will take on the Washington Huskies in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Texas enters this game with an 8-4 record, completing the season with back-to-back wins. Washington has had one of the most remarkable seasons in quite some time for them. They have won six games after suffering back-to-back losses at the beginning of the year. This matchup is certain to be one for the record books.
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As the season ended, a win against Kansas on the road and a victory against Baylor at home helped to turn the tide. However, this team still lacks quality wins. This win against Kansas State is obvious, but this team has mostly struggled against teams who have had success this season. The hope is that a Longhorn-heavy crowd will give them enough advantage to defeat one of the most talented teams they’ve faced this season.
While the Longhorns are still dealing with injuries, none of them seems to be threatening their ability to win this game. Two wide receivers will be out of action indefinitely, while a tight end will join them. The Longhorns will be fine without the three receivers, as neither has gotten a pass this season.
Texas’ ability to succeed on both ends of the ball has helped them succeed this season. They’ll need to be more efficient is this game to hang with Washington. The offense has been getting stronger over the season. The fact that the Longhorns won’t have one of the best running backs in America, Bijan Robinson (6.1 yards/carry and 18 touchdowns), will make it difficult for them to compete, but not impossible. This will only put more pressure on Quinn Ewers (14 touchdowns and six interceptions), who has been a great player at times but has also had a lot of help. It will be interesting to see how Ewers can keep Texas on pace with the Huskies without the running game.
The Huskies have seen a resurgence towards the top of the PAC 12 in year one under Kalen DeBoer. This group has racked up ten wins, which is incredibly impressive. The Huskies can achieve success thanks to one of the most talented offenses in the country and a defense which has only improved over the course of the season. Their success this season has been primarily due to their home-field advantage, which is evident in their perfect 7-0 record at home. This group could face the challenge of travelling halfway across the country for the game. This should also help, as no players have opted out.
The Huskies have one injury to worry about in this game. Jack Westover (concussion), the team’s top tight end, has been a key player this season. Without him, this team may see a slight decline in offensive productivity.
As we mentioned earlier, Washington has been all gas on the offensive side of things, and they won’t be worried about any potential defensive weaknesses. This offense is second in the country in total offense, and first in passing offense. It’s unlikely that the offense will be hurt by the absence of a running game, particularly with Texas without Robinson. They also have the ability to take care of the ball well. Michael Penix Jr. has been a star in his first season of full health and will continue to be an elite player against the Longhorns.
The Huskies have had a fantastic season so far, and they don’t seem to be slowing down for this one. They still have the edge to win, even though they will be travelling to Texas to face off against the State of Texas. Texas will be without Robinson as they’re running back in this game. This is likely to upset the balance of their offense, and cause them to rely too heavily on Ewers, who hasn’t been required to carry the load yet this season. Washington will be delighted to have no opt-outs for this game. With the top offense in the country intact, they should have no problem pulling off the upset and covering the spread. Washington is 4-0 ATS in Washington’s last four non-conference games, and 5-1 ATS after a win with ATS.
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