The Alamo Bowl
The Longhorns won’t have to travel too far for their bowl game. Texas will be playing the Utah Utes in the Alamo Bowl on New Years Eve.
The Utes finished the regular season as the PAC 12 runner-ups with an 11-2 record, and ranked #11 in the final Playoff Committee Rankings. Texas on the other hand finished in a four way tie for third with Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Kansas State. In this scenario the Alamo bowl got first pick of the team they wanted to play in their bowl game, and they went with the Longhorns.
The Alamo is one of the most prestigious non-NY6 bowl games. All things considered, it’s as good of a landing spot as the 7-5 Longhorns could have hoped for.
Longhorns Keys To Victory
Utah is ranked top ten nationally in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
With Utah’s oppressive defense, consistently going for eighty yard drives on will be near impossible for the longhorns. However, all-American free safety Julian Blackmon left the PAC 12 Championship with a non-contact knee injury and is unlikely to play against Texas in the bowl game. Ehlinger and the longhorn’s will have to capitalize on his absence – assuming he doesn’t return.
Not only that but Utah has shown recent weakness against the run. Despite allowing under sixty rushing yards a game in the regular season, they allowed 239 against Oregon last week. If Texas can run like Oregon they’ve got a chance.
Either way, Texas will have to rely heavily on their defense. Texas is slightly above average nationally in terms of forcing turnovers, with twelve interceptions and seven fumbles recovered on the year. Creating turnovers and big special teams plays to create short fields for Sam Ehlinger and the offense will be crucial to ending 2019 on a high note.
Host of Double Take with Matt and Jake podcast. Writer for SB Nation and Saturday Tailgate.