Well, it's that time of year again where Texas gets to play in it's bowl away from home, the Alamo bowl. The good news is, Texas fans travel well and we should have a significant home field advantage. I also like the matchup. This will be a good test for the young Ewers and we can see what Sark is made of with all of the opt outs et all.
For me, losing Bijan and Rojo is huge from a leadership and production standpoint, but I'm not actually worried for some reason. I think that Killan Robinson and Jonathan Brooks are up to the task and if all things go well, we may even get a chance to see Jaydon Blue have a few carries as well.
The bigger questions I have revolve around the development of Quinn Ewers and some of our losses at receiver and on defense.
Let's start with D. Losing DeMo is going to be huge. Not to mention the others who will be out. We also have to note that we're playing coach K's old team and some of those Washington players know how coach K calls plays. It's been 2 years, sure, but the game of football is remembering certain coaches tendencies and exploiting them. Additionally, the Texas D was best on run defense. Yet, Washington appears to be a pass happy offense. Texas wins on D if our young guys step up. Especially at the linebacker position with DeMo out. We'll be tested in the passing game and will need some big plays to keep the Washington offense from moving the ball.
On offense, Texas saw freshman QB Quinn Ewers play in fits and starts this year. While his numbers weren't terrible compared to other high ranking Texas quarterbacks, and he may have still struggled from injury too, Texas fans could tell his connection with his receivers wasn't there this year. Take out Andrej Karic and Junior Angilau on the O Line, and this could be a recipe for, when does 2023 start? Personally, I think we have some good O linemen waiting in the wings and the older guys are leaving because they already know they can't compete with the freshmen. Which would be good for the bowl game. I also want to see Maalik Murphy get some relatively good snaps in this game. In fact, if Ewers struggles, I'd love to see if Maalik's legs can make up for some of our losses on the O line. Texas wins on offense if Jonathan Brooks gets some of the big runs we've seen him grab during mop up duty and if Quinn and his receivers worked on some of their timing issues during the break. If not, give Maalik a shot!
My gut tells me Texas wins with the home field advantage. I think Ewers is going to work out some of the bugs and while we're shallow at the receiver position, someone will step up enough to get us through. All in all, I think this is going to be a good game and go back and forth. I like Texas 34-28.