Texas has won back-to-back Alamo Bowls. While this is not where the Longhorns wanted to be at the beginning of the season, it is always important to finish strong during bowl season. Texas beat down former Big 12 foe Colorado 55-23 as there are plenty of takeaways from San Antonio but here are my five thoughts from the Alamo Bowl.
- Bijan Robinson MVP
Bijan did everything in this game and when he wasn’t running for touchdowns, he was probably selling food at the concession stand because he did it all for the Longhorns. He broke the Big 12 freshman rushing record in a bowl game and had the most rushing yards in a bowl game for Texas since the 2006 Rose Bowl when Vince Young ran wild on USC for a title. Bijan touched the ball 12 times for a whopping 220 yards and had three total touchdowns. He was clearly the MVP for Texas on Tuesday night and without a doubt he will be a force to be reckoned with for the next couple years in Austin.
2. Casey Thompson Was Spectacular
I was not sure what to expect when Sam Ehlinger went out at halftime, but Casey Thompson showed flashes of greatness in San Antonio. Even though he completed just eight passes, he threw for an incredible 170 yards and four touchdowns in a quarter and a half of work. His performance tied the school bowl record for touchdown passes in a bowl game and he did it in less than half the time than Major Applewhite did back in the 2001 Holiday Bowl. He looked smooth in the pocket and was excellent moving around avoiding pressure and how about his deep ball? Looked darn good to me. It will be interesting to see what 2021 brings him.
3. The Defense
Despite being down several key starters, I must give defensive coordinator Chris Ash credit. Texas absolutely shut down the Colorado rushing attack. Don’t let the box score fool you, this game was over in the third quarter and the Longhorns had plenty of backups and third stringers out there late. I thought they did a great job throughout the night and really forced Colorado’s hand on offense. The Buffaloes could not do much against this defense that was honestly a bit underrated heading into this game.
4. Tom Herman is still Tom Herman
This win was another bowl notch in Tom Herman’s belt as Texas has now won four straight bowl games under Herman which has not happened since 2005 to 2008. Yet I still scratch my head at some of the decision making. In the first three offensive possessions of the game, Bijan Robinson carried the ball a total of six times and rushed for 90 yards and scored twice. Yet Bijan did not touch the ball in the next five Texas possessions and the Longhorns only added three more points before halftime.
What on earth was Tom thinking? Bijan was killing it out there and he look liked he wanted to give him a break until the 2021 season. At that point, the game was still awfully close and to go away from Robinson in favor of Roschon Johnson was interesting to say the least. Of course, the talk will be about Tom Herman’s hot seat all offseason long and while this was an impressive win for Texas, I am still not completely sold with him being in charge at Texas. I think we have seen the ceiling for Tom in Austin and if the Longhorns have plans to win the Big 12 and get into the playoff, I honestly believe they should continue to look elsewhere.
5. So Long Sam?
If you missed the game, Sam Ehlinger played in the first half and sat out the entire second half due to a shoulder injury. Obviously, we all know that this could have very well been his last game in a Texas uniform as he has yet to decide about possibly returning for the 2021 season. If he decides to return, then it will make things interesting in that quarterback room but if he goes then I wish him well. Love him or hate him, Sam Ehlinger is a good young man and is as tough as they come. Texas fans should thank him for his efforts during his time in Austin and for coming there when the program was fresh off a couple of losing seasons. He was certainly a fun player to watch and I wish him the bets moving forward.
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