Here is everything you need to know ahead of the matchup between the Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Saturday, September 10, 2022; 11:00 a.m. CT; Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium; Austin, Texas
Radio: Longhorn Radio Network (Craig Way, Roger Wallace, Quan Crosby)
Records: Texas 1-0, Alabama 1-0
Rankings: Alabama ranked No. 1 in AP Poll; Texas unranked in AP Poll
Series History: Texas leads series 7-1-1
Last Meeting: Alabama 37, Texas 21 (2009 BCS National Championship)
Favorite: Alabama (-20)
Fun Fact: Both ESPN’s College Gameday and FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff will be live in Austin on Saturday morning for what will undoubtedly be the biggest game of Week 2 of the 2022 college football season.
QB Quinn Ewers
There may not be a player under more pressure this weekend in the nation, both literally and figuratively, than Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers. The freshman quarterback showed both promise and a lack of experience in Week 1 but the litmus test is much higher this week as the Alabama Crimson Tide might very well be the best defense in the country in 2022. If Texas is going to hang with Bama, it will take a Herculean effort from the former five-star signal-caller.
LB DeMarvion Overshown
Texas senior linebacker Demarvion Overshown is the heart and soul of the Longhorns’ defense and he will certainly be busy in this one. Alabama was extremely balanced in their 55-0 Week 1 victory over Utah State, throwing for 281 yards and rushing for 278. That means that Overshown will be vital in both the running and passing game defensively. Alabama’s offense is run by the next key player on our list and he is definitely good enough to give Overshown and the Longhorns problems on Saturday.
Alabama Crimson Tide
QB Bryce Young
The 2021 Heisman winner is one of if not the top prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft and for good reason. Young can make all the throws and has excellent football IQ as a junior. Last week, Young completed 18-28 for 195 yards and five touchdowns in limited action, and his supporting cast is among the best in the nation. Young also led the Tide is rushing last week with five attempts for 100 yards and a score. Look for Young to be acttive again in the running game as well as taking some deep shots to keep the Texas defensive backfield honest.
LB Will Anderson
If Bryce Young wasn’t the best player in football last year, it was Alabama linebacker Will Anderson. As a sophomore, Anderson recorded an FBS-leading 18 sacks, 33.5 TFL’s, and 101 tackles. He will likely be in the Heisman conversation this season if he can replicate those numbers in 2022, and he will be a key for the Texas Longhorns offensive line. If he gets to Quinn Ewers consistently, it will be a long night for UT, but if they can come up with a game plan to neutralize him, it could help the Longhorns find success.
Feed Bijan Robinson early and often. There are two things that are considered a young quarterback’s best friend: a strong running game, and a talented player to check down to in the passing game. Typically that second part would be a tight end, but Robinson is such a dynamic playmaker that he could single-handedly keep Texas in this game. Quinn Ewers will need him to be at his best on Saturday, and if he is the Longhorns have a fighting chance.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 27-2 all-time against his former assistants, but both of those losses came last season as Jimbo Fisher and Kirby Smart both found a way to take down the mighty Tide. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian hopes that he can make it three time in a calendar year, but he will have a tall task with Bryce Young and Will Anderson lined up across from his Longhorns.
PREDICTION: Alabama 51, Texas 28
Texas will keep this game interesting for a half, but the Crimson Tide will come out of halftime with their hair on fire to pull away in the third quarter. The difference in this game will the depth and experience of the Alabama offensive and defensive lines compared to the lack thereof for Texas. While the score looks bad, Quinn Ewers and the Longhorns now have a measuring stick to go off and can learn from losing to the best team in college football.