Alamo Bowl Preview and Prediction: Texas vs. Washington
Here is everything you need to know about the 2022 Valero Alamo Bowl between the Texas Longhorns and the Washington Huskies.
Thursday, December 29, 2022; 8:00 p.m. CT; Alamodome; San Antonio, Texas
TV: ESPN (Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic)
Radio: ESPN Radio (Jorge Sedano, Dustin Fox, Ian Fitzsimmons)
Records: Texas (8-4, 6-3 Big 12); Washington (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12)
Rankings: Texas ranked No. 21 (CFP Top 25); Washington ranked No. 12
Last Week: Texas 38, Baylor 27; Washington 51, Washington State 33
Series History: Texas leads 3-1
Last Meeting: Texas 47, Washington 43 (2001)
Favorite: Texas (-3.0)
Fun Fact: The Big 12 Conference has won seven of the last 10 Alamo Bowls, including each of the last three meetings.
QB Quinn Ewers
The obvious focus of the Texas offense has been and should be running back Bijan Robinson. However, there have been reports that Robinson will sit out of this game and start preparing for the 2023 NFL Draft. That puts a new emphasis on the Texas passing game in this contest, and quarterback Quinn Ewers will need to be consistent if he is to lead the Longhorns to victory. On the year, Ewers has thrown for 1,808 yards and 14 touchdowns with six interceptions, completing 56.6% of his passes. Those aren’t quite the numbers he was hoping for, but he is a freshman after all. A big game against Washington could serve as a springboard going into 2023.
LB Jaylan Ford
A first-team All-Big 12 selection, Jaylan Ford had an argument to win the All-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, but that award went to Kansas State’s Felix Anudike-Uzomah. Ford led the Longhorns in tackles (109), interceptions (4), and forced fumbles (2), was fourth in tackles for loss (10), sixth in sacks (2), and eighth in PBU’s (2). The senior linebacker has been all over the field for Texas this season and will need to be yet again against Michael Penix and the Huskies.
QB Michael Penix Jr.
In 2020, Indiana nearly beat Ohio State after a 491-yard, five-touchdown performance from emerging star quarterback Michael Penix Jr. Now, Penix plays for the Washington Huskies and has them rolling in Seattle. In 2022, Penix leads the country with 4,354 passing yards and has also thrown for 29 touchdowns to seven interceptions. The junior signal-caller, who has also found the endzone four times with his legs, leads one of the nation’s top offenses into the Alamo Bowl and will be a major test for the Texa Longhorns’ defense.
DL Jeremiah Martin, DL Bralen Trice
Usually, I would pick just one defensive player to highlight in this spot but in this case we will talk about a tandem of defensive linemen. Jeremiah Martin and Bralen Trice are two of the best pass rushers in the Pac-12 and have a combined 16.5 sacks in 2022, Martin leading with 8.5 and Trice just behind him at 8.0. The Texas offensive line is young, talented, and played well down the stretch, but these two experienced defenders will certainly present a big challenge.
If Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson do in fact declare for the NFL Draft, who will tote the rock for Texas? It will likely be some combination of Jonathan Brooks and Keilan Robinson, but how effective will they be in the run game? Texas needs to establish the line of scrimmage in this game to keep Washington from pinning its ears back and coming after Ewers all game long. If they can run the ball effectively, it will allow Steve Sarkisian to keep things on track for Ewers and keep the Texas offense humming. If not, there could be trouble in San Antonio.
The Huskies have found ways to win close games this season and both of their losses came in back to back weeks and by just one score a piece on the road. Now, with a long trip to the South, can the Huskies take care of business against Bevo? The oddsmakers seem to think that Texas has the advantage in what will likely be a virtual home game for the Longhorns. The tough slate through the Big 12 will have Texas ready to go, while outside of the Oregon schools, Washington has had it pretty easy. It’s time to see if that 10-2 record is legitimate.
PREDICTION: TEXAS 34, WASHINGTON 27
The Longhorns might have some key players sitting out, but this is still one of the best rosters in college football and the wealth of talent in Austin will show here, especially at running back. Despite Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson sitting out, Texas will have a 100-yard rusher against a good Huskies’ rushing defense and the Longhorns will be able to control the clock in the end. Give me Texas to win the game, and cover, after a gutsy and efficient performance from Quinn Ewers.