Previewing the Valero Alamo Bowl: Texas vs. Washington
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This is the preview for the Valero Alamo Bowl
Date: Thursday, Dec. 29, 9:00 p.m. ET
Alamodome (San Antonio, TX)
Betting splits: 81% of handle, 55% of bets on Washington
Two announcements have made a major impact on this matchup. Michael Penix Jr., the nation’s leading passer with 4,354 yards, said in early December that he’s returning to Washington as a sixth-year senior. Bijan Robinson, one of the top running backs in Texas history, recently said he’s bailing on the bowl to get ready for the NFL Draft. The announcement by Penix was a minor surprise, but the move by Robinson was no surprise. The Longhorns were 7-point favorites and one point before the line dipped to -4, and the adjustment is understandable due to Robinson’s worth to the Texas offense. Robinson ranks fourth on the program’s career rushing list with 3,410 yards, and he’s projected to be a first-round pick.
The Huskies won their last six games to finish the regular season 10-2 for first-year coach Kalen DeBoer, who took an offense that averaged 21.5 points per game in 2021 and raised it to 40.8 PPG this season. In the regular-season finale, a 51-33 win over Washington State, Penix passed for 485 yards as Washington totaled 703 yards. The Huskies are not bad on defense, allowing 26.3 points, but that’s their primary disadvantage in this matchup. The bowl’s location, San Antonio, is another edge for Texas. When the Longhorns won the Alamo Bowl in 2020, the MVP of the game was Robinson. He has opted out along with senior running back Roschon Johnson and senior linebacker DeMarvion Overshown.
The coaching edge goes to DeBoer, who seems to do everything better than Texas’ Steve Sarkisian. The quarterback edge goes to Penix, who makes more big plays and is more consistent than the Longhorns’ Quinn Ewers. Texas did win three of its last four games, highlighted by a 34-27 victory at Kansas State in early November, but Robinson had monster rushing performances in each of the wins. With Penix in and Robinson out, the Huskies should be live dogs. It would not be surprising if Washington plays well enough to get the win.
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