The Texas Longhorns (7-5, 5-4) look to close out a disappointing 2019 season with a win over the #11 Utah Utes (11-2, 8-1) in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Tuesday night. Following a 10-win season last year capped with a win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, that success didn’t carry over in Austin in the 2019 campaign. Tom Herman fired both his offensive and defensive coordinators following the regular season finale, leaving the Longhorns to face the Utes with interim defensive coordinator Craig Naivar and Herman handling play-calling himself one last time.
A win vaults Texas to an 8-5 record while a loss gives Herman his second 7-6 season as head coach in three years in Austin.
Can the Longhorns pull off the upset over a ranked team in San Antonio? Our staff provides their thoughts on the outcome of the 2019 Alamo Bowl.
Given everything that Texas has been through this season and with the recent shakeup in the coaching staff, it is difficult not to favor Utah in this game. Things are less than desirable in Austin but I think this program knows what a 3rd straight bowl win over a really good Utes team would mean. With a healthy slate of players, including Collin Johnson back in the lineup, I think Texas gets up for this game and takes advantage of a depleted Utah secondary.
Score Prediction: Texas 27, Utah 24
This team is finally healthy, and the question all year has been how this team can perform when they’re fully healthy. Now we’ll see, but following the coaching turnover and chaos that has surrounded the program in the last month, I find it difficult to believe that they can beat one of the best teams of this season even if it is in their own backyard. I think they hang with Utah early, but the Utes defensive dominance takes over in the second half to lead them to victory.
Score Prediction: Utah 31, Texas 21
Utah will enter Tuesday’s matchup in a similar situation as Georgia a year ago in the Sugar Bowl. The Utes were on the doorstep of the college football playoff before falling to Oregon in the PAC 12 championship game. Utah probably has the best defense Texas will face all season, even without several key members of the secondary.
For Texas, they will have interim defensive coordinator Craig Naivar calling the plays for the defense while Tom Herman will handle the bulk of the play calling on the offensive side. It will be interesting to see how Texas responds without several members of the coaching staff who have been with the program for close to 3 years. The return of Collin Johnson should provide the offense a small boost, but Utah is the better team right now and should come away with the victory.
Score Prediction: Utah 28, Texas 21.
When attempting to make a prediction for the Alamo Bowl, your focus goes straight to Herman’s past success in bowl games and you feel pretty good about the Horns’ chances. But taking a deeper look at things, it’s hard to get past their tumultuous finish to the 2019 season and the subsequent staff turnover that is still happening. Even if nothing had changed for Texas since the Tech game in late November, there are simply too many questions marks in this game like a woefully inconsistent offense with poor offensive line play facing one of the best defenses in the nation. Basically, on paper, this is a bad match-up at a bad time for the Longhorns and Utah should win comfortably.
Score Prediction: Utah 34, Texas 20.
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