It has been a season of ups and downs for both programs, but the Texas Longhorns (6-3, 5-3 Big 12) and Colorado Buffaloes (4-1, 3-1 Pac-12) each have an opportunity to finish strong with a win in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
The Longhorns won four of their last five games while Colorado reeled off four straight wins before losing to Utah in their last game played. Both teams had their last games of the season canceled (Texas vs. Kansas, Colorado vs. Oregon) due to COVID-19 challenges.
These two teams will meet for the 19th time in history, rekindling a matchup that was once frequent until the Buffaloes left the Big 12 for the Pac-12 Conference. The Longhorns hold an 11-7 all-time record against Colorado and have won seven of the last eight.
Texas head coach Tom Herman is undefeated in bowl games (4-0) and looks to win his fourth straight bowl game with the Longhorns.
The Longhorns are favored by 9.5 points in the game, but can the Buffaloes pull off the upset and dish Tom Herman his first bowl loss as a head coach?
The HornSports Staff weighs in with their thoughts and game predictions.
The Alamo Bowl will serve as an opportunity for a lot of younger players to make a name for themselves heading into the offseason. The Longhorns will be without 4 starters on defense and 2 on offense due to players opting out to prepare for the NFL Draft. The good news for Texas is they still have Sam Ehlinger and an emerging Bijan Robinson. The duo may be all the Longhorns need against a Colorado team that would likely be a middle of the pack Big 12 team. The Buffaloes enter with a 4-1 record but played a relatively easy schedule. I believe Texas matches up well on both sides of the ball and will cover the 9.5 point spread.
Score Prediction: Texas 31 Colorado 17
Of course, we have all heard of the opt-outs and transfers but they have only provided the team’s youth with opportunities. Against Kansas State, players such as Jerrin Thompson showcased what fans can expect about the team’s future. In this year’s bowl game, expect big performances from Texas’s underclassmen on offense. Bijan Robinson had a breakout game against K-State but look for him to have another stellar game to end the season. Lastly, in what could potentially be Sam Ehlinger’s last game for the Longhorns, take some time to appreciate what #11 has given to the program. From what we all know about Ehlinger, he wouldn’t want to end his Texas career on a sour note.
Score Prediction: Texas 41, Colorado 20
Another year, another Alamo Bowl but with much less intrigue this time around. Tom Herman’s job status is very much still in question and the Longhorns’ opponent is a Colorado team that has only played five games in a shortened COVID season. To put it as simply as possible, this game shouldn’t be a close contest…at all. Even with Texas having several players opt out (including Joseph Ossai), the match-ups aren’t favorable if you’re a Colorado fan which explains the double-digit underdog status going into
Tuesday night. I expect Texas to test Colorado’s front seven with Bijan Robinson early considering LB Nate Landman is sidelined due to an ankle injury, and go on to control the game throughout assuming they play somewhat clean against a squad averaging only 22 points in their last three games. The good guys close out 2020 as they should.
Score Prediction: Texas 38, Colorado 17.
Despite an underwhelming season, Texas and Tom Herman have a chance to end on high note when they meet Colorado in the Alamo Bowl. Many of the key Longhorns starters have opted out for the draft including Brennan Eagles and Samuel Cosmi. Nonetheless, Texas is still a 2 possession favorite over the Buffaloes. This could serve as a great opportunity for Texas’s young players to get playing time on a big game while Sam Ehlinger looks to likely go out with a bang. Colorado meanwhile comes into this game 4-1. Quarterback Sam Noyer has yet to throw for 300 yards in a game while Jarek Broussard is averaging over 160 yards on the ground per game. Expect this to be closer than expected with all of Texas’s opt outs. They’ve played in six one-possession games this season, expect this to be seven. In a close game, I trust Ehlinger over Noyer. Texas goes out on top while Sam Ehlinger finishes his career with a great win.
Score Prediction: Texas 34, Colorado 30
The Longhorns will be playing with what can be considered a depleted roster, but it will provide many talented underclassmen with much-needed playing time. While Colorado is no pushover, Texas should be able to win this game handily. A healthy Sam Ehlinger with a clear #1 running back in Bijan Robinson, and the Texas offense will move the chains against a Buffs defense that gives up 376 yards of offense per game. The Colorado offense is averaging 421 yards per game and has the capacity to put points up, but the linebacker and secondary play have stepped up for the Longhorns in the last few games – I look for these units to continue to shine in the bowl game. Tom Herman wins this to remain undefeated in bowl games.
Score Prediction: Texas 41, Colorado 31
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