SAN ANTONIO, Texas — At the least, the Alamo Bowl will be interesting.
With Texas having six key players — JACK Joseph Ossai, offensive tackle Sam Cosmi, safety Caden Sterns, safety Chris Brown, defensive tackle Ta’Quon Graham and wideout Brennan Eagles — opting out to prepare for the NFL draft and Colorado playing without its best defensive player after linebacker Nate Landman suffered a season-ending injury three weeks ago against Utah, there are a lot of question marks for both teams heading into the game.
The biggest question, however, might be: how interested the Longhorns are in this game?
Are they ready for 2020 to be over with?
Or will the younger players and others who are going to return next fall step up to prove they are ready to take first-team reps when (if?) spring practice rolls around?
The performance against Kansas State and Texas coach Tom Herman’s record in bowl games suggest Texas should come out ready to play in San Antonio.
And play well.
Herman is money in bowl games with a perfect 3-0 record while leading the Longhorns.
Colorado (4-1) seems to be headed in the right direction under first-year coach Karl Dorrell, but the Buffaloes didn’t exactly play a brutal schedule in the regular season and their pass defense is suspect.
Karl Dorrell was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year by the Associated Press.
The biggest thing Texas (6-3) has going for it is that Sam Ehlinger is far and away the best quarterback in this game. His counterpart across the field, Sam Noyer, didn’t throw for 300 yards in five games this season and only threw for more than 200 three times. Granted, Colorado is mainly a rushing team, but when you add in the fact that it might be Ehlinger’s last as a Longhorn, his motivation will be in no short order.
The Longhorns did a good job stopping the run late in the season, and that will be the key against a Buffaloes offense that leans heavily on running back Jarek Broussard (813 yards, three touchdowns).
To tell you how much the Buffaloes rely on the run, consider this: Colorado rushed for more yards than it passed for (1092-1013).
All of this plays into UT's favor.
It’s been an interesting year on the Forty Acres, but like the last three years, it should end with Texas winning a bowl and taking momentum into the spring.