2022 Alamo Bowl – Texas vs Washington (12/29/22 – 9:00 pm EDT)
Line: Texas -3.5
Texas Longhorns vs Washington Huskies
With only two days left in 2022, the Texas Longhorns of the Big 12 will square off against the Pac-12’s Washington Huskies in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday night. The 20th-ranked Longhorns come into the Alamo Bowl having won their final game of the regular season 38-27 over Baylor while the 12th-ranked Huskies finished off Washington State 51-33 to earn a trip to this bowl game.
Maybe on the surface, Texas doesn’t look intimidating if you based it on their 8-4 record but that wouldn’t be smart. See, the Longhorns have a strong running game led by one of the best running backs in the country, a guy named Bijan Robinson. We’ll get to that later. In any event, Texas went a solid 6-3 in the Big 12 and went 8-4 against the spread (ATS) along with an even 6-6 versus the over/under.
Four losses are a lot of games for a Power 5 school trying to contend every year but the Longhorns are the best 8-4 team in the country, hands down. They only lost their game to Alabama, ranked number one at the time, by one point, and, in their four losses, Texas lost by an average of only 4.5 points a contest. Three of the Longhorns’ four losses came against ranked opponents in the aforementioned Crimson Tide, third-ranked TCU, and then-ranked-11th Oklahoma State. Their only loss to an unranked team was against Texas Tech.
Remember we mentioned Robinson? Well, that’s where the Longhorns are scary because their ground game, ranked 27th overall, wears down defenses for 199.6 yards a game. Robinson has racked up 1580 yards of rushing on the year, good for 131.7 yards a game, fifth in the country. He’s also third in college football with 18 rushing TDs. That’s not all. Texas can put up points too, 35.3 of them per game, which is 20th in the country while they’ve only turned the ball over five times on the year, good for 30th overall.
How the heck did the Washington Huskies end up in the Alamo Bowl? If you judged the first half of their season, you wouldn’t think much of them but it was in the second half that the Huskies really turned it on, earning them the trip to this bowl game to face Texas. We’ll get to that in a bit but what matters now is Washington ended the regular season at 10-2 with a 7-5 record ATS and an 8-3-1 record versus the over/under.
The thing with the Huskies is they started off the season nicely with four consecutive wins but that was followed by two big losses to UCLA and Arizona State, knocking them down a few pegs in the standings. Washington, however, would not be deterred as they would go on to win their final six games of the season and come into this contest ranked 12th in the nation.
For the Huskies, their success begins and ends with an offense potent enough to compete with any other in the country. Yes, this is an offense that puts up a college football-best 376.7 passing yards per game in addition to racking up a staggering 521.7 points of offense per contest, good for second-best in the country. There’s more. The Huskies have only turned the ball over twice all season, which is fourth overall, and their 40.8 points scored per game is also fourth-best.
Free Pick: Washington +3.5
Neither one of these teams is going to intimidate the other with its defense. They’re just not. On that note, the Longhorns are ranked 88th in the country in passing yards allowed and that does not bode well for them against the best team in the country through the air. Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. is going to carve up Texas’ secondary throughout the day even if the Longhorns are able to counter with Robinson and its rushing attack. While both teams will score, the Huskies will be able to put the ball into the end zone a few more times than the Longhorns, in a high-scoring affair that should likely blow up the scoreboard. We’re taking Washington +3.5.