In one of the bigger bowls that isn’t a New Year’s Six Bowl or College Football Playoff game, the Alamo Bowl in Texas is scheduled for Tuesday night. The 2020 edition of Alabama Bowl features the Texas Longhorns and the Colorado Buffaloes. Texas and Colorado used to see one another regularly when the Buffaloes played in the Pac-12. Colorado was in the Big 12 from 1996-2010 until there was a shake up in the conference. The most notable move was Texas A&M going to the SEC, and Nebraska to the Big Ten.
The Buffaloes transferring to the Pac-12 went under the radar compared to the other moves. Colorado had a fantastic season in the Covid-19 season, but came up short of the ultimate goal. They were unable to bypass the USC Trojans in the Pac-12 South following a 38-21 loss against the Utah Utes to close out the season. It was a brief season for Colorado. They played in just five games and finished with a record of 4-1. That isn’t much of a season, but the Pac-12 started their season really late.
We didn’t get to find out much regarding this Colorado team. It’s too bad their regular season ended after just five games in the books. They opened the season with a highly entertaining game against the UCLA Bruins. Colorado was on the winning side of a 48-42 final score. Jarek Broussard paced the Buffaloes to the win with 187 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 6 yards per carry. We haven’t seen the same spark from the Colorado offense in weeks. First-year starter, Sam Noyer, hasn’t been a difference maker, so if the running game isn’t performing, the offense stalls out.
Noyer sat behind Steven Montez for good reason. Not only did Colorado lose Montez, but do-it-all wide receiver, Laviska Shenault Jr., left the NFL as well. The 48-point explosion was not expected by any means. However, I think we’ve been seeing a more accurate representation of the Colorado offense recently. If Sam Ehlinger gets into a groove early in the Alamo Bowl, then Noyer is going to be in a tough spot. This could be the final game of Ehlinger’s career at Texas, though he hasn’t indicated which direction he’s going in yet. He has the option of returning for a fifth season and delaying the NFL. Head below for our free Texas vs. Colorado pick for December 29, 2020 in the Alamo Bowl.
Texas Longhorns vs. Colorado Buffaloes Alamo Bowl Betting Odds:
Texas vs. Colorado Prediction:
This is the second consecutive season that Texas has been pointed to the Alamo Bowl. They were 38-10 winners over a disinterested Utah team in 2019. The year before, Texas impressively dispatched the Georgia Bulldogs by a score of 28-21 in the Sugar Bowl. Ehlinger is a perfect 3-0 in bowl games and will look to make it a clean sweep and repeat as Alamo Bowl champs tonight. Ehlinger and Drew Brees, who went to the same high school, are responsible for the biggest upsets in Alamo Bowl history. That is with regard to ranking, not the point spread. Utah were No. 11 going into the Alamo Bowl, while Kansas State were No. 4 in 1998.
If Ehlinger can get Texas out to a quick lead in this one, it’s likely going to be difficult for Noyer and Colorado to respond. Forcing Colorado into a passing situation for four quarters with Noyer would turn into a disaster. Noyer has passed for 6 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in his career. In his senior campaign, Noyer has thrown for 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions on 58.4% completions. He’s also rushed for 191 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground.
Colorado has to avoid having to depend on Noyer on Tuesday night. They will lean on Jarek Brossuard heavily. He has gained 812 yards and 3 touchdowns on 6.3 yards per carry. So, conversely, if Colorado can establish the run, Texas will be on their heels. Texas has been effective against the run this season, with 135.6 yards conceded per game. The Longhorns can be defeated with the vertical game, but this is something that Colorado does not possess.
Ehlinger has been careful with the ball this season. He’s thrown just 5 interceptions, while tossing 25 touchdowns on 60.1% completions. Bringing him down in the open field can be a problem as well. Ehlinger is a tough runner and can turn a little into a lot, ala Tim Tebow. He ran for 382 yards and 8 touchdowns on 3.5 yards a carry in 2020. The Longhorns scored 41.3 points and racked up 457.3 yards per game this season. Expect the mismatch at quarterback to be the difference here. Ehlinger makes the plays, while Noyer can’t match. I like Texas to win and cover in San Antonio.