The 2020 Alamo Bowl will feature the 20th ranked Texas Longhorns and the Colorado Buffalo. This will be the first time that the two teams have met this season. The game will take place on December 29th at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 PM CST and will be televised on ESPN for those watching at home. Texas is currently a nine-and-a-half-point favorite and is being given an 80 percent chance to win the Alamo Bowl. Read the 2020 Alamo Bowl Preview for more on the game.
2020 Alamo Bowl Preview
The Alamo Bowl typically features teams from the BIG-12 and the PAC-12, and this year is no exception. The first Alamo Bowl was played in 1993 and featured California and Iowa in which the Golden Bears were able to outlast the Hawkeyes to the tune of 37-3. This year’s edition of the Alamo Bowl will be the 28th in the history of the bowl game. The previous Alamo Bowl once again featured the Texas Longhorns where they took on the Utah Utes. The longhorns would win this game 38-10. This will be Texas’ fifth appearance in this bowl game and will be Colorado’s second.
Texas’ Year in Review
The Longhorns from Austin, Texas had high expectations coming into the 2020 season. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned, and the Longhorns once again failed to finish in the top spot in the BIG-12 after a 6-3 record. Texas is led by their do-it-all quarterback Sam Ehlinger who finished the year with 2,406 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and five interceptions. His 25 touchdown passes ranked him in the top-ten in all of FBS. Ehlinger also contributed 382 rushing yards on 108 attempts, which included eight rushing scores. The Longhorn offense was the team’s biggest asset behind other key players such as Bijan Robinson, Roschon Johnson, Brennan Eagles, and Joshua Moore. The previous four listed players contributed 20 touchdowns and more than 1,750 yards of offense. Texas’ offense averaged 41.3 points/game this season, however, its defense struggled to follow suit. The Longhorn defense gives up 29.1 points/game which positions them amongst the most average defenses in the NCAA.
Colorado’s Year in Review
Colorado had a surprisingly successful year. The Buffalo made it into a bowl game having only played five games and finishing with a 4-1 record. However, their performance all-season earned them the second spot in the PAC-12 south, just behind the USC Trojans. The Buffs are led by quarterback Sam Noyer. The senior passed for only 1,000 yards and six touchdowns. However, he was able to contribute on the ground as well. Noyer added another 191 rushing yards on 45 attempts and five rushing scores. Colorado is also carried by its running back Jarek Broussard. The sophomore running back rushed for 813 yards on 129 attempts and three rushing scores this season. His rushing yards on the season rank him in the top-25 of all running backs in the NCAA. Colorado averaged close to 30 points/game this season so scoring is not a huge issue for them. The only question mark for Colorado is that they do not have a lot of game experience this year because of the PAC-12 shortened season. However, the Buffalo do belong in this game
Keys to Victory
If the Longhorns want to cap their year with a bowl victory, they will need their star quarterback to play the way he does. Ehlinger’s best assets are his ability to extend plays with his legs and physicality. Texas has made Ehlinger the focal point of its offense including many designed quarterback runs. Tom Herman will not want to stray too far away from this game plan if they hope to beat Colorado. The defense will also want to hold Colorado to fewer than 30 points. There is no doubt that Texas’ offense will put up points, but the defense will have to hold their own.
If Colorado hopes to win, it will have to slow down Ehlinger. The Buffalo will have to switch up different defensive looks or even include a quarterback spy if they hope to contain the Texas quarterback all game. Also, the offense will have to take advantage of Texas’ sometimes porous defense. Lastly, Colorado will need to create running lanes for Broussard to break loose. This team will have a chance to win, but they will need a couple of big yardage plays from their starting running back.