After almost of month of being numb to the pain of the Pac-12 Championship Game result, the Utes are back on the field to take on Texas in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. The Utes are gunning for their 12th win of the season, which would tie them with the 2004 team for the 2nd most wins in program history in a season.
On offense, the Utes have to avoid a repeat of the Pac-12 title game. That means the offensive line needs to play better, without a doubt. Tyler Huntley was hounded all game long against Oregon, and the Utes just couldn’t consistently get things rolling. Things would spark for a minute, and then Oregon would get into the backfield and blow things up. WIth it being both Zack Moss’ and Tyler Huntley’s last game as Utes, I just want to see those two carry the offense, in whatever manner they can. Huntley needs to remain patient and look downfield, because plays will be there to be made, but he needs to be a threat with his legs also. A very delicate balancing act for that with Huntley. Texas is 108th in total defense, so the Utes should be able to move the ball and get some points, but it has got to start up front.
On defense, it’s all about disrupting Sam Ellinger. This is a pass heavy offense, and Utah needs to get him off of his spots and make him force some decisions. He’s got plenty of weapons around him, as Texas always will, but if the defensive line can win up front, that will help out a secondary that’s going to be shuffling in a bunch of guys that will be playing different roles for the first time. Texas is No. 19 in the nation in passing offense, at almost 300 yards per game, so that is where their bread is buttered. This will be a major challenge for a bunch of DBs in new roles, so whatever the front seven can do it take some heat of them will be huge. I’d expect the linebackers to play a huge role in this game too, dropping into coverage, and doing some blitzing too to keep Texas off balance.
It’s the last dance for this special senior class, and hopefully they go out with guns blazing.
Here’s how to watch:
Kick: 5:30pm MT
Stream: ESPN.com or ESPN app