Alabama will play a true non conference road game for the first time in recent memory. The Crimson Tide will travel to Austin where they will take on Steve Sarkisian and the Texas Longhorns. This matchup is already being hyped up as one of the biggest games of the season even though Texas lost to Kansas last year. Alabama is expected to be one of the best teams in the nation again while Texas retooled their offense and acquired a potential game changing quarterback. The week two game between the Crimson Tide and Longhorns is the subject of today’s 99 Things.
We have focused on the Crimson Tide and Longhorns in numerous posts over this series so we will focus on their matchups today. The matchup to watch for this game will be the Alabama offense against the Texas defense. The Longhorns finished 99th in scoring defense while Alabama finished sixth in scoring offense. I am not a chef but I know this a recipe for disaster for Sarkisian’s team (This was an awful attempt at a dad joke, my apologies). Teams tend to make strides in the second year under a head coach which is what the Texas fans are hoping to see.
The Longhorns allowed over 200 yards rushing per game and struggled to rush the passer. Alabama’s Bryce Young can pick a defense apart if he is given time to allow his receivers to get open. The Crimson Tide also picked up running back Jahmyr Gibbs from Georgia Tech. Gibbs is a violent runner who will find immediate success at Alabama. Teams across the country reached out to Gibbs inquiring about his interest but turning down Nick Saban has always been a tough choice. The Texas defense knows they must improve or Gibbs will tally upwards of 150 rushing yards.
The task for Texas is daunting. Not many programs are able to beat Alabama but the Longhorns are going to try. The Crimson Tide lost to Texas A&M and Georgia last season. Both of the losses included Alabama losing the turnover battle. The Aggies and Bulldogs were able to force two turnovers while only turning the ball over once. Texas needs to follow this example in order to have a chance. A common phrase among analysts is saying a team needs to win the turnover battle but it is legitimately true here. Texas has inexperience in vital positions including quarterback and defensive back, two positions key to limiting turnovers and forcing turnovers. Sarkisian will need to make sure both positions are ready for the Crimson Tide because we know Saban will be ready.
This game is being overhyped to me because Texas went 5-7 while Alabama lost the National Championship. Every sign points to Alabama winning this game by at least three scores. Texas is likely breaking in a new quarterback in Quinn Ewers while Alabama has the reigning Heisman trophy winner. Alabama has Eli Ricks who was a freshman All-American while Texas could be starting Ryan Watts who received limited playing time at Ohio State. All these reasons have me picking Alabama. Give me the Crimson Tide today, tomorrow and every day after.
Alabama wins 38-14