Texas vs Washington Odds & Picks: How to Bet Alamo Bowl
Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images and Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured from left: Quinn Ewers (3) of the Texas Longhorns and Michael Penix Jr. (9) of the Washington Huskies.
Texas vs Washington Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Although Washington and Texas have not met on the field in over 20 years, there's plenty of familiarity between the two programs.
Steve Sarkisian is in his second year as the head coach of Texas, previously serving as the Washington head coach from 2009-13. When Sarkisian needed a defensive coordinator in Austin, he hired Huskies coach Pete Kwiatkowski, who had served the same role at Washington since 2014.
New head coach Kalen DeBoer has been an astounding success at Washington in his first season. The Huskies, just a year removed from a lifeless offense, are now a 10-win program with commitments from their biggest contributors to return for the 2023 season.
The Huskies are primed to contend for the Pac-12 title next year but will be looking for their first bowl win over a Power Five team since 2010.
The Longhorns' identity may have a wrinkle heading into the Alamo Bowl. The defense found plenty of success this season stopping the opposing rush and generating a pass rush.
However, linebacker DeMarvion Overshown — a leader in pressures and tackles — has opted out of the Alamo Bowl to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Texas struggled to defend the pass most of the season, turning in a mid-FBS grade in coverage and falling to 85th in allowing the explosive pass. Edge rushers Ovie Oghoufo and Barryn Sorrell will be crucial in rattling Washington's efficient pass attack.
Sarkisian has a laundry list of missing players on offense for this bowl game. Running backs Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson have declared for the NFL Draft, while backup quarterback Hudson Card has committed to Purdue through the transfer portal.
The production in this bowl game will come down to the arm of quarterback Quinn Ewers. The redshirt freshman finished the season with twice as many touchdown passes as interceptions, but accuracy and decision-making have often ended Texas offensive drives early.
Texas Football sophomore wide receiver Xavier Worthy and junior Isaiah Neyor have been added to the Biletnikoff Award watch list, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc. announced on Thursday.pic.twitter.com/6cKvjpNCJH
— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) July 21, 2022
Ewers will look to connect with his two most frequent targets in Xavier Worthy and Jordan Whittington. Any opponent that can generate a pass rush has knocked down the efficiency of Ewers, who sees a 20% drop in adjusted completion percentage in passing attempts with pressure.
More importantly, Ewers' average depth of target was sustained at 11 yards per throw throughout the season. The former Ohio State quarterback averaged just 5.4 yards in average depth of target through the final two games, an indication of injury or a limited playbook.
DeBoer used to serve as the offensive coordinator at Indiana, which paid off in the transfer portal when Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. elected to land at Washington.
The fifth-year senior posted his best season in 2022, recording 29 touchdowns through the air and trimming a turnover play rate to a lean 1.3%. Giving Penix more time in the pocket made all the difference, as his pressure-to-sack ratio dropped from 12.1% at Indiana to 3.6% this season.
Michael Penix Jr. with the LASER pic.twitter.com/7sMnW8XxhO
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 18, 2022
The Huskies are the top team in the nation in terms of Passing Downs Success Rate. Washington thrived against zone coverage and will play this game with its biggest weapons thanks to minimal opt-out and transfer portal activity.
The Huskies offense has been an efficient machine with a top-10 Success Rate and the nation's top mark in Havoc Allowed.
On the other side of the ball, co-coordinators William Inge and Chuck Morrell have improved the defense since last season. However, the Huskies are still susceptible to giving up the big play through the air.
Despite a rank outside the top 100 in Havoc, Washington did secure a top-25 pass rush grade, per PFF. The Huskies average three sacks per game, looking to bring pressure with just the down linemen and minimal blitz.
Quick & violent swipe here from Washington SR EDGE Jeremiah Martin to get the corner and a sack! pic.twitter.com/GTfHrpmuiL
— Alex King (@AKing_Evals) October 23, 2022
Texas vs Washington Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Texas and Washington match up statistically:
Washington Offense vs Texas Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off) vs Pass Rush (Def)
Texas Offense vs Washington Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off) vs Pass Rush (Def)
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams
|Seconds per Play
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics
Texas vs Washington Pick, Prediction
Defensive coordinators licked their chops when combing through game film of how to defend against Ewers. TCU and Baylor had the most success getting Ewers off target, generating pressure on at least 25% of passing attempts.
A crowded pocket also resulted in missed targets, as 22 combined pressures from Oklahoma State and TCU resulted in seven wide receiver drops.
Washington ended the season 21st in PFF pass rush grade thanks to edge rushers Jeremiah Martin and Bralen Trice recording over 50 quarterback hurries on the season.
The strength of Texas' defense is its pass rush, but Washington's offensive line has kept defenders away from Penix all season. Only 20% of Washington snaps saw pressure this season. Penix threw six touchdowns to two interceptions in those situations with a big-time throw rate double that of his turnover-worthy play rate.
Of Penix's 102 passing attempts in a crowded pocket, only four ended with a sack. The loss of Overshown may result in further issues for the Longhorns defense.
Kwiatkowski has run zone coverage on 75% of passing downs this season, a bad formula with Penix under center for Washington. Wide receiver Rome Odunze is the sixth-highest graded target in college football against zone coverage, averaging nearly three yards per route run.
There will be no hiccups with a full-strength Washington offense that ended the season with the best third-down conversion rate in the nation.