Texas vs. Colorado: Five questions facing the Longhorns
Five questions facing the Longhorns against Colorado in the Alamo Bowl on Tuesday night (8 p.m., ESPN):
1. IF THIS IS IT, WHAT WILL EHLINGER'S FINAL GAME BE LIKE?
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger has yet to say if he'll enter the NFL draft or return for the additional year that the NCAA has approved. The senior ranks second on most of UT's significant career passing records, but won't catch Colt McCoy's marks for passing yards (he's 1,978 short) or touchdowns (he needs 20). And he's six touchdowns away from McCoy's total touchdowns record of 132. Ehlinger has accounted for six scores twice this season against Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
2. HOW WILL THE NEW-LOOK OFFENSIVE LINE FARE?
All-conference left tackle Samuel Cosmi has opted out and senior center Derek Kerstetter has been lost to injury. The Longhorns will fill those holes with two freshmen. Left tackle Andrej Karic and center Jake Majors have four appearances between them, but both performed well against Kansas State earlier this month. With the newcomers on the line, how will Texas fare against a Colorado defense averaging 2.6 sacks and allowing 156.8 rushing yards per game?
3. WHO WILL END THE SEASON AS TEXAS' TOP TACKLER?
At the top of Texas' season tackles list are linebacker Juwan Mitchell (59) and defensive end Joseph Ossai (55). Ossai, however, has opted out of Tuesday's game to prepare for the NFL draft. And Mitchell will sit out the first half — he was ejected from UT's last game in the third quarter for targeting. Those two things may open the door for linebacker DeMarvion Overshown, with 54 tackles.
4. WILL ANYONE STAND OUT ON SPECIAL TEAMS?
In each of Texas' last three bowl games, there has been a solid play on special teams. Punter Michael Dickson was the MVP of the 2017 Texas Bowl, Cameron Dicker kicked two field goals in the 2018 Sugar Bowl win over Georgia, and D'Shawn Jamison broke a 71-yard punt return last year against Utah. Dicker and Jamison are still around, and Jamison has twice been the Big 12's special teams player of the week this season.
5. WILL TOM HERMAN STAY UNDEFEATED IN BOWL GAMES?
As a head coach, Herman is unbeaten in bowl games. (He had left for the Texas job when Houston was beaten in the 2016 Las Vegas Bowl). Throw in his time as a coordinator and Herman last lost in the postseason in 2013. Among active head coaches, his four bowl wins since 2015 rank behind only Nick Saban's seven, Dabo Swinney's six and Skip Holtz's five.