Texas vs. Colorado: Five key matchups
Five matchups out of the Alamo Bowl to keep your eye on Tuesday night:
TEXAS' SAM EHLINGER VS. COLORADO'S SAM NOYER
The two quarterbacks are studies in contrast. Ehlinger has won all three bowl games he's played in and was the MVP of the 2018 Sugar Bowl and the offensive player of the game in last year's Alamo Bowl win over Utah. Broussard, meanwhile, split his time last season on Colorado's offense, defense and special teams and initially intended to leave as a graduate transfer. He returned, though, and has compiled 1,000 passing yards and 11 total touchdowns this season.
TEXAS' BIJAN ROBINSON VS. COLORADO'S JAREK BROUSSARD
Both running backs are playmakers. The last time we saw Robinson, the five-star freshman rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns on only nine carries in a 69-31 rout of Kansas State on Dec. 5. He has topped 100 yards in two of his last three games. But he wasn’t the only back who ran wild on Dec. 5. Broussard, playing against Arizona, recorded the fourth 300-yard rushing game in Colorado history. The Dallas native who missed last year with a knee injury is this year's Pac-12 offensive player of the year.
TEXAS' D'SHAWN JAMISON VS. COLORADO'S BRENDEN RICE
Rice — the son of NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice — has two touchdown catches as a freshman. But his biggest matchup battle with Jamison, who has started eight games this season at cornerback, may not come as a wide receiver vs. defensive back. In Colorado's last game, Rice scored on an 81-yard punt return. Jamison has returned two kickoffs and a punt for scores in his three-year career. One of those came against Oklahoma State this season; it was the fifth 100-yard kickoff return in school history.
TEXAS' KEONDRE COBURN VS. COLORADO'S COLBY PURSELL
Coburn, the Longhorns' redshirt sophomore defensive tackle, has suddenly become the veteran of Texas' defensive line since Ta'Quon Graham and Joseph Ossai have opted out and moved on. Coburn has been a fixture on the line for two seasons. He had an 11-tackle game against TCU on Oct. 3. Among the interior linemen who will try to block the 6-2, 348-pound Coburn is Pursell, a 6-4, 305-pound junior center who will be making his 20th career start.
TEXAS VS. POSTSEASON APATHY
The Longhorns had something to play for in their last three bowl games. Texas was trying to secure its first winning season in three years in the 2017 Texas Bowl. National respect was on the line against Georgia in the 2018 Sugar Bowl. And beating a ranked opponent was a great test in last year's Alamo Bowl. But much to the chagrin of fans, their opponents didn’t have as much on the line in those matchups either — and that became an excuse afterward. This year, it's Texas that's ranked and favored, wrapping up a disappointing season against an unranked foe. Plus UT's roster has been hit hard by opt-outs. Will the Longhorns do enough to avoid having to use the “We didn't want to be here” line themselves?