While many college football analysts have Alabama vs. Texas as one of the showpiece matchups of this upcoming season, I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. In all likelihood, this will be an eruption from the Crimson Tide.
Steve Sarkisian will come prepared with tricks up his sleeve, unfortunately he is vastly outmatched by Bryce Young, Will Anderson and company.
Not only do the Tide have the defending Heisman Trophy winner under center, but they may have one of the best pass rush tandems in college football history with Anderson and Dallas Turner.
Young and traded running back Jahmyr Gibbs will be the headliner of Alabama’s offense, but it will be won by the five hogs up front. As well as one of the top seven defensive players under head coach Nick Saban.
Here are the main reasons why the September 10 showdown could get ugly and fast.
Texas’ top seven will struggle
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Against an inferior opponent like Cincinnati last year, look for the Tide to quickly establish a running game. Especially against a conference that really struggled to stop anyone. In 2021, the Longhorns defense was giving up 31 points per week on 200 rushing yards and giving up 26 touchdowns. They were giving up a total of 427 yards of offense each game, forcing just seven fumbles and boasting just two sacks per game. Less than stellar.
Inexperienced tackles against an all-time pass rush
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Dallas Turner and Will Anderson may be one of the best college football duos ever seen when all is said and done. Anderson alone posted 17.5 sacks with 31 tackles for loss. Turner, a true freshman, saw the field a lot more as the season progressed, and he still posted 30 total tackles, including 10 for a loss and 8.5 sacks. Turner and Anderson alone have more sacks than the entire Longhorns defense. To make matters worse, Texas will start a real first year likely at a tackle in Kelvin Banks. On the opposite side is likely Christian Jones who has some experience but has struggled to make an impact this far into his career. It’s probably going to be a long day for these two poor souls.
Quinn Ewers, 19, will make her second college start
Aaron E. Martinez / American Statesman
There is no doubt that Quinn Ewers is a blossoming star who will appear on Sunday. However, getting your second career started at just 19 against a Nick Saban front side is a recipe for disaster. Ewers was transferred from Ohio State after seeing zero playing time as a rookie, so this will be the first time he’s seen any kind of action outside of a tune-up game against Louisiana Monroe. Especially when he’s going to be harassed by Anderson and Turner throughout the game.
Texas was still a 5-7 team last year, lost to Kansas (LOL)
Scott Wachter – USA TODAY Sports
Texas has been very active on the recruiting trail and even poached a few guys from Alabama, but they were still a 5-7 football team in 2021. Including a loss to Kansas, which probably wouldn’t even win a national JUCO title. Going from a losing record to competing with Nick Saban is something no one has ever done and probably never will. They also lost by 19 points to Arkansas, who the Tide got away with, and lost by 23 to the Iowa State Cyclones.
Texas will struggle to involve Bijan Robinson
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Besides having an elite passing rush, DJ Dale and Byron Young will clog up the middle and make things extremely difficult for Bijan Robinson. Alabama will certainly be looking to knock out Texas’ best player in Robinson. The Tide will also have one of the best MLBs in college football coming to stop the run in Henry To’oTo’o and a seasoned Jaylen Moody. So if Texas is going to be successful, it won’t be running between tackles.
Eli Ricks will make Xavier Worthy irrelevant in the afternoon
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Texas’ X-factor is sophomore wide receiver Xavier Worthy. Digne had a truly impressive freshman campaign where he caught 62 balls for 981 yards and 12 scores. He will likely continue to have a breakout year, but that won’t happen on September 10. Eli Ricks, widely regarded as the best corner in college football, will be in his grid all four quarters, which will make things really tough. Opposite Ricks is former five-star prospect kool-aid mckinstry who is looking to have his own breakout season. Nothing will be easy for Texas that day.