Texas Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian has seen the potential offensive explosiveness of the Alamo Bowl. He coached his Washington Huskies in his 2011 edition of the game, Baylor, where he lost to the Bears 67–56.
But it doesn’t seem like the Alamo will be struck twice by lightning like it was more than a decade ago. At least not for the Sarkisians.
Even behind unofficial home field advantage, the No. 20 Longhorns were unable to produce anything in the first half offense of the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on Thursday. The first quarter made all the difference with his 13-3 deficit for Texas heading into halftime.
Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers had 14 of 20 yards for 126 yards in the first half, but was effective as he missed several tide-turning chances for the Horns. Receiver Xavier Worthy, wearing the new No. 1 jersey, led all pass catchers with five catches for 42 yards at the half.
Washington quarterback Michael Pennix Jr. was subdued by normal standards, completing 16-of-30 passes for 139 yards, no touchdowns and no picks.
Washington’s powerful offense seemed all over the place on the first play from scrimmage, with Penix Jr. taking the flicker of a flea and dropping a 35-yard bomb onto receiver Ja’Lynn Polk.
But just three plays later, Gerrin Thompson picked up a spiteful pass from Pennix to give Texas the possession. The Longhorns went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, but flipping the Huskies just outside the red zone was a big win for the defense… until it wasn’t.
The Huskies blocked the punt and quickly got the ball back at the Texas 30-yard line. When the Longhorns defense held up again, Washington managed a field goal to take a 3–0 lead.
This stout start against arguably the best offense in the country was a difficult one to sustain, shortly after the Longhorns tied the game at 3-3 after a 27-yard catch-and-run by receiver Kasey Kahne. bore fruit. Texas in field goal range.
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After slowing down towards midfield on the ensuing drive, the Huskies smashed another big one and running back Wayne Taulapapa erupted for a 42-yard touchdown to give the Huskies a 10-3 lead.
The Longhorns went for it on the ensuing drive in 4th and 1st from Washington’s 37-yard line, but a questionable pass from Ewers was well behind Worthy as the Huskies took over.
The teams then traded punts for their next four drives before the Huskies added a field goal just before the half to extend their lead to 13-3. The wide-open touchdown was in the hands of receiver Rome Odunze, and he dropped the ball as Washington had to settle for a 3-pointer.
The Longhorns receive the second half kickoff.
You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter. @ZachDimmitt7
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