Alamo Bowl pits Colorado’s Broussard vs depleted Texas D

Alamo Bowl: No. 20 Texas (6-3) vs Colorado (4-1) , Dec. 29, 9 p.m. Eastern (ESPN)

Line: Texas by 9.

Series record: Texas leads 11-7

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Texas coach Tom Herman faced months of speculation he might get dumped after his fourth season, but now has a chance to lead the Longhorns to their fourth straight bowl victory. Colorado is playing its first bowl game since the Alamo Bowl following the 2016 season.

KEY MATCHUP

A depleted Texas defense against Colorado running back Jarek Broussard, who comes in averaging 162.6 yards rushing, including a 301-yard effort against Arizona. Four team captains on defense, including sacks leader Joseph Ossai, have opted out of the season since late November. Three left after the regular season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas: Freshman running back Bijan Robinson ran for 172 yards and three touchdowns while averaging a whopping 19.1 yards on nine carries in the final regular season game against Kansas State. He looks like the future of the program.

Colorado: Junior linebacker Carson Wells Jr. averages 2.7 tackles for loss per game and the Buffs will need him after losing star LB Nate Landman (ankle). Wells’ ability to anchor a defense tasked with stopping Robinson and keeping Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger from scrambling for big gains will be key.

FACTS & FIGURES

Ehlinger is one of only two Power Five quarterbacks to pass for more than 11,000 yards and rush for more than 1,500. The other is former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy … Colorado and Texas haven’t met since 2009 when Colorado was still a member of the Big 12. They clashed twice in Big 12 championship games, with Colorado winning in 2001 and Texas winning in 2005 on its way to the national championship … Texas will wear “FA” helmet stickers to honor former coach Fred Akers, who died on Dec. 7. Akers was 86-31-2 from 1977-86.

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