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Valero Alamo Bowl – #11 Utah Utes vs Texas Longhorns

Utes Superior on Defense

Our 2019 Alamo Bowl pick offers Utah at -7.0. The over/under for our Alamo Bowl prediction is 55.0. This is the final of five games played on December 31. The day’s bowl games start at noon with Virginia Tech playing Kentucky in the Belk Bowl. Ringing in the new year, the Valero Alamo Bowl kicks off at 7:30 pm ET. It will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

The #11 Utah Utes (11-2) topped the Pac-12 South with an 8-1 record. The Utes played the #13 Oregon Ducks for the conference championship. The Ducks trounced Utah 37-15 to take the title. In the Big 12, the Texas Longhorns (7-5) finished with a 5-4 record. That tied them with three other teams for third place. The #7 Baylor Bears finished second in the conference and the #4 Oklahoma Sooners were first.

2019 Alamo Bowl Pick – Regular Season

The Utah Utes lost one regular-season game. That loss occurred on September 20 when they met USC. The Trojans beat the Utes 30-23. After that loss, Utah won eight straight games. During the regular season, the Utes played and beat one top 25 team. They took down the #17 Arizona State Sun Devils 21-3.

Our 2019 Alamo Bowl pick notes that the Texas Longhorns had one winning streak all season. It was for three games and went from September 14 through October 5. The Longhorns opened the season going 4-1. But that one loss was a big one as the #9 Oklahoma Sooners beat Texas 34-27. In their last seven games, Texas went 3-4. During that time, they beat #16 Kansas State 27-24. On November 23, #14 Baylor beat the Longhorns 24-10. They did win their final game of the season, beating Texas Tech 49-24.

Utah Utes vs Texas Longhorns – Stats

The Utes averaged 34.0 PPG, while the Longhorns posted 35.0 PPG. Utah averaged 442.5 offensive yards per game, while Texas recorded 468.2 YPG. The Utes were good for 235.5 passing YPG and 207.0 rushing YPG. The Longhorns put up 296.2 air YPG and 172.0 ground YPG.

While Utah focuses mainly on their rush attack and Texas their passing game, the major difference between these two teams is on defense. The Utes allowed opponents a paltry 13.2 PPG. In contrast, the Texans gave up 28.9 PPG. In connection to points allowed, the Utes gave up a total of 256.2. Consequently, they permitted just 185.9 YPG in the air and 70.3 YPG on the ground. In relationship to those stats, the Texas D allowed 446.3 YPG. Of those 446.3 defensive yards, a total of 306.4 YPG were passing and 139.8 YPG were rushing.

Utah at Texas – Players

The Utes and Longhorns both have fine offenses. Utah has both a solid pass and rush attack. The Longhorns possess lots of options on offense. However, as noted, and this is in terms of stats and players, the Utes are much better situated when it comes to defense.

Utah Utes

Unlike many bowl-bound teams with promising NFL prospects, the Utes top players are, for the most part, participating in this game. QB Tyler Huntley comes to this contest with 2,966 passing yards and 257 rushing yards. He’s completing 73.7% of his passes and has tossed 18 TD passes and rushed for five more scores. Huntley threw just four interceptions and was sacked 19 times. The quarterback likes to spread the ball around amongst receivers. TE Brant Kuithe, the top pass catcher, recorded 31 receptions, grabbing six for TDs. RB Zack Moss averaged 6.2 YPA and scored 15 times. He had 219 carries and 1,359 yards.

Our 2019 Alamo Bowl pick notes that this team has some amazing defensive players, including DE Bradlee Anae who bring 12.6 sacks to this contest. DB Julian Blackmon grabbed four picks and defended four passes, while LB Devin Lloyd, who posted 5.5 sacks, leads the team with 85 total tackles. DB Jaylon Johnson, a star in the secondary, is skipping the game. The Utes have recorded 30 sacks, 13 INTs, and 52 PD. They’ve forced 10 fumbles and recovered eight. The D has scored six touchdowns.

Texas Longhorns

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger amassed 3,642 yards and 29 TD passes while tossing nine interceptions. He’s completing 65.1% of his passes. He also has 590 rushing yards and six TD runs. Top receiver Devin Duvernay, who’s listed as probable, has recorded 103 catches 1,294 yards, and eight TDs. Two other receivers have six TD catches each. RB Keaontay Ingram and QB Roschon Johnson have scored six and seven times respectively.

The Longhorns have nine FF and seven recoveries as well as 12 INTs and 42 PD. Sacks total 22. DB D’Shawn Jamison comes to this game with three picks and three PD. DB Brandon Jones leads the team with 64 solo tackles and 86 total tackles. Plus, he has two picks and four PD.

Five Keys to the Game

In creating our 2019 Alamo Bowl pick, we acknowledge these keys to the game:

Offenses closely matched
Texas D is giving up lots of points and yards
Utah D is stingy and unrelenting
Texas was middle of the pack in Big 12
Utes topped division in Pac-12 for a reason

Our 2019 Alamo Bowl Pick

Our 2019 Alamo Bowl pick likes the Utes a lot. They have just about their entire cadre of premium players on hand. This team, like Texas, can score. But, unlike the Longhorns, Utah’s defense is stellar. We’re taking Utah at -7.0. Plus, we’re going with the over at 54. Utah should score at least 40 and Texas a good 20.

Alamo Bowl Pick – Summary

Utah Utes at -7.0 and over 55.0

pmroczka

Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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