The Washington Huskies and Baylor Bears will battle in the 19th consecutive Alamo Bowl.
While the Bears (9-3) finished the regular season at No. 12, the Huskies (7-5) were winless in all three of their Top 25 matchups in 2011 and ended the year unranked.
Nevertheless, this game has the potential to be a great one, and it could be a high-scoring offensive spectacle. Even if you're not a fan of either team, you may want to tune in for some exciting football.
Where: Alamodome in San Antonio
When: Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 9:00 p.m. EST
Watch: ESPN, ESPN3
Listen: ESPN Radio
The Baylor Bears will come into the Alamo Bowl with the second-ranked offense in the nation, led by Heisman hopeful Robert Griffin III. The Huskies' offense isn't too shabby either, meaning this matchup could be decided by which defense steps up on game day.
With many points expected to be scored, turnovers and big defensive stops will play a major part in the outcome.
The Huskies must keep the ball away from Griffin III and control the clock or it could be a long day for the underdogs.
Washington's quarterback, Keith Price, isn't as skilled as his opponent, but he can beat defenses and lead his team down the field even if he is forced out of the pocket. However, he will need some big plays from running back Chris Polk to keep up with the Bears explosive attack.
The Huskies will put up a fight, but Baylor might just be too much for their defense to handle.
- Running backs Deontae Cooper and Johri Fogerson will both remain out with knee injuries.
- Cornerback, Adam Long, also is dealing with a knee injury, but his status is questionable along with fellow defensive back, Will Shamburger, who has a neck injury.
- Linebacker Garrett Gilliland is probable with a neck injury.
- Cornerback Tuswani Copeland will be out with the knee injury that claimed his season.
- Cornerbacks Tyler Stephenson and Demetri Goodson are both questionable with ankle injuries.
- Safety Chance Casey is probable with an ankle injury.
What It Means for the Huskies:
Winning this game would be huge for the Huskies' organization, head coach Steve Sarkisian and the fans, but nobody wants it more than the players.
An upset victory over Baylor would be the perfect finale to an up and down season.
They've never played in the Alamo Bowl, but they beat Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl last season after losing badly to them in the regular season.
The Huskies will go into this game with confidence, hoping for their second consecutive bowl game win.
What It Means for the Bears:
The Baylor Bears haven't played in the Alamo Bowl since 1994, when they lost to Washington State. Another loss in this game would be a big letdown for the team, especially since they were crushed by Illinois in the Texas Bowl last year.
They are coming off a good win over No. 22 Texas and this matchup with Washington is theirs to win if they continue to play their best football.
If Robert Griffin III doesn't come away with the Heisman, this game will mean even more to him and the Baylor seniors.
Prediction: 38-27, Baylor