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Valero Alamo Bowl 2019: Utah vs. Texas TV Schedule, Time and Odds

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 30, 2019

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2019, file photo, Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae (6) celebrates after sacking Colorado quarterback Steven Montez in the second half during an NCAA college football game, in Salt Lake City. Anae was selected to The Associated Press All-Pac 12 Conference team, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Tuesday's Alamo Bowl will be the final college football game of the year and the decade, and it features two programs looking to get rid of a sour taste from disappointing campaigns. 

At the start of December, the Utah Utes were one win away from a chance at the College Football Playoff. 

After falling in the Pac-12 Championship Game, Kyle Whittingham's team dropped in the final rankings to No. 11 and was sent to the Alamo Bowl. 

Utah's last month has been as disappointing as the Texas Longhorns' season. 

Tom Herman's team went from 10-4 with a Sugar Bowl victory over the Georgia Bulldogs to a seven-win team with a 1-3 record against ranked opponents. 

              

Alamo Bowl Information

Date: Tuesday, December 31

Start Time: 7:30 p.m. ET 

TV: ESPN 

Odds (via Caesars): Utah (-7); Over/Under: 55

        

Preview

Richard W. Rodriguez/Associated Press

Motivation could be a question for both sides, after Utah suffered a letdown in its conference title game and Texas went through a disappointing campaign. 

For the Longhorns, the Alamo Bowl is a chance to create momentum for the 2020 campaign, just like last season's Sugar Bowl victory was supposed to do. 

That begins with a reversal of form on defense, and we could see an improved unit after the firing of defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. 

Texas' defenders have confidence in the new system that will be utilized to stop Utah's Tyler Huntley and Zack Moss, as linebacker Joseph Ossai noted to Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune.

"It was tough, especially because I haven't been through anything like this," he said. "....It's hard when you lose a family member. We had our differences, but it was all love at the end of the day. But we've got to move on, and we have a great, great system in place." 

Texas allows 446.3 total yards per game and limited only two of its opponents under 20 points, and in three defeats to Top 25 foes, the Big 12 side was outscored 103-75.

Huntley and Moss have been one of the most dominant offensive duos in the Football Bowl Subdivision, as the former owns 2,966 total yards and 18 total touchdowns, while the latter has 1,359 rushing yards and 15 scores. 

Moss, who has not received the same national attention as Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard, Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins or Clemson's Travis Etienne, has at least 80 yards and one score in every game since October 12. 

If Huntley and Moss get off to a fast start, Utah's defense could contain Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger and open up a decent advantage. 

The Texas junior ranks 15th in the FBS in passing yards and is facing the third-best passing defense that concedes 256.2 yards per contest

In his last three meetings with ranked foes, Ehlinger has a single touchdown pass. He found success versus the LSU Tigers in September with four passing scores, but he has stalled out since in his side's biggest games. 

He may not receive much support from his leading rushers, as the Utes boast the top rushing defense that allows 70.3 yards per game

The Pac-12 South winner is one of 12 FBS programs to let up fewer than 10 scores on the ground. 

Defensive end Bradlee Anae, who has 12.5 sacks, will be the top threat to Ehlinger's effectiveness, while linebackers Devin Lloyd and Francis Bernard, who both have over 80 tackles, could have their way with Texas' stable of running backs. 

Given Utah's stingy defense, it feels unlikely the total will go over 55, and if the Utes control the game from the outset, they could be in line to cover the spread as well.

                

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com

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