Alabama vs. Texas (+4, 46)
Texas will win if …
Colt McCoy has a great game. He will have to be flawless out of the spread against the Tide D. If he is not then this could be a game like Nebraska where the offense struggles.
He won’t have to hit the long passes, but needs to take a few midrange chances in order to keep the Alabama offense honest. The no huddle offense could throw off an Alabama defense that is ranked #2 overall in total defense.
While Texas has to establish a quick tempo and has to find its groove early on, the biggest key will have to be limiting the amount of plays Alabama runs and that means coming up and stopping the run and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. Alabama loves to ground out games with its ground attack, but going up against Texas’ #1 rush defense may be a new challenge all in its own.
Alabama ran the ball 53 times in the blowout against Florida and also rant he ball 41 or more times in their first six games. In two of their lower rushing attempts this season they were able to win the games, but they were much closer against Auburn and Tennessee.
Alabama will win if …
Greg McElroy doesn’t worry about interceptions. He has thrown only three all season and is the main reason why Alabama is where they are today. McElroy has been tested by multiple top pass defenses out of the SEC including six in the top 20 of pass defense in the nation. Add in another team ranked #29 in pass defense and McElroy has seen his fair share of talented pass defenses.
With that said he also can not be afraid to take chances. McElroy gets a bad wrap in my opinion because of the strength of the running game. That’s how Saban likes to play football, but McElroy is a very good QB. Texas’ secondary may be beatable especially when Sam Bradford and Landry Jones were able to throw for 327 yards, and Texas Tech threw for 42- and Texas A&M’s Jerrod Johnson threw for 342 yards. Nobody else came close to throwing for 300, but if McElroy can muster up a big game Alabama should win.
Defensively, the Tide will have to sell out to get to McCoy, and judging by the Texas protection against Nebraska who posses a similar defense to Alabama it might be possible. Nebraska sacked McCoy 9 times in that game, but still failed to lose so even if they get to McCoy it does not necessarily mean they win this game. Texas has only played two defenses that have the caliber of defense that resides in Alabama. Those two are Oklahoma and Nebraska. They beat Oklahoma and they beat Nebraska in close games proving that maybe this is McCoy’s year. He pulls out the close games.
No, he probably can’t throw three picks if Alabama wants to win this game, but he can’t be afraid to take some chances and he’ll have to rely on his defense to clean up a few mistakes. Muschamp will fool McElroy a few times, but that doesn’t mean the Alabama offense should stop spreading the ball around. No, McElroy isn’t McCoy, but he’s every bit as good, or at least every bit as effective, as Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, who was able to combine with Sam Bradford (before getting hurt) to throw for 327 yards on the Longhorn D. Taylor Potts of Texas Tech threw for 420 and three scores, and Texas A&M’s Jerrod Johnson threw for 342 yards and four scores. Outside of the Nebraska game, which took on its own life, those were UT’s three close calls and they just so happened to be the three games that the D gave up the most passing yards this year. No one else came close to throwing for 300, and neither will McElroy, but 250 effective yards might be enough for the win.
Make sure you check out my winning National Championship pick. I have been getting it done for you all season as the #1 NCAAF Handicapper. Unfortunately last night I had Troy +3 and although it was a push I thought it should have been a win if it weren’t for a kickoff return TD and a late 2 point conversion by Central Michigan. None the less we are still 21-9-2 this Bowl Season and we will try to go out on top with a NCAAF POD here tonight!