What You Need To Know: Buffs Vs. Texas In Alamo Bowl
COLORADO (4-1, 3-1 Pac-12) vs. TEXAS (6-3, 5-3 Big 12)
KICKOFF: Tuesday, 7:05 p.m., Alamodome
TV, RADIO: ESPN will televise the game with Dave Pasch, Mike Golic and Kris Budden. KOA Radio will broadcast the game with Voice of the Buffs Mark Johnson on play-by-play and Gary Barnett providing color commentary.
ON THE INTERNET: The game can be heard on the internet at CUBuffs.com or via KOA Radio website (www.850KOA.com). The game can also be heard on the Tunein app, and CUBuffs.com will also provide a live blog with continuous updates and statistics throughout the game.
THE COACHES: Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell is in his first year at the Buffs' helm. He is 4-1 at CU and 39-28 overall as a head coach. Tom Herman, in his fourth year at Texas, is 31-18 with the Longhorns and 53-22 overall as a head coach.
THE SERIES: Colorado trails in the all-time series, 11-7. The Buffs won six in a row over UT from 1989 through 1997, and again in 2001 in the Big 12 championship game. Texas has won the last five, including the 2005 Big 12 title game.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: The Buffs can collect their first bowl win since 2004 (a victory over UTEP in the Houston Bowl) and end a three-game bowl skid. A victory over the No. 20 Longhorns could also vault the Buffs back into the top 25 in the final national polls.
LAST OUTING: Colorado dropped a 38-21 decision to Utah on Dec. 12. Texas beat Kansas State, 69-31, on Dec. 5.
TEAM LEADERS: Offensively, the Buffs are led by Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year Jarek Broussard, who rushed for more than 100 yards in his first four games, including a 301-yard effort against Arizona. He finished the regular season second in nation in rushing yards per game, averaging 162.2. Quarterback Sam Noyer has thrown for exactly 1,000 yards and six touchdowns, and has also rushed for a team-leading five TDs. Wide receiver Dimitri Stanley has 16 catches for a team-high 249 yards while WR Brenden Rice has six catches — but two for touchdowns.
Defensively, the Buffs will be missing leading tackler Nate Landman, out with an injury. But they will have OLB Carson Wells, who has 13.5 tackles for loss, including 4.5 sacks. Up front, DL Mustafa Johnson had 21 tackles, with six for loss, including two sacks.
The Longhorns will lean heavily on senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who threw for 2,406 yards, 25 touchdowns and just five interceptions while also rushing for 382 yards and eight touchdowns. RB Bijan Robinson ran for 520 yards while averaging 6.8 yards per carry while wide receiver Brennan Eagles had 28 catches for 469 yards and five scores.
Like the Buffs, the Longhorns will be missing one of their stars, as linebacker Joseph Ossai opted out of the bowl game. Still, they will have leading tackler Juwan Mitchell (59 stops, 4.5 for loss) and a group that produced 15 takeaways (eight interceptions, seven fumble recoveries).
KEY MATCHUPS: Colorado run game vs. Texas run defense. The Longhorns held three opponents to under 100 yards rushing this year, but also gave up an average of 185 per game on the ground in three losses. If the Buffs can establish a ground game early, they can control tempo and keep UT's quick-strike offense off the field.
Colorado defense vs. UT quarterback Sam Ehlinger. The UT senior can make plays with his arm and legs. He has great pocket presence, makes good decisions and can extend plays. The Buffs can't be expected to keep him under wraps all night, but they do need to limit his explosive playmaking ability and force the UT into some third-and-long situations.
UP NEXT: Next on the Buffs' schedule will be their first spring ball session under Dorrell.