Photo: USA TODAY Sports
Top-ranked Alabama heads to Austin on Saturday for an 11:00 AM kickoff which will include ESPN's College Game Day crew on-hand. The Longhorns are 7-1-1 all-time against the Crimson Tide, with the last meeting between the two taking place in the National Championship Game in January, 2010. Nick Saban brings a Heisman winner into Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in quarterback Bryce Young, while heralded Texas QB Quinn Ewers looks to prove he can lead Texas to a big win early on in his career on The 40 Acres. Underdogs by roughly 20 points, do the Longhorns have what it takes to pull off the upset of Saban and the Tide? Our staff weighs in with thoughts and predictions on Saturday's contest in Austin.
Jameson McCausland (1-0)
If Texas had Isaiah Neyor and Jahleel Billingsley available, I would look at this game much differently. I believe Texas will be able to scheme up some things offensively to keep them in the game early, but it is going to be tough to trade punches with the Crimson Tide for 60 minutes.
I think Texas is going to keep this game closer than many believe, but Alabama just has too much firepower on both sides of the ball.
Score Prediction: Alabama 38, Texas 24
Devon Messinger (1-0)
The Death Star arrives in Austin on Saturday for the highly-anticipated rematch of the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. However, this is by no means a similar matchup to the one that occurred over a decade ago as both programs have gone in opposite directions.
For the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, returning Heisman winner Bryce Young leads the way at quarterback and, like always, has a fair share of weapons to rely on. Additionally, the Alabama defense, particularly at linebacker, most likely keeps opposing quarterbacks up at night.
The keys for the game are relatively simple yet universal, Texas's offense has to remain efficient and refrain from turning over the football. Meanwhile, the defense has to wish for the opposite.
On Saturday, the name of the game is growth. Will this Texas team stand up to the bully of the college football block or be humiliated on national television? Will this game be a turning point in the team's culture or will they sulk when the going gets tough?
Score Prediction: Alabama 41, Texas 24
Aaron Carrara (1-0)
David welcomes Goliath to Austin on Saturday in a hot-ticket matchup that is unquestionably the game of the week in college football. Texas and Alabama are two storied football programs, but it is undeniable that the Crimson Tide is one of the hottest programs over the last 10 years. The Tide return a scorching offense led by Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young and a defense that gave up just 136 total yards to Utah State last week. The Texas offensive line must do enough to give Quinn Ewers and the Texas running backs opportunities to make plays. Unlike Texas, Alabama has tremendous depth on both sides of the ball and Steve Sarkisian has a tall task at-hand if he wants to pull off the upset over the top-ranked team in the country. Sark has talked about the progress the team has made mentally, physically and culturally since a dismal last season, and this is the game to show those strides.
Score Prediction: Alabama 41, Texas 27
Ryan Swantkowski (0-0)
The game football fans around the country have been waiting for has arrived. Texas handled ULM last week while Alabama did the same to Utah State. The Big Blue, though, actually finished ranked to end the season last year and went into Tuscaloosa having won two straight games against power five schools. They lost 55 to 0. This Alabama team looks as dangerous as ever with Heisman QB Bryce Young, LB Will Anderson Jr. and others. While Texas is dangerous themselves with RB Bijan Robinson, WR Xavier Worthy and unproven QB Quinn Ewers, their lack of experience on the offensive line worries me. While I believe Texas keeps this game somewhat competitive, expect the Tide to keep on rolling.
Score Prediction: Alabama 42, Texas 24
Mitch Lovell (1-0)
The Longhorns will play closer than the final score indicates, as the offense scores points and the defense will show better than most expect. Alabama is simply playing at another level that most teams in the nation are not, including Texas.
Score Prediction: Alabama 45, Texas 28
Since their last match-up in the 2010 national title game, Alabama and Texas’ program trajectories couldn’t be more opposite. One dominant run came to a screeching halt that day while the other remains on the mountain top of CFB a dozen years later. If we’re all being brutally honest with ourselves and take off the burnt orange glasses, beer goggles, what have you, Texas will need nothing short of the best, cleanest performance they can muster on Saturday night. Even that may not be enough to take down the GOAT and this season’s championship favorite, but a lot of help from the football gods would be poetic repayment for Colt McCoy’s throwing arm. There isn’t a lot of room for analysis this week other than hoping the new kid doesn’t throw up on himself at the SEC pre-party.
Score Prediction: Alabama 45, Texas 24