Alabama looked like the best team in the country against Utah State, but the level of competition is about to pick up in Week 2. For the first time in over a decade, Alabama will be playing in a true road game against a team outside of the SEC.
The Tide will face off against the Texas Longhorns, one of the strongest programs in the history of college football. However, the Longhorns have not been competitive since losing to Alabama in the National Championship over a decade ago. Now, they host the top team in the country.
What should we expect from this game between two great programs? Here is a preview of the game, the NCAAF odds, and a few college football picks to go along with it.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Texas Longhorns
Saturday, September 10, 2022 – 12:00 PM EDT at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium
Teacher vs. Student
Alabama has the most fruitful coaching tree in college football. His assistants are always on the list of candidates to get head coaching jobs, and many of them succeed. Steve Sarkisian turned his career around in Tuscaloosa, and he is one of many assistants to become head coaches after a stint in Tuscaloosa.
Before last year, Saban had never lost to an assistant. However, he lost to both Jimbo Fisher and Kirby Smart in 2021. Will Sarkisian be the third to do so?
Saban already referenced the familiarity between him and Sarkisian. Texas will know what to expect from Alabama, but Saban will know what to expect from Sarkisian. When both teams have the same advantage, give an edge to Nick Saban.
Battle of the QBs
Bryce Young won the Heisman last year, and he scored 6 total touchdowns in the season opener. It is safe to say that he will be the better quarterback in this game.
However, the Longhorns have a gunslinger as well. Quinn Ewers was one of the top prospects of the 2021 class, and he earned the starting job at Texas after transferring.
This will be a great chance for him to prove himself against an SEC defense, but can he live up to the moment?
Who Has the Edge?
Young is good enough to start in the NFL right now. He also has better weapons around him. The depth at receiver for Alabama is rare, and Young proved in Week 1 that he has chemistry with new players.
Jermaine Burton scored multiple touchdowns, and Young had touchdowns to spare for other receivers.
Keys for the Game
The Run Game
Texas has to get the run game going early in this one. Bijan Robinson is the best running back in college football, and he will need to play like it against the Tide.
If he can get the Longhorns ahead of the chains, Sarkisian can get creative with the plays.
For Alabama, the defense needs to make more big plays. They forced no sacks or turnovers in the season opener.
That is fine against a team like Utah State, but you can’t expect Texas to beat themselves. You have to make some active plays to turn the momentum in your favor.
For Alabama’s offense, you need balance. Jahmyr Gibbs will see plenty of touches, and this needs to keep the Texas defense guessing.
If you keep the defense out of rhythm, you can win with ease. This will mostly fall on the offensive line.
Alabama vs. Texas: NCAAF Week 2 Betting Pick
Last week, Alabama played a clean four quarters of football. Things will be harder on the road against Texas. Still, most of the offense has experience playing in hostile environments. I expect for things to be clean for the Tide, and it will take exquisite quarterback play from Ewers to keep this one close.
Is Ewers capable of this? In theory, yes. However, he hasn’t proven it just yet, and this will be his toughest test all season. Expect Will Anderson to get multiple sacks and be a thorn in Ewers’s side all game.
Texas may score a couple of touchdowns, but Alabama will run away with this one. Don’t be surprised if the backups are in by the fourth quarter. Following the best sportsbooks, I like the explosive Alabama offense to help the Tide cover and for the Over to hit.
NCAAF Pick: Alabama -20 (-110) at BetMGM
NCAAF Pick: Over 61.5 (-108) at MaximBet