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Grading the Game: Texas

Game grades, bowl edition!

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Texas at Washington Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Passing Offense - B+

Credit to the Texas secondary, they did not make things easy on the UW receivers. There were some possible missed pass interference calls, but this was ultimately a quieter day for the air attack. After Michael Penix Jr. completed the 35-yard flea flicker on the first play, he was 0/9 on throws 20+ yards downfield. He finished 4/11 for 50 yards on throws 10-20 yards downfield. Penix did not have a bad game by any means, but ended the game with just 5.3 yards per attempt.

As always, he came up big when it mattered most in the third and fourth quarters, leading the team on two touchdown drives, converting multiple third downs, two fourth downs, eating up 12+ minutes of clock, and keeping the defense rested. Jalen McMillan had multiple clutch catches, including a fingertip touchdown grab he snatched just as it was about to clip the top of the grass.

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Texas at Washington Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Rushing Offense - A

As usual, the run game was not the focal point of the offensive attack (28 runs vs. 54 passes), but made plays and kept drives alive. Wayne Taulapapa finished his Washington career with a 14 carry, 108 yard performance, highlighted by his 42 yard touchdown stiff arm induced touchdown run in the first quarter. Richard Newton - filling in for an injured Cam Davis - averaged exactly 4.0 yards per carry on his 11 runs. The offensive line did not allow a tackle for loss, or a sack for that matter.

Passing Defense - B-

Out their top two running backs, Texas wanted to rely on Quinn Ewers and the pass game. He finished with a 65% completion percentage, 369 yards, and a touchdown. His touchdown pass to running back Jonathan Brooks saw multiple Husky defenders take poor angles allowing the speedy Brooks find the end zone.

If not for a couple of Xavier Worthy drops, his stat line may have been even better. One was a probable a big gain, while later he dropped what was almost assuredly a touchdown after getting behind the secondary. Mishael Powell continued to show his strengths as an open field tackler, corralling Texas receivers before they could turn upfield. Bralen Trice made his presence felt with two sacks, and constantly moving Ewers off his spot.

Rushing Defense - A-

Like Washington, Texas did not put much jet fuel behind the run game, carrying the ball just 18 times, with just 14 of those being direct carries to running backs, who averaged just 3.2 yards per carry. Quinn Ewers got loose once for a 13-yard scramble, but Washington contained the Texas run game. Kris Moll in his last game as a Husky had one of three tackles for loss for Washington.

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Texas at Washington Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Special Teams - A-

Jack McCallister punted three whole times, put one inside the 20, and had a touchback on another. Kickoffs were good, except Giles Jackson’s decision to make a return and gain only 12 yards. Peyton Henry wrapped up his Husky career nailing both of his field goals, including a 46-yarder.

Coaching - A

There was a lot of history working against Washington going into this game. The last 14 PAC 12 teams averaging 25+ points per game have gone 0-14 in the Alamo Bowl (so says some guy on Twitter, haven’t actually checked.) The Big 12 was 11-3 in the last 14 Alamo Bowls, with Texas winning 2 of the last 3. Despite what you think of this Texas team, or Sark as a coach, not many Pac-12 teams win bowl games in Texas against Texas teams. So, I’ll take it.

Texas out gained Washington’s 5.4 yards per play by over a yard, but Washington ran 83 plays to Texas’ 65, and dominated the ball in the second half. As they’ve shown all year, this team and coaching staff knows how to adjust and take what defenses give them.