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When you woke up this morning, you were sun-kissed with rays of a trio of bowl games. Three magnificent ones we need to treasure before protocols start gobbling them up and we don’t get to experience their majesty. Remember, we only have 18 games left in this season so let’s explore a mighty one, the Alamo Bowl.
Oregon and Oklahoma battle in the 29th edition of a game that’s traditionally pretty competitive. Fourteen previous Alamo Bowls have been decided by a single possession. To keep that tradition alive, we must explore who’s playing because these two teams will look very different.
Oregon, for starters, will be without defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux. He plus receiver Devon Williams and cornerback Mykael Wright all declared for the NFL Draft. On the defensive side, the Ducks will be missing cornerback DJ James and defensive tackle Jayson Jones, each entered the transfer portal.
For Oklahoma, three defensive studs and the top three sack-nabbers are all away with NFL Draft prep on their minds: linebacker Nik Bonitto, defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey and linebacker Brian Asamoah. This all sets up for a potential explosion of free-running offenses (total is 60.5) but I don’t think that’s the play here.
Oklahoma is a 6-point favorite and that has trickled up from -3 since opening. I think it’s for a fair reason. Oklahoma starter Caleb Williams is a pretty darn good QB when not being toyed with in the lineup. He’s thrown for 18 touchdowns and only four interceptions and ran for another six scores in just seven starts. In those starts he went 4-2 overall those and 3-2-1 ATS. I also think we will see Bon Stoops protect Williams (because he is Brent Venables’ future) with a heavy dose of their running game which features a 3-time 1,000-yard tailback (Kennedy Brooks). Without Thibodeaux and Winfrey to defend, I think he and anyone else will have some room to get loose. Oregon has allowed 208 and 191 yards in each of their most important games at the end of the season (both against Utah).
I’m digging on Oklahoma -6 tonight. I don’t think motivation is going to be an issue for either one of these teams, but I believe more in Oklahoma and their current offense. Plus, it’s one more game for Big Game Bob. He’s 5-2 ATS in BCS & BCS-equivalent games while the PAC-12 is 8-24-1 ATS in bowls since 2016.