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If you’re a betting person, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has an early lock for you.
Speaking at a business luncheon Thursday, Abbott predicted the outcome of the September 2023 football game between the Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
If you recall, last year’s matchup was a doozy. A heavily favored, No. 1-ranked Alabama team narrowly escaped the Longhorns, 20-19, at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium.
But it was Alabama quarterback Bryce Young who made the difference in the game, Abbott said. And that’s not going to happen this year.
“I have seen what appears to be Alabama’s starting quarterback, and he’s no Bryce Young,” he said.
Abbott was likely referring to Crimson Tide third-year quarterback Jalen Milroe, who will compete with Ty Simpson for the starting job.
Milroe, who is from Katy, Texas, made one start for Alabama last season, against Texas A&M, after Young injured his shoulder the previous week. Milroe completed 12 of 19 passes for 111 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against the Aggies. He also rushed 17 times for 81 yards in the Bama victory.
But Alabama coach Nick Saban said Milroe played with “a lot of anxiety” during that game.
Greg Abbott is optimistic about the 2023 Longhorns.
The Texas governor is calling it now: The Longhorns will win the rematch with Bama.
“Texas has more returning starters than Alabama does,” he said. “The quarterback that was literally running all over Alabama, Quinn Ewers, was injured early in the game. And he’ll be starting again, doing a great job. If he gets hurt, he’s got a pretty good backup in (Arch) Manning.”
The Longhorns and Tide will meet Sept. 9 in Bryant-Denny Stadium. It’s been 121 years since Texas football last traveled to Tuscaloosa.
But this rivalry is just getting started. Because Alabama and Texas will begin playing once every two seasons in 2024, when the Longhorns join the SEC.
But we’re focused on this season. And Governor Abbott says it’ll be a close one — with his beloved Longhorns coming out on top.
“I’m gonna say it’s gonna be 27-21 Texas Longhorns,” he said.
So there you have it, folks. Call your bookies.