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Texas football: 3 bold predictions for Longhorns in Week 2 game vs. Alabama

Texas Football, Alabama Football

With Week 2 of college football upon us, it is time to make some bold predictions for one of the most anticipated matchups of the weekend between the Texas Longhorns and No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide.

Texas Football Bold Predictions For Week 2 Vs. Alabama Football

The Longhorns are coming off a big 52-10 win over Louisiana-Monroe last week. Although the Crimson Tide will pose a far tougher challenge opponents, it was still a solid showing and should boost Texas players for the Week 2 matchup on Saturday morning.

It also marks the first time Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian will face Alabama head coach Nick Saban. Sarkisian served as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator in 2019 and 2020, aiding the development of quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones, both eventual first-round picks in the NFL draft.

Saturday’s game is a must-watch for college football fans. Here are three bold predictions for the Longhorns matchup against the Crimson Tide in Week 2.

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3. Xavier Worthy finishes the game with 70+ receiving yards

Even though the Longhorns had a great overall offensive performance in Week 1, not all players put their best foot forward. Wide receiver Xavier Worthy only had two receptions for a total of 24 yards, also rushing once for seven yards—underwhelming production after his stellar debut campaign.

As a true freshman last season, Worthy made an immediate impact on the Longhorns’ offense. He broke the freshman school records for receiving yards (981) and receiving touchdowns (12), earning true-freshman All-American honors from multiple outlets.

Texas really needs Worthy to step up to pull off a big upset over Alabama. Quarterback Quinn Ewers should keep an eye on him throughout the day. No receiver in the Longhorns passing attack possesses big-place ability like Worthy.

Expect at least 70 yards from him on Saturday.

2. DeMarvion Overshown gets at least one sack

As much as the offensive line for Alabama is a powerhouse, Texas’ defenders should not be overlooked. If there is one player on the Longhorns defense who will make Bryce Young’s life tough, it is definitely DeMarvion Overshown.

The linebacker is expected to be one of the best defenders in the nation this season. He is on the preseason watch list for multiple individual awards, including the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, awarded to the best defender in college football regardless of position. Overshown had a career-high 74 tackles last season, coming off an impressive 2020 in which he finished with eight tackles for loss and two interceptions.

The Longhorns will have to rely heavily on experience versus a mega-talented team like Alabama, so the presence of Overshown, a fifth-year senior, will loom even larger than normal. If he plays like fans are used to, points might no come so easy for the Crimson Tide. Young will be forced to throw quick passes or use his legs to escape, which might make him tire earlier than expected.

Overshown will certainly lead the team in tackles on Saturday, but do not be surprised if he also gets some tackles for loss and, most importantly, a sack on Young.

1. Texas keeps it close behind raucous home crowd

There is a reason why Alabama is the No. 1 team in the nation. The Crimson Tide have a Heisman contender quarterback in Bryce Young, an elite defender in Will Anderson Jr. and a legendary head coach in Nick Saban. Meanwhile, Texas football is unranked and largely unproven.

On paper, Saturday’s game should be a solid win for the Crimson Tide.

However, there is one big thing that can make a huge difference for the Longhorns: The atmosphere at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium. Even against a smaller school like Louisiana-Monroe, Longhorns fans still showed up and packed the stadium. Almost 100,000 were in attendance in Week 1, and all those fans will be even rowdier on Saturday.

The matchup is featured on ESPN’s College GameDay, so expect Texas students to really show up and support the team as early as possible. The Longhorns have some promise in 2022, and haven’t welcomed a team as good as Alabama to Austin in years. The fans should be very, very loud, perhaps goading the Crimson Tide’s offense into mistakes and penalties it normally avoids.

Even if Alabama is still the clear favorite, the crowd at DKR Texas Memorial Stadium will help the Longhorns put up a good fight. Texas should be able to keep the game close for the most part. Expect a lot of back-and-forth, especially early in the game. It will be difficult to upset Alabama, but Texas’ hopes of a season-defining victory will last longer while playing in Austin.