No. 12 Washington takes down No. 20 Texas in Alamo Bowl

No. 12 Washington takes down No. 20 Texas in Alamo Bowl

No. 12 Washington knocked off No. 20 Texas 27-20 in the Alamo Bowl to capture its first 11-win season since 2016.

The Huskies weren’t bothered by the Longhorns for most of the game. UW took a 17-point lead early in the fourth quarter thanks to a Michael Penix Jr. TD pass. to Jalen McMillan. Texas cut the lead to seven with 1:40 left, and got the ball with a chance for a potential game-winning TD and two-point conversion with 31 seconds left. But the last drive with no breaks left didn’t crash for the first time.

The win means Washington finishes the season 11-2 in Kalen DeBoer’s first season as head coach. Washington sat Jimmy Lake nine games into a troubled 2021 season and finished the season 4-8. It hired DeBoer from Fresno State, and the former Indiana offensive coordinator quickly landed former Indiana QB Penix as a transfer.

The move paid off as Penix was one of the nation’s most productive passers in 2022 and the Huskies won seven more games than a season ago. Washington made one of the biggest upgrades of any team in college football’s highest level in 2022 and is well positioned to be a Pac-12 contender again next season.

Penix will return in 2023 as the Pac-12 boasts one of the strongest quarterback groups in college football. Heisman winner Caleb Williams is returning for USC while Oregon’s Bo Nix will return along with Washington State’s Cam Ward. Oregon State landed Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei, former Notre Dame QB Drew Pyne is transferring to Arizona State and Kent State QB Collin Schlee is transferring to UCLA.

Texas, meanwhile, finishes the season 8-5. The Longhorns entered the game without linebackers Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson among other transfers and exemptions from the NFL draft. That allowed players like freshman Jonathan Brooks to get playing time, and Brooks scored two TDs.

The Alamo Bowl may also have been the last game of the pre-Arch Manning era in Texas. QB Quinn Ewers didn’t have a terrible game by any means — his stats would look a lot better if it weren’t for back-to-back third-quarter drops by star receiver Xavier Worthy — but the Longhorns will have the highest-profile QB in college football during the spring and summer thanks to Manning’s presence.

Manning signed with Texas in early December and plans to be an early enrollee. That will allow him to practice this spring and potentially have the opportunity to start as a true freshman. Or if Ewers plays as well as he has at times in 2022, it’s possible he could hold down the starting job for his second season with the Longhorns.

Washington finishes the season 11-2 after defeating Texas in the Alamo Bowl. (Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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