5 bold predictions for Texas football vs. Alabama

Bijan Robinson, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Bijan Robinson, Texas Football Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /
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Barryn Sorrell stays hot with 1.5 sacks

The offensive line is one of the most questionable position groups on either side of the ball for the Crimson Tide this season. The specific part of the offensive line that has the most question marks for Saban and the Tide is at offensive tackle.

Alabama doesn’t have a proven returning starter at either offensive tackle spot this fall. And in this matchup against the Longhorns on Sep. 10, it looks like Alabama will be rolling with the Vanderbilt transfer Tyler Steen and the sophomore/former five-star recruit JC Latham as the two starting offensive tackles.

There should be plenty of opportunities for the emerging pass-rushing duo of sophomore edge rusher Barryn Sorrell and senior linebacker DeMarvion Overshown to get some pressure on the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and junior quarterback Bryce Young in this game.

Generating pressure off the edge will be easier than getting home and bringing down Young, though.

In fact, Young ranked 11th in the FBS last season among the quarterbacks with the lowest pressure to sack rate (15.5 percent). For good measure, the average pressure to sack rate for Big 12 starting quarterbacks last season was 18.2 percent.

Moreover, one area that Texas can attack in this game will be at the right tackle position. Last season, the position group that was at fault most often for pressures allowed on Young was right tackle (more than 27 percent of pressures responsible for).

Latham is likely to be the starter there this weekend, which will mean that Sorrell gets that matchup off the edge.

If there is one spot where Texas can drum up an effective pass rush in this game, it will come on the right side of the line for the Crimson Tide. That would benefit Sorrell more than anyone else.

We saw Sorrell go off last week in the win over the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, with a career-high two sacks. And while it will be extremely difficult for Texas to generate consistent and successful pressure on Young this weekend, I believe the player that will have the greatest chance to get him to the ground is Sorrell.

It’s worth noting that Young was sacked an average of nearly 2.5 times per game since the start of last season.