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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Hayden Conner and Cole Hutson don’t allow a single quarterback pressure

This is where we get really bold.

The Texas offensive line will be put under a ton of pressure in this game as they face maybe the best player in all of college football this weekend in star junior edge rusher/linebacker Will Anderson Jr. And the standout edge rusher duo for the Crimson Tide of Anderson and sophomore Dallas Turner is almost guaranteed to give the Texas front some issues this weekend.

While the duo of Anderson and Turner is surely the highlight of the Alabama defense, the interior defensive line isn’t as strong for defensive coordinator Pete Golding and the Tide. There are more question marks along the interior of the defensive line for the Crimson Tide between senior defensive tackle DJ Davis and true freshman Jaheim Oates.

Junior defensive end Tim Young is also one of the more unproven players along this Alabama defensive front.

This should provide the opportunity for Texas to hold up better in pass pro in the middle of the offensive line and get some running lanes between the A and the B gaps (at least on Smith’s side of the defensive line).

And one interior offensive lineman that will be an x-factor for the Longhorns this weekend is sophomore offensive guard Hayden Conner. With some of the question marks surrounding the duo of sophomore center Jake Majors and freshman guard Cole Hutson, Conner needs to be an anchor for this group against the dangerous Alabama front seven.

My bold prediction here for Conner will be that he continues what is currently the longest-standing streak of snaps on pass plays where he hasn’t allowed a quarterback pressure (sitting at 46 after the win over ULM). Conner is proving to be one of the more consistent presences in pass protection for the Longhorns.

Don’t get me wrong, Conner will face a real challenge blocking any of these talented Alabama interior defensive linemen. He’ll just obviously have a higher probability of success in pass pro if he’s not matching up with someone such as Turner, Anderson, and/or senior defensive end Byron Young.

Conner will be facing one of the more uncertain parts of the Alabama defensive front as he’ll likely match up against someone like Smith, Oates, and/or Dale this weekend.