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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Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson combine for 150 rushing yards

The most potent part of the Texas offense that Alabama has to worry about this weekend will be the running backs. More specifically, Alabama is guaranteed to spend extra time this week preparing for star junior Texas running back Bijan Robinson.

Bijan is potentially the best running back in the entire country, and Saban along with multiple Crimson Tide players gave him a lot of respect in various press conferences early this week.

Moreover, Bijan hasn’t really faced a challenge in his career thus far as he will this weekend against the Crimson Tide. He’s going to have some pretty adept linebackers in run defense chasing him down on Sep. 10.

While most college football fans know the duo of Turner and Anderson for what they’re capable of rushing the passer, they’re really good in run defense too. Alabama also has some potential emerging standout run stoppers in the fold this fall in senior linebacker Jaylen Moody and the DE Young.

Bijan and senior running back Roschon Johnson will clearly be facing a tall task this weekend to spark the Texas ground game against this tough Alabama defense. But there will be opportunities to find running lanes in this game.

According to Football Outsiders, Alabama allowed an opportunity rate last season of 43.7 percent (ranking 24th in the FBS). Opportunity rate is the percentage of plays where a defense allows at least four yards (when those yards are available). And the success rate for Power Five opponents last season on run plays was in that ballpark last season.

This indicates that Alabama was prone to allowing some 4-5+ yard runs against Power Five opponents last season. It’s also worth mentioning that this was the defensive line advanced stat last season that Alabama ranked the lowest in the FBS.

If Texas can move some bodies against the more questionable portion of the Alabama defensive front (along the interior of the defensive line), then we could see Roschon and Bijan finding their lanes up the middle and pick up some yards in chunks.

At the end of the day, I do feel like Sark and the Longhorns will turn to the ground game to set the tone for this offense. And if they can establish the ground game early on, it’s not out of the question for these standout running back duo to reach the 150-rushing yard mark.