Texas Football: 4 reasons why UT can handily defeat UW in CFP semifinal

T'Vondre Sweat, Texas football
T'Vondre Sweat, Texas football / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /
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For the next few days, No. 3 Texas football is preparing for the College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, LA, on Jan. 1 against the No. 2 Washington Huskies. Texas and head coach Steve Sarkisian are favored by four points (per FanDuel) a few days before kickoff against head coach Kalen DeBoer and the Huskies in the CFP on New Year's Day.

Texas is making its first appearance ever in the College Football Playoff. And the Longhorns are looking for its first National Championship since beating the No. 1 USC Trojans in the 2006 Rose Bowl Game.

How Texas football can convincingly defeat No. 2 Washington in the CFP Semifinals

This is Washington's second appearance in the College Football Playoff. The Huskies also appeared in the CFP under former head coach Chris Petersen during the 2016 season. Washington was convincingly defeated by double digits by the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016-17 CFP Semifinal game at the Peach Bowl.

Texas-Washington is an interesting matchup as it pits the nation's top passing offense against one of the deepest and most talented teams in the nation. If the Longhorns play up to their potential, they should come away with a win over the Huskies. But this Playoff field has four teams that could each conceivably win the title, which is a pretty new concept for the postseason.

Here's a look at four reasons why the Longhorns could dominate the Huskies in the CFP Semifinal at the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

Offensive line can control the line of scrimmage vs. Washington

Texas's offensive line has been among the most effective and consistent units in the Power Five this season, especially in pass protection. Offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Kyle Flood and the Longhorns have started the same unit of five along the O-Line in double-digit games this season.

And the Longhorns rank second in the Power Five in pass blocking efficiency this season, only behind the Oregon Ducks.

Texas looks to have a pretty advantageous matchup up front between its offensive line vs. Washington's front four. Washington plays a similar style along the defensive front compared to Texas, at least regarding personnel alignment. The Huskies play that 2-4-5 defensive scheme that Pete Kwiatkowski employs at Texas.

PK also utilized that 2-4-5 defensive scheme during his time as the co-defensive coordinator at Washington, before taking his current role at Texas a few years ago.

Washington has a decent group up front regarding production and efficiency. Starting redshirt senior defensive tackle, Tuli Letuligasenoa leads all PAC-12 interior defensive linemen in defensive grade this season. But he's been limited by injury issues, missing a handful of games for the Huskies down the stretch during the regular season. He should be good to go for the conference title game, though.

While Letuligasenoa has been very effective up front for Washington's D-Line when healthy, he's mostly faced smaller and less athletic interior offensive lines this season, at least compared to what Texas brings in the trenches. Letuligasenoa stands at 6-foot-1 and 290-pounds, which is at least 25 pounds lighter than every starter Texas has along the interior offensive line.

Redshirt senior starting nose tackle Ulumoo Ale is Washington's other starting interior defensive linemen this season. Ale is a bigger and more physical linemen, at 6-foot-6 and 330-pounds, when compared to Letuligasenoa. But Ale hasn't been as effective as an interior pass rusher or run stopper up front for the Huskies as his co-starter in the middle this season.

Texas has faced tougher groups along the interior defensive line in the Big 12 this season than what Washington brings. They should be able to move bodies off the line of scrimmage in run blocking while also giving redshirt sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers ample time in the pocket to dice up Washington's secondary.