Initial thoughts from No. 20 Texas’ 27-20 Alamo Bowl loss to No. 12 Washington

The Texas Longhorns arrived in San Antonio missing some of their best talent, but still went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the country. In the end, though, it was too little too late, and Texas fell 27-20 at the Alamo Bowl.

Here are some preliminary thoughts from the action.

I wouldn’t put much stock in this one. A win would be a solid building block going into the offseason, but losing in the final seconds to one of the best teams in the country while also missing your best player and possibly three of your top five picks doesn’t really matter. If only a couple of plays, like Javier Worthy’s touch that missed wide, would have ended differently and the scoreline could have been different too. So in a season that featured several losses where Texas was so close, their Alamo Bowl loss is another example of that. Just use the offseason to turn close losses into clutch wins.

This was the play Quinn Evers had to take in the offseason. 31-47 for 369 yards and one touchdown, all while playing in a one-dimensional offense. He was mostly determined, accurate, confident and overall played his best game since the OU game. Since that performance, he’s been minimal, but returning to his early-season form with a relatively impressive display can only help his confidence going forward.

Upgrading at wide receiver will be a priority this offseason. That’s especially true considering the passing game should be featured more prominently without Bejean Robinson or Roshawn Johnson. Isaiah Neyor’s return should certainly help that cause, and there’s no shortage of young potential to make up the incoming class, but potential isn’t production until proven otherwise. In terms of production, Jordan Whittington could be accomplished in Austin, while Texas’ “best” receiver, Worthy, had a sophomore slump, to say the least, and passed for a few more carries for the second straight season. Of course, Ewers needs to be better for his receivers as well, but that group certainly hasn’t done him much favors this season. How well Texas addresses this glaring flaw in their offense will have a huge impact on any progress they hope to make next year.

You only want to be on the field when you’re on offense. Texas’ defense, on the other hand, had all kinds of trouble when they had their opportunities. The Huskies converted 11-20 third down attempts and two fourth down attempts, and often Washington was in complete control and made it look easy. That’s just not enough when you’re playing one of the best offenses in the country.

Next up is Jonathan Brooks. As an RB4 with the talent and experience ahead of him, Brooks has shined almost every time he’s gotten a chance, and his Alamo Bowl performance was no different. He turned eight of his carries into 55 yards and two touchdowns to keep Texas alive in the second half, and moving forward, it makes a lot of sense for him to be the next to headline a young but loaded running back room in 2023.

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