Vilardo: A Statistical Preview of Colorado-Texas Alamo Bowl

The Buffs and Longhorns, former Big 12 rivals, will meet for the 19th time

Posted on December 28, 2020

Stephen Vilardo
  By Stephen Vilardo, SportsPac12

Colorado Buffaloes (4-1) vs. Texas Longhorns (6-3)

December 29th
6:00 p.m. PT, ESPN

Colorado is 12-17 all-time in Bowl Games. The Buffs have lost their last three bowl games, and five of their last seven.

This is the second postseason game for the Buffaloes since joining the Pac-12. They met Oklahoma State in the 2016 Alamo Bowl, dropping the contest 38-8. Their 30th bowl appearance for Colorado ranks tied for the 37th most all-time with Stanford.


The last Bowl victory for Colorado was the 2004 Houston Bowl, a 38-28 win over UTEP. The offensive MVP that day was Joel Klatt.

The Buffs are 0-2 all-time in the Alamo Bowl. In addition to the 2016 game, CU also met Wisconsin in the 2002 Alamo Bowl, dropping an overtime game to the Badgers 31-28.

Colorado is 4-5 in bowl games played in the state of Texas. Collectively, the Pac-12 has gone 5-7 in the Alamo Bowl, and current conference schools are 5-8 (CU lost in 2002 as a Big 12 school).

Colorado has been outscored 40-3 in the opening quarter of their last four bowl games.

Across the sidelines, the Longhorns will be playing in their  57th all-time bowl game, tied with Georgia for the second-most, and trailing only the 72 of Alabama.

The Longhorns have gone 30-24-2 in bowl games in their history. Texas appeared in the Alamo Bowl last season, earning a 38-10 win over Utah.

The ‘Horns are 3-1 in four prior trips to the Alamo Bowl, and have a chance to be only the second team to win back-to-back Alamo Bowls, and the first since Purdue in 1997-98.

Tom Herman is 4-0 as a head coach in bowl games, including a 3-0 mark at Texas. Entering the bowl season, his four bowl victories as a head coach are tied for the fourth most among active coaches nationally since 2015.

Colorado and Texas are former Big 12 rivals and are meeting on the gridiron for the 19th time. The Longhorns hold an all-time 11-7 edge in the series.

This is the second time the schools are meeting in a bowl game. The Buffaloes locked horns with Texas in the 1975 Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston, a 38-21 win for UT. Texas scored the final 31 points of that game to secure the victory.

Jarek Broussard is averaging 162.6 yards rushing per game for the Buffs, the second most in the nation. The sophomore is gaining 6.3 yards per carry and his 4.0 runs per game of 10+ yards are the nation’s second-most.

Broussard is averaging 1.4 runs per game of at least 20 yards, which ranks sixth-most in the country this season.

Jarek Broussard | David Zalubowski/AP via

Broussard has a chance at a 1,000-yard season, despite only playing 6 games. He currently sits at 813. Texas, however, is allowing just 135.6 yards rushing per game, the 30th best mark in the country.

They did allow a season-high 334 vs. Kansas State last time out.

The Longhorns have allowed the big play on occasion this season ranking 71st with 4.78 plays of 20+ yards allowed per game, but most of those have been passing plays as the breakdown is 1.23 runs of 20+ per game and 3.55 passes of 20+ yards per game.

The passing number ranks 81st in the nation. Colorado is averaging 3.4 passing plays of 20+ yards per game and 1.6 runs of 20+ per outing.


Texas will be without their leading receiver Brennan Eagles as the junior is opting out of the bowl game and declaring for the NFL Draft. Eagles was averaging 3.1 receptions per game with 2.3 earning a first down for the Longhorns.

75.0% of his receptions resulted in a first down, that was tied for the 40th best rate in the nation with Colorado’s Dimitri Stanley, who is averaging 2.4 first down catches per game.

Stanley is also doing work for the Buffs on punt returns, where his 8.3-yard average is 19th in the nation and second in the Pac-12.


Sam Ehlinger may be without his top target for the game, but the senior quarterback has been effective throughout his career—and this season has been no exception.

Ehlinger’s 202 points responsible-for are the third-most in the country this season. He also ranks third in points responsible for per game (22.4), and eighth in passing touchdowns (25).

His 309.8 yards per game of total offense led the Big 12 and ranked 14th in the nation.


Sam Noyer may not have put up the same individual production for Colorado this season, but the senior has still been solid when the Buffs needed him to be.

On third down, 43.18% of Noyer’s pass attempts have resulted in a first down, the 33rd highest rate in the nation. Ehlinger is 65th with a rate of 37.66%.

Noyer has a completion percentage of 58.4% this season, but on third down, it jumps to 61.4%, his best completion rate of any down. Sam Ehlinger is one of only two quarterbacks in Power 5 history to pass for more than 11,000 yards and rush for more than 1,500 in a career.

Colorado’s defense will not make it easy on Ehlinger: The Buffs are tied for 11th in the nation with 5.4 passes defended per game. Isaiah Lewis leads the way in the back end of the CU defense with 1.2 passes defended per game, the 24th-most in the country.

Texas is one of the most penalized teams in the nation drawing 7.9 flags per game for an average of 75.7 yards per game, and that penalty yardage is 119th nationally. Colorado has been flagged 5.4 times a game for 54.6 yards.


Nate Landman |

Nate Landman will miss the game with an ankle injury, a substantial loss as he ranks 15th nationally with 10.6 tackles per game, over the last 3 seasons, an average of 9.4 tackles per game.

He recorded 1.8 tackles for loss (TFL) per game on the season, the eighth-most in the nation, but second-most among CU defenders, as Carson Wells leads the nation with 2.7 stops behind the line per game.

Joseph Ossai is 10th in the nation with 1.78 TFL per game, leading the Big 12 this season. Ossai has 29.5 TFL since the start of 2019, the most of any Big 12 player, and third-most in the country.

Wells added 1.0 passes defended per game this season, the second-most nationally of any linebacker. DeMarvion Overshown recorded 0.89 per game for Texas, the fourth-most of any LB in the county.


Karl Dorrell was the Pac-12 coach of the year this season. He is the second Buff coach to earn that honor, joining Mike MacIntyre in 2016.

Overall, Dorrell is the sixth Colorado head man to earn conference coach of the year honors with the prior four (Dal Ward, Eddie Crowder, Bill McCartney and Gary Barnett) earning the award from their versions of the Big 12.

Jarek Broussard was named the Pac-12 offensive player of the year, becoming the sixth in school history to be named as a conference’s top offensive player, and the first Buff to earn the award in the Pac-12.

Colorado-Texas Comparisons

Total Yards421.0376.8457.3409.8
3rd Down46.84%33.78%39.02%36.57%
TO Margin+0.0+0.67
Red Zone94.44%80.0%86.27%81.82%

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