Expert Cappers Picks
College Football
Preview
Texas vs Georgia
When: 8:45 PM ET, Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana



ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL STORYLINES

1. Sixth-ranked Georgia faces No. 14 Texas in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, and for the Bulldogs the challenge of facing the Longhorns is one of several hurdles they must overcome. Last season’s national runner-up would have made the College Football Playoff if it had not blown a fourth-quarter lead in losing to No. 1 Alabama in the SEC championship, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker left to take the head job at Colorado, and reports have surfaced that highly touted freshman quarterback Justin Fields intends to transfer. “This is the hand we were dealt,” sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm told reporters. “I know I’m going to go out and try to compete and play my best.”

2. The Longhorns have enjoyed a renaissance in Tom Herman’s second season as coach, achieving their highest win total since a nine-win campaign in 2012 and are back in a high-profile bowl game for the first time since losing the BCS championship in 2009. Texas shook off an upset loss to Maryland in the season opener, finishing 6-3 in games decided by one possession and defeating four ranked teams. “It’s really big for our team and our seniors,” senior defensive tackle Chris Nelson told the media. “To have a chance to leave a legacy on the program and get it back to the level that Texas needs to be at is special.”

3. Both quarterbacks look to cap stellar seasons with a New Year’s Day bowl victory. Sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who is recovering from an AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder, passed for 25 touchdowns with five interceptions, rushed for 13 touchdowns and has already accumulated 5,038 passing yards in two seasons. Fromm completed 68.4 percent of his passes for 2,537 yards and 27 touchdowns with five interceptions, and his play down the stretch limited opportunities for Fields.

TV: 8:45 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Georgia -12.5

ABOUT TEXAS (9-4, 7-2 Big 12): Ehlinger has two big-time targets in junior wide receivers Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson, who have combined for 144 receptions, 2.054 yards and 16 touchdowns - making the Longhorns one of only seven teams to have two receivers with 65-plus receptions. A healthy offensive line has helped Texas average 31.3 points per game, as lineman have missed only three combined games this season. Senior defensive end Charles Omenihu earned Big 12 defensive lineman of the year, leading the conference with 9½ sacks.

ABOUT GEORGIA (11-2, 7-1 SEC): The Bulldogs average 39.2 points and feature the nation’s 12th-best rushing offense at 251.6 yards per game, fronted by sophomore D’Andre Swift (1,037 yards, 10 touchdowns) and junior Elijah Holyfield (956 yards, seven scores). Defensively, Georgia has allowed only 19.3 points per game, led by All-American defensive back Deandre Baker and his 40 tackles, two interceptions and 10 pass breakups. Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is one of the nation’s most consistent kickers, hitting 19-of-23 field goals while recording 79 touchbacks on 93 kickoffs.



PREDICTION: Georgia 37, Texas 21
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Texas 9-4 L1 31.3 26.2 5-1 4-3 1-1 0-0 7-3
Georgia 11-2 L1 39.2 18.5 8-1 3-1 10-2 0-0 7-2
Last Meeting
Texas Georgia
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Texas N/A
Georgia N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Texas N/A
Georgia N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Texas N/A
Georgia N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Texas N/A
Georgia N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Texas S. Ehlinger 64.3 3123 25 5
Georgia J. Fromm 68.4 2537 27 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Texas T. Watson 167 695 4.2 3
Georgia D. Swift 155 1037 6.7 10
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Texas L. Humphrey 79 1109 14.0 9
Georgia M. Hardman 34 540 15.9 6
Touchdowns Player TD
Texas S. Ehlinger 13
Georgia D. Swift 12
Quickchart Matchup
Texas Texas Off vs  Georgia Georgia Def
Texas 415.9 yards
Georgia 311.2 yards
Texas 3.8 yards/rush
Georgia 4.1 yards/rush
Texas 7.7 yards/attempt
Georgia 5.9 yards/attempt
Georgia Georgia Off vs  Texas Texas Def
Georgia 479.2 yards
Texas 401.2 yards
Georgia 6.1 yards/rush
Texas 3.9 yards/rush
Georgia 9.2 yards/attempt
Texas 7.5 yards/attempt