Dane Miller’s SuperWest Bowl Previews: December 27-29


owl Season continues in the SuperWest this week with the Holiday and Alamo Bowls on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Ducks could use a victory against North Carolina to rinse away the bad taste from their loss to the Beavers at the end of the regular season, and the Huskies have a chance to cap off their phenomenal turnaround campaign with a win over a former coach.

I preview both games below and the picks of our senior writers and broadcasters appear at the bottom.

No. 15 Oregon v. North Carolina

Wednesday, December 28
5:00 pm PT, FOX

The Ducks are dealing with several transfers and the loss of offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham as they face North Carolina in the Holiday Bowl.

But the personnel and staff changes are mostly negated by what’s expected to be a healthy Bo Nix.

The injury sustained in the game against Washington arguably derailed UO’s season and the matchup with the overrated Tar Heels provides an opportunity for some revenge.

ACC opponents are invariably overvalued by the East Coast Media and Oregon should show why in San Diego.

Oregon QB Bo Nix | San Diego Union-Tribune

The Ducks have one of the most potent offenses in College Football and North Carolina is 121st in the FBS in passing yards allowed per game, No. 83 in rushing yards allowed per night, and 107th in turnovers forced.

That sets the table for Nix to have a field day.

The Tar Heels do have a potent offense, though, yet are also dealing with the loss of their offensive coordinator after the season ended.

UNC quarterback Drake Maye has 35 passing touchdowns on the year while throwing for 4,115 yards. Keeping the redshirt freshman contained will be a challenge and his mobility and willingness to run are X-Factors.

But if the UO defense limits the effectiveness of his quarterback keepers, the Ducks should get enough stops for Nix to take advantage of.

No. 20 Texas v. No. 12 Washington

Thursday, December 29
6:00 pm PT, ESPN

Heading to San Antonio to face Texas, the Dawgs are deep in enemy territory.

The Longhorns are dealing with opt-outs and transfers, highlighted by starting running back Bijan Robinson’s decision to focus on the Draft. The junior has 1,580 yards rushing on the season and 20 total touchdowns.

Second-leading rusher Roschon Johnson isn’t playing, either, after declaring for the NFL.

That leaves third and fourth-string options Jonathon Brooks and Keilan Robinson to carry the load against a Washington defense that progressed as the year went on.

Husky receivers Jalen McMillan and Rome Odunze | Sports Illustrated

The Husky passing defense may have been shaky all year, but the UW run defense has remained respectable. The Dawgs enter the bowl game with the nation’s No. 33 rushing defense and must be licking their chops against a depleted Texas RB room.

The result could be a one-dimensional UT offense that can’t move the ball on the ground. If that’s the case, the game could come down to the play of UW’s secondary.

On the other side of the ball, Michael Penix Jr. and Kalen DeBoer’s offense should thrive.

Texas is 90th in the FBS in passing yards allowed per game and DeBoer’s scheme could light up Steve Sarkisian’s group. The Longhorns have only given up 40 points or more once this season, but haven’t played the caliber of offense Washington fields since facing Alabama in Week Two.

With the Pac-12’s postseason reputation arguably on the line, the Dawgs should show the nation what they are capable of.


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