Time: Saturday, January 2, 3:45 pm PT
Location: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
Line: Oregon (-1)
On January 2 the No. 15 Oregon Ducks will face off against No. 11 TCU Horned Frogs, making it Oregon’s second Alamo bowl appearance in three years. The Ducks defeated the Texas Longhorns in that 2013 Alamo Bowl, but were overpowered in the 2015 National Championship against Ohio State.
The Alamo Bowl was easily one of the most anticipated bowl games, with the exception of the national championship, of this bowl season. Oregon and TCU bring similar high-powered offense making what is expected to be an offensive shootout. However, with TCU quarterback Trevone Bodkin being suspended for an altercation inside a San Antonio bar that involved him punching a police officer, all eyes will be on Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams Jr.
Adams, a graduate transfer from Eastern Washington University, has been with Oregon for only one season has made his mark on the Duck’s football team. Since his return from injury, the Ducks have won 6 straight games and Adams has seen sensational competing 70% of his passes for 1,865 yards. Vernon-playing his first bowl game- should have another successful day going against TCU’s scattered defense that has lost 10 of its 11 starts from last season. Adams has talent all around him to choose from, with stellar wide receivers in Brallon Addison and Darren Harrington. On the ground Oregon has a stud running back with Royce Freeman, who is averaging 6.6 yards a carry and will have an easy time running through the undersized TCU linebackers. Freeman, a sophomore comes in at 5’11 weighing 230 pounds, has rushed for 1,706 yards so far this season. He’s the perfect mix of speed and power to wear down a defense over the course of a game. Freeman’s alternate Taj Griffin is a small running back weighing only 175 pounds, but has a burst of speed that is almost impossible to keep up with. He provides a perfect change of pace for Oregon whenever head coach Mark Helfrich wishes to run a faster-paced offense.
As for TCU, the loss of their star quarterback Trevone Boykin and All-American wide receiver Josh Dotson (wrist injury) is a severe blow to their offense. Fortunately, for the Horned Frogs they are going up against an Oregon defense that has been inconsistent all season. The Duck defense has allowed 36.8 points a game and struggle greatly against air raid offenses like TCU’s. TCU will likely rotate between senior Bram Kohlhausen and freshman Foster Sawyer at quarterback back to replace the suspended Bodkin. At receiver track star Kolby Listenbee, who also leads the team in yards per catch, will be the main target for either quarterback and is expected to have a big day in the absence of Dotson.
With a win on Saturday, Oregon will have their eighth consecutive 10-win season. Making them the fourth longest 10 win season run in college football and tying them with the 2008-2015 Alabama, 2004-2011 Virginia, and 1985-1992 Miami teams.