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This year’s Peach Bowl will feature the Washington Huskies (12-1) vs. the Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0). Both teams come in on a high with the Huskies getting on a hot streak the last few games whereas the Crimson Tide have been hot since last season. Washington high powered offense will test Alabama’s stout defense. Something has to give.
Washington– The Huskies offense is explosive and quarterback Jake Browning has had a great season and will need to be better if they want to have a chance against Alabama. Running back Myles Gaskin has been good all year and Lavon Coleman has flown under the radar. A monumental task awaits them. Receiver John Ross is a burner who has home run capabilities and Dante Pettis has been a great complement. Can the offensive line give Browning enough time to make big plays?
Alabama– The Crimson Tide’s offense has been overshadowed by their defense but make no mistake, this unit can hold their own. Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts has been a revelation. The threat of him running is a dimension they have not had in a while. The running game by committee has been a strength with Damien Harris, Joshua Jacobs and Bo Scarbrough. The receiving corp of Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart and O.J. Howard has been solid.
Alabama– The Crimson Tide’s defense has been historic. It all starts and ends up front with defensive end Jonathan Allen, defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson, linebacker Tim Williams and linebacker Reuben Foster. They create pressure without blitzing and they make offenses one dimensional by stopping the run. Alabama not only creates turnovers but turn them into points. There is talent at every level on defense. Washington has not seen a defense like this and will have their hands full.
Washington– The Huskies defense gets overshadowed by their offense but they have been good all season. The key guys will be safety Bubba Baker, cornerback Sidney Jones, defensive end Elijah Qualls, defensive end Vita Vea and linebacker Psalm Wooching. They have been effective against the pass but they have given up some big runs. Washington must pressure and confuse Alabama’s quarterback. The Huskies only loss came against a USC team that was very physical with them. Not a good sign against Alabama.
Washington– Chris Peterson has some signature bowl wins. He also loves the trick play. He has the Huskies ahead of schedule.
Alabama– It’s all about championships for Nick Saban. He has built a powerhouse in Tuscaloosa. He is the best coach currently and possibly ever and he lives for these moments.
I’ll take Alabama. As good as Washington has been, this is not a good matchup. The Crimson Tide’s physicality will take it’s toll on the Huskies and wear them down. They will pull away in the second half.