Get ready, college football fans! This New Year’s Day will bring back the traditional excitement of bowl games, including the highly anticipated College Football Playoff semifinals. First up, watch as No. 4 Alabama takes on No. 1 Michigan in a thrilling showdown at the Rose Bowl. Then, get ready for an absolute barn burner at the Sugar Bowl, where No. 3 Texas will face off against No. 2 Washington. The Huskies are back in the playoffs for the second time, hoping to recreate their success from 2016. Meanwhile, the Longhorns are making their debut in the CFP, eager to claim their first national title since 2005. Don’t miss out on these epic matchups!
- Date: Monday, Jan. 1
- Time: 8:45 p.m. ET
- Location: Caesars Superdome — New Orleans, Louisiana
- TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Sugar Bowl: Washington vs Texas
Quarterbacks will always be the center of attention in football, and this game is no exception. Texas QB Quinn Ewers has been outstanding since taking over as the starter, leading the Longhorns to a 10-2 record. Ewers has a cannon for an arm and can make throws that many college quarterbacks can only dream of. In the Big 12 Championship Game, he was at his best, throwing for 452 yards and four touchdowns. But Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. is no slouch either. He led the nation in passing with 4,218 yards and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting. Penix has some seriously talented receivers at his disposal, including Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan, and he knows how to get them the ball.
While the quarterbacks will get most of the attention, this game could be decided by the defenses. For Texas, that means relying on DL T’Vondre Sweat, who had a dominant season on the interior of the defensive line. Sweat is a 6-foot-4, 362-pound force of nature who won Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous All-American. If he can continue to wreak havoc up front, it will make things much easier for the Longhorns’ secondary. As for Washington, they have some excellent defenders of their own. LB Zion Tupuola-Fetui had an incredible season with 13.5 sacks, while DB Trent McDuffie was named first-team All-Pac-12. If these players can make life difficult for Ewers and the Longhorns offense, it could shift the game in the Huskies’ favor.
But ultimately, this game will come down to which offense is more explosive. Texas has a deep and talented receiving corps, led by Xavier Worthy and Jordan Whittington. They also have RB Bijan Robinson, who rushed for over 1,200 yards this season. For Washington, it starts with Penix and the passing game, but they also have some quality running backs like Sean McGrew and Cam Davis. This game has the potential to be a shootout, with both teams scoring early and often.