Texas Football: UT selected to play Utah in Valero Alamo Bowl

Chris Dukes

AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Texas Football program has been selected to represent the Big 12 Conference in the 2019 Valero Alamo Bowl on Dec. 31 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Kickoff against Utah will be at 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN.

Texas is 7-5 (5-4 Big 12) this season and defeated Texas Tech, 49-24, in their last contest of the regular season. Utah is 11-2 (8-1 Pac-12) and coming off a 37-15 loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Both teams have a victory over ranked opponents this season. The Longhorns defeated No. 16 Kansas State in Austin, while the Utes defeated No. 17 Arizona State in Salt Lake City.

The 2019 Valero Alamo Bowl marks the 56th all-time bowl appearance for the Longhorns and the 24th for the Utes. Texas bested then-No. 5 Georgia, 28-21, in the Allstate Sugar Bowl last season, while Utah was bested by Northwestern, 31-20, in the Holiday Bowl.

Tom Herman has led his programs to bowl games in each of his five seasons as a head coach, including two appearances in New Year’s Six bowls. He led Houston to a 2015 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl victory over Florida State in 2015 and guided Texas to a win over Georgia in the 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl. Herman is 3-0 as a head coach in bowl games. His 2016 Houston team also played in the Las Vegas Bowl, a game he did not coach in after taking over the Longhorns’ program.

The Longhorns feature one of the nation’s top quarterbacks in junior Sam Ehlinger, who has completed 284-of-436 passes for 3,462 yards and 29 touchdowns. He also has rushed for 590 yards and six touchdowns this season. Ehlinger’s 4,052 yards of total offense are the third-best mark in school history, and his 35 total touchdowns rank fourth among Longhorns all time.

Texas also fields one of the nation’s best receivers in senior Devin Duvernay, who has caught 103 passes for 1,294 yards and nine total touchdowns (8 rec/1 rush) this year. Duvernay’s 103 receptions and 8.6 receptions per game lead all FBS receivers, and his 1,294 receiving yards place him fourth nationally. He leads all Big 12 receivers in catches, catches per game, receiving yards, receiving yards per game and ranks third in receiving touchdowns. He and Jordan Shipley (2009) are the only Longhorns to log at least 100 catches and 1,200 receiving yards in the same season.

Ehlinger and Duvernay are two of nine Longhorns who were recognized by the Big 12 Conference earlier this month. Duvernay and senior OL Zach Shackelford were named to the All-Big 12 First Team, while sophomore OL Samuel Cosmi and senior DB Brandon Jones earned second-team honors. Ehlinger, sophomore K Cameron Dicker, sophomore LB Joseph Ossai and senior DL Malcolm Roach received honorable mention at their respective positions. Senior OL Parker Braun earned honorable mention as Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year, Cosmi earned honorable mention for receiving votes as Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year and Duvernay received honorable mention as Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.

Longhorn Bowl Notes
• The 2019 Valero Alamo Bowl will mark UT’s 56th all-time bowl appearance, the second-most in college football history. The Longhorns own a bowl record of 29-24-3. It will be Utah’s 24th bowl appearance all-time. The Utes own a bowl record of 17-6.
• Texas and Utah will meet for the second time time, with UT winning the programs’ lone other matchup, 21-12, back in 1982.

• Texas will be playing a current member of the Pac-12 Conference for the 11th time in a bowl game this year. The Longhorns are 6-4 against the Pac-12 in bowl games and 1-1 in the Alamo Bowl. Oregon and Washington are Texas’ most common Pac-12 opponents, with both schools facing the Longhorns on two occasions.
• This year’s Alamo Bowl will be UT’s four all-time appearance in the game. The Longhorns are 2-1 in the Alamo Bowl, with their last appearance being the 2013 Alamo Bowl vs. Oregon, which saw the Ducks come out on top, 30-7. The Horns won the 2012 Alamo Bowl over Oregon State, 31-27, and bested Iowa, 26-24, back in the 2006 edition.
• The 2019 Valero Alamo Bowl will mark Texas’ third-straight bowl game appearance, UT’s first time going to three consecutive bowl games since 2012-14.