Alamo Bowl: Washington Huskies (7-5 SU 7-5 ATS) vs. Baylor Bears (9-3 SU 7-4 ATS), Alamodome San Antonio, TX, 9 PM ET Thursday December 29, 2011 on ESPN/ESPN3
by Jason Green, Sports Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Wash +9.5/BAY -9.5
Over/Under Total: 78.5
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The Baylor Bears come into the Alamo Bowl with a full head of steam, as they not only have a Heisman winner under center, but they won their last 5 games of the season including beating the ranked teams of Oklahoma and Texas. On the other side of the coin while the Washington Huskies did win the Apple Cup game facing Washington State in their season finale they had lost their previous 3 games.
To say the Bears offense has been on fire lately is an understatement, as in their 5-game winning streak they have almost twice as many TD’s (31) than punts (16). Washington had major issues on D in their last few games and their offense will likely have to light up the scoreboard to have any chance to win this game.
In their last games of the season Baylor beat Texas 48-24 and Washington bat Washington State 38-31.
Not only does UW have to deal with Griffin and a Baylor offense that ranks 6th in the nation in scoring, but since this game is being held in the Lone Star State the Bears will also enjoy somewhat of a home field advantage.
Robert Griffin III won the Heisman Trophy this season and almost passed for 4,000 yards with 36 TD and only 6 INT. The WR duo of Kendall Wright (101 rec 1,572 yards 13 TD) and Terrance Williams (53 rec 895 yards 11 TD) each averaged over 15 yards per reception this season. All 3 of these guys put up great stats this year and will only pad their numbers in facing a Washington pass defense that ranks 116th in the nation out of 120 FBS teams. Yeah, Griffin will have a HUGE game.
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Griffin also rushed for 644 yards with 9 TD. Terrance Ganaway, who nearly rushed for 400 yards in his last 2 games, joins him in the backfield. The Bears will not only rack up the passing yards, but rushing yards as well, facing UW and their 55th ranked run defense.
When the Huskies played against stellar QB’s this season in Andrew Luck from Stanford and Matt Barkley from USC they held both to under 200 passing yards, but they gave up a ton of rushing yards. That will not happen a third time against Griffin, as he will not be stopped.
For The Huskies to pull off the upset they will need a good game from QB Kevin Price and RB Chris Polk. Price set the UW record for TD’s and he will have a good game since the Baylor pass defense only ranks 112th in the nation.
Polk topped 100 rushing yards in his last 2 games and he will make it 3 in this bowl game as Baylor only ranks 102nd in the nation in run defense. You better believe that they will get a big dose of Polk in this game.
UW had 23 sacks on the season and Baylor had 19 and it is key that the pass rush of both teams pressures the QB. However, Griffin is much better at avoiding the pass rush with his legs and he will avoid the sack.
This season Washington has an O/U record of 6-5-1 and Baylor has an O/U record of 9-1-1.
Washington is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog of 3.5-10 points, and they have an Over record of 4-1 in their last 5 non-conference games.
Baylor is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games as a favorite of 3.5-10 points, and they have an Over record of 10-1-1 in their last 12 games facing a team with a winning record.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: This game will be a shootout, but Griffin and the Bears will come out on top since they simply have too much firepower.
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