Does Washington have a chance in the Peach Bowl?
The Washington Huskies head to Atlanta as perhaps the biggest underdog in modern college football bowl history. Alabama is the defending national champions, come in not having lost a game since September 2015, and are double digit favorites in Vegas.
Should Huskies fans believe they have any chance? Yes, and this is why.
Jake Browning is better than Jalen Hurts.
We know Jalen Hurts has had an incredible run in his freshman season as quarterback of the Tide, but with all the lights on him Saturday afternoon, we expect him to have jitters. Jake Browning will be facing the best defense he has ever seen in his life, and will likely struggle early. Expect Browning to settle down in the second quarter, and keep the game close going into the second half.
Alabama’s Offense will be forced to execute.
In the only game the Tide played that was close this season, LSU contained Hurts and the offense through three quarters, and played Alabama even. Washington’s defense isn’t as talented as LSU’s, however their offense is much more skilled, and will not turnover the ball like many SEC foes Alabama has seen. That ball management will keep the Tide’s defense out of the endzone, and if Washington can win the time of possession game, things could get interesting.
All the pressure is on Nick Saban.
Playing first Saturday after a four week layoff helps Washington more than Alabama. Since the last time the Tide played, their offensive coordinator has been rumored to take three different jobs, before finally accepting the FAU position. The players have hopefully done their best to avoid major media outlets who have already crowned them the national champions. Washington comes in this game with nothing to lose. They will be playing at the site of the SEC title game, where Alabama will likely have a 4-1 fan base edge in the stands.
Do we expect Washington to defeat Alabama? No. Will we be shocked if the game is decided in the fourth quarter? No.
Prediction: Alabama 26 Washington 17