The Washington No. 12 beat Texas No. 20 27-20 in the Alamo Bowl to earn his first 11-win season since 2016.
The Huskies were unfazed by the Longhorns for much of the game. UW took a 17-point lead early in the fourth quarter on a TD pass from Michael Penix Jr. to Jalen McMillan. Texas cut the lead to seven with 1:40 left and won the ball back with a chance for a potential game-winning TD and two-point conversion with 31 seconds left. But the last-ditch drive with no downtime left didn’t get a first try.
The win means Washington ends the season at 11-2 in Kalen DeBoer’s first season as head coach. Washington fired Jimmy Lake nine games into a tumultuous 2021 season and finished the season at 4-8. He hired DeBoer from Fresno State, and the former Indiana offensive coordinator quickly landed former Indiana QB Penix as a transfer.
The move paid off as Penix was one of the most productive passers in the nation in 2022 and the Huskies won seven more games than a season ago. Washington has made one of the biggest improvements of any team at college football’s top tier in 2022 and is well positioned to be a Pac-12 contender again next season.
Penix will be back in 2023 as the Pac-12 boasts one of the strongest quarterbacking groups in college football. Heisman winner Caleb Williams returns for USC while Oregon’s Bo Nix returns with Washington State’s Cam Ward. Oregon State landed Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei, former Notre Dame QB Drew Pyne is transferred to Arizona State and Kent State QB Collin Schlee is transferred to UCLA .
Texas, meanwhile, finished the season 8-5. The Longhorns entered the game without running backs Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson, among other transfers and NFL draft withdrawals. It gave players like rookie Jonathan Brooks some playing time, and Brooks scored two touchdowns.
The Alamo Bowl might also have been the last game of the pre-Arch Manning era in Texas. QB Quinn Ewers has by no means had a terrible game – his stats would be much better had it not been for back-to-back third-quarter drops by star receiver Xavier Worthy – but the Longhorns will have the most QB competition media coverage of college football in the spring and summer thanks to Manning’s presence.
Manning signed with Texas earlier in December and plans to be an early registrant. This will allow him to practice this spring and potentially have the chance to start out as a proper freshman. Or if Ewers plays well like he has at times in 2022, it’s very possible he could hold onto the starting job for his second season with the Longhorns.