Thursday, December 29, 2011
Alamo Bowl: Washington vs. Baylor
By Ted Miller
Washington faces a matchup with Baylor and its Heisman Trophy-winning QB, Robert Griffin III, in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Thursday night.
WHO TO WATCH: Baylor QB Griffin and Washington RB Chris Polk. Griffin's numbers are mind-blowing. He made it impossible not to vote for him for Heisman. Polk is the Huskies' star, but his biggest job will be keeping Griffin and the Baylor offense off the field. That means making first downs and moving the chains with tough runs.
WHAT TO WATCH: Both defenses put up bad numbers, but the Bears' defense was horrible and the Huskies' only bad. Baylor's run defense will be the key to this game. The Bears surrender 200 yards rushing per game, and the Huskies are a solid running team with Polk. If the Huskies get into an early groove running the ball, the Bears will have to load up the box to stop Polk. And then QB Keith Price has the weapons to beat the Bears over the top. If the Huskies can grind it out, they will keep Griffin off the field and wear out the Bears' defense. That would bode well for them in the fourth quarter.
WHY TO WATCH: For one, it's likely the last college game for Griffin and Polk. And if you haven't watched Griffin, well, he's something special. If Andrew Luck and LaMichael James had a baby, it might end up like Griffin. As for Washington, if it wins, that would send a message to college football observers that it might give Oregon a robust challenge in the Pac-12 North in 2012.
PREDICTION: Baylor 44, Washington 38: The Washington defense might surprise some folks early, and the Huskies should be able to score. But Griffin will take this game over in the fourth quarter.