Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pretend NCAA Division I Playoffs: #6 Utah vs. #3 Texas

In real life the Utah Utes are facing a showdown against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on January 2nd but in our fantasy world they are playing the Texas Longhorns for a shot to advance in the playoffs. The Utes finished the season 12-0 and led the Mountain West Conference in scoring with 37.4 points per game. Quarterback Brian Johnson has thrown for 24 touchdowns but Utah has allowed him to be sacked 23 times as well.

Defensively Utah is holding their opponents to 17.3 points per game. Before you scoff at them for playing in the lesser Mountain West Conference keep in mind that the Mountain West took the Pac 10 to task and the Utes themselves knocked off Oregon State. Utah is especially tough against the run where they are holding opponents to an average of just 3.3 yards per carry.

The Texas Longhorns may be the best team not playing for a national championship. Heisman runner up Colt McCoy has been spectacular this year. He has completed almost 78% of his passes helping lead the Longhorns to the third highest scoring average in the Big 12 at 43.9 points per game.

Defensively Texas has the best squad in the Big 12. They are only allowing their opponents to score 18.6 points per game and are holding opponents to just 2.8 yards per game.

The Longhorns version of the spread offense is too much for the Utes defense to handle. Texas would jump out to a 21-7 halftime lead and then overpower Utah in the second half while riding out an attempted comeback. In the end the Longhorns prevail by a comfortable margin.

Texas: 35
Utah: 24

Utah Stats
Brian Johnson 21/34 – 243 yards, 2 touchdowns
Matt Asiata 19 carries/66 yards, 1 touchdown
Darrell Mack 18 carries/59 yards

Texas Stats
Colt McCoy 21/24 – 239 yards, 2 touchdowns
Colt McCoy 22 carries/77 yards, 1 touchdown
Vondrell McGee 20 carries/68 yards, 1 touchdown
Chris Ogbonnaya 12 carries/45 yards, 1 touchdown

That’s how I see it going down. How about you?

Other First Round Games
#8 Penn State 21, #1 OU 34
#7 Texas Tech 28, #2 Florida 42
#5 USC vs. #4 Alabama