Sugar Bowl CFP semifinal has historical significance for Washington and Texas

FILE - Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers throws a pass against TCU during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas. Ewers, the Texas native in his second season with the Longhorns after a year at Ohio State, is averaging 271 yards passing per game with 17 TDs and and five interceptions in his 10 games. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File) (Julio Cortez, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Sugar Bowl: No. 3 Texas (12-1, Big 12) vs. No. 2 Washington (13-0, Pac-12), Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m. Eastern (ESPN)

FanDuel Sportsbook College Line: Texas by 4 1/2

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Series record: Texas leads 3-2.


A berth in the national championship game in Houston on Jan. 8. By advancing, Washington would get a shot at its third national title in program history, and its last as a member of the Pac-12 before moving next season to an expanded Big Ten. Texas is looking to claim its fifth national title, and its last as a member of the Big 12 before moving to the SEC.


Washington's offensive line against the Texas defensive front. The Huskies this season took home the Joe Moore award, which recognizes the top offensive line in all of college football. They've allowed just 11 sacks in a high-octane offense that helped quarterback Michael Penix Jr. lead the nation in yards passing with 4,218. The Texas defensive line is anchored by arguably the best set of tackles in the country in All-American T’Vondre Sweat and second-team All-American Byron Murphy II. Texas ranked third nationally in yards allowed rushing with 80.8 per game and had 32 sacks this season, tied for 36th nationally.


Texas: WR-PR Xavier Worthy totaled a career-high 73 receptions for 969 yards and five touchdowns. As a punt returner, he ranks second in the nation, averaging 17.9 yards per return with a 74-yard touchdown.

Washington: Penix was the Heisman Trophy runner-up behind LSU QB Jayden Daniels. Penix has led the nation in passing for two seasons since transferring from Indiana. His 466 pass attempts were fifth most in all of FBS and he completed 66% of them. His 33 TD passes are tied for third most nationally.


Washington has the nation's longest active winning streak at 20 games ... Texas, which also ranks third in the AP Top 25 poll, is making its first CFP semifinal appearance. Its last bid for a national title came in the 2009-10 BCS Championship game at the Rose Bowl, won by Alabama. ... The Longhorns won the Big 12 title for the first time since 2009 and the fourth time in program history. ... The Longhorns have won seven straight games, the longest winning streak for Texas since 2008-09 (17 games). ... Texas is 2-2 all time at the Sugar Bowl, beating Georgia 28-21 the last time it was in the game, the 2018-19 season. ... Washington is making its first visit to the Sugar Bowl, and it's also the first Pac-12 team to play in one. ... Washington defeated Texas 27-20 in last season's Alamo Bowl. ... The Huskies enter the game with a 20-20-1 overall record in bowl games, dating back to the 1924 Rose Bowl, where the UW tied Navy 14-14.


AP college football: and

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