In New Orleans, the talk is O-line (Washington) vs. D-line (Texas)
Both sides have trophies. And confidence.
NEW ORLEANS — Their collective hardware says plenty — the Joe Moore Award and Morris Trophy on Washington’s side, the Outland Trophy winner and Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year suiting up for Texas — but unlike a debate over star quarterbacks, these vaunted units actually will line up across from each other to determine superiority.
Washington’s offensive line has been deemed the best in college football, and Pac-12 peers voted left tackle Troy Fautanu the top o-lineman in the league.
Texas defensive lineman T’Vondre Sweat, all 6-foot-4 and 362 pounds of him, just became the Longhorns’ first Outland winner in 46 years, and his teammate on the interior, Byron Murphy II, leads the team in pressures and hurries.
There is perhaps not another positional matchup that will have a greater impact on the outcome of Monday’s College Football Playoff semifinal at the Sugar Bowl.
On Thursday inside Room B at the Sheraton, players representing the two sides regarded one another in somewhat begrudging terms, as if, maybe rightfully, they were already sick of hearing about how great their opponent is supposed to be.