The Washington Huskies and Texas Longhorns will compete for a national championship position. The most certain road forward for Texas is simple: halt the Washington passing attack.

That task is much easier said than done. To do so, Texas may have to give up more space in the running game than it is accustomed to giving up to its opponents.

Washington’s passing attack is the best in the country. The Huskies have a passing yardage average of 343.8 per game. In terms of yards per attempt, the team is ranked eighth in the country.

In some aspects, Washington’s high amount of passing production could be attributed to the conference in which they play. Oregon (342.8 yards per game) and Washington (348.8 yards per game) lead the country in passing yards per game.

Half of the Pac-12 has one of the worst 16 pass defenses in the country, with not a single squad ranking in the top 50. Nonetheless, the Huskies established their credibility with a season sweep over No. 8 Oregon, earning a spot in the College Football Playoff.

So, how does Texas counteract Washington’s passing attack? Tight coverage, pressure on the quarterback, and opportunistic defense.

In last season’s meeting, the Longhorns provided a glimpse of how this game could unfold. Texas allowed 158 running yards while holding Washington to 27 points.

Last season, Washington’s receiving corps won some skirmishes. They will almost certainly do the same this year. Nonetheless, the gang wasn’t rushing away from Texas defenders at will.

Last year, Washington’s top three receivers were Jalen McMillan (58 yards), Rome Odunze (57 yards), and Ja’Lynn Polk (45 yards). Michael Penix had a 5.3 yard per attempt average.

With tight coverage that allows a four-man rush to get home, Texas can nullify the Huskies’ passing attack. The Longhorns should benefit from a better offense headed by a more consistent version of starting quarterback Quinn Ewers this season. With Adonai Mitchell augmenting Xavier Worthy, Ja’Tavion Sanders, and Jordan Whittington, Texas has a more complete receiving room.