Bradlee Anae becomes Utah’s all-time sacks leader in first quarter of Alamo Bowl

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2019, file photo, Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae (6) celebrates after sacking Colorado quarterback Steven Montez in the second half during an NCAA college football game, in Salt Lake City. Anae was selected to The Associated Press All-Pac 12 Conference team, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae's share of the credit for a sack in the first quarter of Tuesday night's Alamo Bowl vs. Texas gave him sole possession of the school career record.

Anae joined defensive tackle Leko Fotu in sacking Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger on a third-down play to end the Longhorns' second possession of the game.

The half-sack gave Anae 13.0 sacks for the season and 30.0 for his career, moving ahead of Hunter Dimick.

Statisticians originally credited Fotu with a solo sack, prior to a scoring change. Later in the first half, the stadium announcer recognized Anae's record.

Urban’s influence

Two members of the Urban Meyer coaching tree were on opposing sidelines Tuesday. Utah's Kyle Whittingham was Meyer's defensive coordinator with the Utes in 2003-04 and Texas' Tom Herman was Meyer's offensive coordinator with Ohio State in 2012-14.

During an Alamo Bowl news conference, Whittingham discussed — possibly for the first time — how he was unhappy about Meyer’s being chosen over him as the successor to Ron McBride.

“I felt like I was the next guy,” Whittingham said. “I was ready for it. When Urban got hired, I was disappointed.”

But then, “As it turned out, that was the best thing that happened to me,” Whittingham said. “Just to be able to work for Urban for those [two] years … was invaluable to my development as a coach. His meticulous approach, detailed in everything that goes into running a football program on a daily basis, I was able to observe that and work through that.”

Asked what he took from Meyer, Herman said, “Certainly, the physicality element is one that stands out. I know that we pride ourselves in being physical. I'm sure [Whittingham] he does, too. I know in my time with coach Meyer, that was certainly a big point of emphasis.”

Alex’s appearance

Alex Smith, the quarterback of Meyer's Utah teams, and former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy served an honorary captains for the Alamo Bowl.

Smith, 35, quarterbacked the Utes to a Fiesta Bowl victory over Pittsburgh in January 2005, concluding a 12-0 season. He sat out this season after sustaining a devastating leg injury in November 2018 with Washington of the NFL, but hopes to return in 2020.

McCoy led Texas to the national championship game after the 2009 season, but was injured in the first quarter of a 37-21 loss to Alabama — the season after the Crimson Tide lost to Utah in the Sugar Bowl.

Ticket count

Attendance figures were not available as of halftime, but upwards of 60,000 seats appeared to be filled in the 65,000-seat Alamodome. Utah was allotted 6,000 tickets. The Utah section was filled.

Pac-12 comeback

After the Pac-12 posted a 1-8 record in bowl games in 2017 and 3-4 last season, the conference went into the Alamo and Rose Bowls needing one victory for a winning record this season.

Wins by Washington, California and Arizona State and losses for USC and Washington State made the league 3-2. Oregon will meet Wisconsin in Wednesday’s Rose Bowl.