2012 Valero Alamo - Texas 31, Oregon State 27

Posted Dec 29, 2012

2012-2013 Bowls - CFN's Preview & Prediction for the 2012 Valero Alamo

2012 Valero Alamo

Texas 31, Oregon State 27

- 2012-2013 CFN Bowl Central

- CFN Thoughts and Analysis on the Alamo Bowl

National Rankings
34th Total Offense 37th
32nd Total Defense 75th
37th Scoring Offense 24th
22nd Scoring Defense 72nd
99th Rushing Offense 49th
28th Run Defense 100th
15th Passing Offense 39th
46th Passing Defense 39th
18th Turnover Margin 48th
Position Rankings
relative to each other
5 Highest - 1 Lowest
O   T
3.5 Quarterbacks 3
3 RBs 5
3.5 Receivers 3.5
2.5 O Line 3.5
4 D Line 3
3.5 Linebackers 3
4 Secondary 3
3.5 Spec Teams 4
4.5 Coaching 4.5
(AP) SAN ANTONIO -- David Ash threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, the last a 36-yard strike to Marquise Goodwin with 2:24 left, to give Texas a 31-27 comeback victory over No. 15 Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday night.

The Longhorns (9-4) never led before Goodwin scored his second touchdown on a deep post pattern, just a down after Texas converted a fourth-and-1 play to keep its chances alive.

Storm Woods ran for 118 yards and scored two touchdowns for Oregon State (9-4). The Beavers left stunned after looking as though they would wrap up their first 10-win season since 2006.

Down 20-10 at halftime, Texas coach Mack Brown said he told his players they would win.

"I told them this it wasn't going to be easy, but I told them this game was ours and we would win it," Brown said. "This one is really special."

The victory was a dose of much-needed good news for Texas after coming into the game under a cloud of questions following the suspensions of backup quarterback Chase McCoy and injured linebacker Jordan Hicks.

Ash, whose been pulled at times for McCoy this season, was 21 of 33 for 241 yards. Ash sputtered until the fourth quarter, when he went 9 for 11 for 146 yards. Texas had no choice but to stick with the only backups two redshirt freshmen who haven't taken a snap all season.

Brown announced the suspensions Friday but wouldn't reveal which players were sent home. A person with knowledge of the suspensions told The Associated Press the players were McCoy and Hicks, speaking on condition of anonymity because Texas wasn't releasing the names.

Brown addressed the suspensions during a previously schedule news conference and referred to a local TV report that police were investigating two unidentified Texas players in an alleged sexual assault at a San Antonio hotel. Police released a heavily redacted incident report that only identifies the suspects as two students, one 20 and the other 21.

Authorities are still investigating and no charges have been filed.

Brown said he would not address the suspensions further.

Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz was 15 of 28 for 194 yards. The Beavers had negative 4 yards in the fourth quarter as they were muffled by the Longhorns defense that was led by Alex Okafor, who finished with 4 1/2 sacks.

Although Goodwin's touchdown catch might have won the game, two spectacular Texas plays in an earlier 83-yard scoring drive handed the Longhorns momentum -- and a chance.

First was wide receiver Jaxon Shipley rescuing a pass sailing behind him with a dazzling one-handed grab at midfield. Ash made up for that off-target throw six plays later, slithering out of safety Anthony Watkins' near-certain sack and flinging the ball to Jonathan Gray, who then zipped down the sideline for a 15-yard scoring play that got the Longhorns to 30-27.

The Longhorns played for a national championship in 2009. What's followed has been the shakiest of Brown's 15 years at Texas: a combined 22-16 record, an overhaul of assistant coaches and stubborn instability at quarterback following seven spoiled years with Heisman Trophy finalists Colt McCoy -- the suspended player's brother -- and Vince Young under center.

A surge of four consecutive victories late this season put this nine-win season in reach -- a benchmark that had been the ho-hum standard of the Brown era. It comes following an unexpected twist earlier this month, when school President Bill Powers went to his blog to write that Brown had his "full support" and would remain the head coach.

Powers cited an increase an "increase in media speculation" about Brown's future. It was published on his blog the same day Brown would not yet commit to Ash or Case McCoy as his starting quarterback for the Alamo Bowl.

Texas (8-4) vs. Oregon State (9-3)
Dec. 29, 6:45, ESPN

Here's The Deal … On Dec. 5, 2009, Hunter Lawrence kicked a game-winning field goal to capture the Big 12 title. By Texas' lofty standards, it's been all downhill ever since.

Since losing the 2010 BCS National Championship Game to Alabama, the Longhorns are 21-16. That's just hunky-dory on some campuses, but not in Austin, where the benchmark starts with a conference crown. The program is about to wrap up a third straight disappointing campaign in the Alamo Bowl, a destination more befitting of Baylor or Texas Tech or Kansas State. But not for one of the most formidable programs in the FBS.

This was going to be the year that Texas climbed back to its rightful spot atop the Big 12 standings. The defense was loaded, and the backfield was no longer as unseasoned as it was in 2011. It all made sense on paper until the ‘Horns lost back-to-back games to West Virginia and Oklahoma, the latter in a 63-21 demolition in Dallas. After regrouping against lesser competition, UT would again lose consecutive league games to plummet far out of league and BCS bowl contention. While a win in San Antonio will do nothing to compensate for missing the mark in 2012, a loss is going to make beleaguered head coach Mack Brown's life all the more uncomfortable once the offseason begins.

Texas fell short of preseason expectations. Oregon State, on the other hand, obliterated them. The Beavers began the season trying to erase the memory of a 3-9 flop, their second straight year under .500. It didn't take long to show the nation that this was going to be a different team. OSU jumped out to a 6-0 start, beating Big Ten champ Nebraska and Pac-12 South winner UCLA en route to a top 10 ranking. The team has since lost to three quality Pac-12 opponents, but will still begin the postseason ranked No. 13, highest among three-loss teams.

It's been a triumphant year for the Beavers and head coach Mike Riley no matter what happens at the Alamodome on Saturday evening. However, beating the Longhorns in front of a national TV audience would add an exclamation point to this breakout season in Corvallis. Forget the fact that Riley's kids are ranked, while Brown's are not. Texas will always be higher on the food chain, which means it'll always be a big catch for a team like Oregon State.

Players to Watch: Who gets the start at quarterback … for either school?

For reasons related to injuries and ineptitude, both schools juggled their quarterbacks this fall. David Ash will get the ball ahead of Case McCoy after McCoy was suspended from the team for off-the-field violations. Ash was erratic throughout his sophomore year, but did have moments of clarity, such as versus Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Iowa State. He has the talent to get the ball to Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley, but needs to make better decisions and reads. CB Jordan Poyer, who ranks second nationally with seven picks, must be avoided at all costs.

Riley has a choice of his own between Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz. Mannion was the incumbent, the franchise for the Beavers, but was never the same after getting injured on Oct. 6 and missing a couple of games. Vaz, on the contrary, played well enough to create a quarterback controversy, throwing 11 touchdown passes and a pick. However, Vaz also missed a couple of games to an ankle sprain. Now that both are healthy, the Alamo Bowl could give one of the two a leg up on the 2013 quarterback race. Someone needs to employ the skills of receivers Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks, who have both caught passes for more than 1,000 yards.

Oregon State will challenge talented Texas defensive backs Kenny Vaccaro and Quandre Diggs, but it's more concerned about getting the running game cranking.

The Longhorns were hapless against the run this season, allowing 200 yards a game and 4.8 yards per carry to rank 101st in the country. UT has talented individual in the trenches, but can also get blown off the ball by a physical Beavers O-line. The coaching staff is excited about the future of Storm Woods, who's gone for 822 yards and 11 touchdowns. He, along with sophomore Terron Ward, will be counted on to keep Texas reeling against the run.

In terms of pure potential, very few schools have more raw talent in the backfield than Texas.

Johnathan Gray. Joe Bergeron. Malcolm Brown. All blue-chippers. All underclassmen. And, the ‘Horns hope, all at full strength for this finale. Bergeron finished the year with an aching shoulder, while Brown has been limited by an ankle injury to just 57 carries. In the meantime, Gray, the rookie, has been given an opportunity to blossom. Texas will attempt to wear down the Oregon State D, which will also keep Ash from having to do all of the heavy lifting over the top.

Texas will win if … if the quarterbacks play well.

Ideally, the guy who starts not only finishes, but flourishes. The Longhorns cannot afford mediocrity from behind center, especially since the defense has underachieved all year. Ash or McCoy has to give Oregon State a reason not to stack the line of scrimmage to stop the trio of big backs. He'll also have to prevent the Beavers' best defenders, Poyer and DE Scott Crichton, from altering the momentum of the game. When the Texas quarterbacks are non-factors, or worse liabilities, the team struggles to compete. However, when they are on, the ‘Horns are capable of playing as if they're the nation's No. 13 team.

Oregon State will win if … it keeps Texas flailing against the run.

The very best way to get Mannion or Vaz on track is to support him with a ground game that keeps snapping off five and six-yard gains. When the Longhorns inch up Vaccaro or one of the linebackers, the Beavers can play-action their way to deep balls to Wheaton and Cooks. It still remains to be seen if Texas is going to bring it for all 60 minutes of an off-Broadway game. If the Longhorns D gets bullied back on its heels, much the way it did throughout the regular season, the Beavers are liable to rob Texas of its heart and motivation long before halftime.

What Will Happen: There isn't a lot of separation between these two schools. But Oregon State is going to want it more.

The Beavers are excited to be in San Antonio, and will play with something to prove. The ‘Horns? Forgetting about the distractions surrounding the problems of Case McCoy and Jordan Hicks, they have a lot more to gain than to lose, which is often a postseason landmine. Oregon State will run the ball with success against Texas, freeing up the quarterbacks to get good looks at their targets. The Longhorns will thrive on the ground as well, but Ash is the bigger wild card in this contest. And are going to face the more reliable defensive unit. Motivation and focus are often the 12th and 13th men in the second season. Oregon State will have them on their side, taking Texas down another notch as it begins another long and frustrating offseason.

CFN Prediction: Oregon State 30 … Texas 26
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Oregon State -2 O/U: 57

Alamo Bowl History
2012 Texas 31, Oregon State 27
2011 Baylor 67, Washington 56
2010 Oklahoma State 36, Arizona 10
2009 Texas Tech 41, Michigan State 31
Missouri 30, Northwestern 23 OT
2007 Penn State 24, Texas A&M 17
2006 Texas 26, Iowa 24
2005 Nebraska 32, Michigan 28
2004 Ohio State 33, Oklahoma St 7
2003 Nebraska 17, Michigan State 3
2002 Wisconsin 31, Colorado 28
2001 Iowa 19, Texas Tech 16
2000 Nebraska 66, Northwestern 17
1999 Penn State 23, Texas A&M 0
1998 Purdue 37, Kansas St. 34
1997 Purdue 33, Oklahoma St. 20
1996 Iowa 27, Texas Tech 0
1995 Texas A&M 22, Michigan 20
1994 Washington St. 10, Baylor 3
1993 California 37, Iowa 33