Texas Longhorns vs Oregon State
When: Saturday, Dec. 29, 6:45 p.m.
Where: AlamoDome (Alamo Bowl)
Texas is attempting to earn its ninth victory of the season. The Longhorns finished tied for third in the Big 12, and resurrected what could have been a program changing season. They sustained back to back losses, but averted a disaster with a couple of close wins, that would have had Austin calling for Mack Brown’s job. Texas still ended the season with two losses, but the (8-4) is certainly better than what most thought what they were headed for.
Two Texas players have been sent home after violating team rules. They are also being investigated by the police for allegations of sexual assault. One of the players involved is part time starting quarterback, Case McCoy. The turn of events leaves all of the quarterbacking duties to David Ash.
Oregon State bounced back from a down year with a very nice 2012 campaign. They opened the season with a tough win of Big 10 Champs, Wisconsin. They got to 6-0 before losing in Washington by three points. All of their losses came against the PAC 12 North, but they were a few plays away from becoming a BCS Bowl team.
David Ash will be taking all of the snaps at quarterback for the Texas Longhorns. He has only thrown seven interceptions this season, but there were times that he didn’t look in tune with the offense. Mike Davis is his go to guy in the passing game, but the Longhorns have other speed guys that are dangerous with the ball. Johnathan Gray and Joe Bergeron have combined to go over 1200 yards rushing. Texas needs to win the line of scrimmage in the run game. They won’t be able to win a game while being one dimensional.
Defensively, they gave up too many points in the Big 12. Every team had their struggles against these offenses at some point, but Texas looked lost before they got back on track. They must tackle well in the open field. Four out of their last five games, Texas played much better on the defensive end. The coaching staff must come up with a scheme to slow down the Oregon State receivers. If they can’t, Texas will find it hard to win this game.
The offensive flow for the Beavers depends heavily on the quarterback play. Oregon State has two viable options to go with in Cody Vaz and Sean Mannion. While both may play in the game on Saturday, Vaz should get the nod because he doesn’t turn the ball over as much. Mannion has thrown 13 interceptions this season, and Cody Vaz only has one. They will have the dynamic duo on the outside at receiver. Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks were one of the best receiving combinations in the nation. They should be able to beat the defense repeatedly.
Oregon State doesn’t use the running game as much, but when they do, Storm Woods is their go to guy. Woods is an all-purpose back who is adept at catching the ball out of the backfield. Texas’ defense will key on the receivers, so early in the game look for Oregon State to Connor Hamlet involved, down the middle.
The defense was great against the run all year, until the Oregon game. They will have their hands full against a potent Texas attack. If Texas gets in the red zone, they use Joe Bergeron heavily. He has 16 touchdowns on the season. The Beavers will have plenty of opportunities to cause turnovers against the Longhorns in the passing game. They’ll need to get pressure on Ash, and to contain him in the pocket.
This is wear the Big 12 will like to flex its muscle. They have already won two bowl games in impressive fashion, and this will be another feather in their cap. However, Oregon State will prove to be too strong if Cody Vaz gets the majority of the snaps.
Oregon State 31
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