Inside Texas picks: UT-Oregon State

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By IT Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2012
Copyright © 2014 InsideTexas.com


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Does Texas have enough motivation to show up at the Alamodome with a sense of purpose Saturday night? How will Friday's suspensions affect the Longhorns on the field? Who wants to be here, and who doesn't? The IT staff picks the game, and it's not all good, that's for sure.

Jesus Shuttlesworth, Inside Texas Special Contributor - On paper, Texas is probably a touchdown better than Oregon State.  Case in point?  Look at the PAC 12 this bowl season.  Texas should dismantle this Beaver squad as they unveil their new offense which is running as many plays as possible and snapping the ball with no less than 20 seconds on the play clock.  Major is cool like that, and wants to get the ball in the hands of all of his playmakers.  Kudos to the young gun for figuring out a way to satisfy all of his weapons.  The problem is that a team and its culture are a reflection of the head guy.  And that reflection isn't a point better, much less a touchdown better than the Oregon State Beavers who have made their jaunt to San Antonio a business trip.  Texas, in turn, seems to be preoccupied... I hope they prove me wrong because I bleed burnt orange, but there's too much smoke in this dumpster fire.  Oregon State wins a thriller. 38 to 35.

Mike Blackwell, Inside Texas Magazine Editor - The immediate aftermath of Texas' regular season-ending loss to Kansas State was  chaotic to say the very least. As the Wildcats were putting the finishing touches on a fourth-quarter Texas collapse, their jubilant student body was chanting, "We-Own-Tex-As." And when the gun sounded, over the railings and walls they came, hundreds pouring onto the field.

Through this crowd the Longhorns had to walk to get to their dressing facility. Hundreds of delirious Kansas State fans celebrating a conference championship while a dazed group of the Longhorns maneuvered through the crowd to the dressing room. To add even more insult to injury, because of stadium renovations, Texas coaches and players had to answer post-game "what happened?" questions in, literally, a portable storage room, with fireworks going off above them.

Why do I regurgitate such a disheartening Texas experience? Because I think - hope? - the Longhorns' memories of this night are fresh and raw and painful…which brings us to the Alamo Bowl matchup with Oregon State. I'm going to believe that Texas' pain from losing not only the Kansas State game but also the Thanksgiving game against TCU, will serve as ample motivation against Oregon State. As for the sexual assault allegations that came to light Friday, I'm not sure how to weigh that news in relation to this ballgame. Except to say, it could be disastrous; I just don't know.

Most folks are saying the Beavers have more motivation in this game, and that usually determines the outcome in these non-BCS bowl games. But the Longhorns looked like they felt real hurt in Manhattan. Mack Brown looked haggard…Manny Diaz looked like he had been hit by a truck…the always-nice Case McCoy bristled at a question about throwing a particular sideline pass.

Combine that hurt with Major Applewhite's new role as the sole offensive coordinator, and I think Texas will be motivated against Oregon State. Certainly David Ash should be motivated to play well - this could be a last-chance-to-impress game for him. And the Texas running back tandem of Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown should be ready to roll as well (sorry, Joe Bergeron, you're getting three carries and that's it).

Applewhite himself will want to call a good game if for no other reason than to keep his name off of talk radio throughout the summer. Manny Diaz? Well, if anyone has any extra motivation, it's him. Kenny Vaccaro and Alex Okafor have had a month to get this defense in the right frame of mind, and they are not going to want to go out on a sour note.

Texas has superior talent; but will Texas have enough heart/motivation?

I think so. Texas 31, Oregon State 21.

Michael Pearle, Inside Texas Co-Publisher - Bowl games are usually about which team is the most pumped to be there, which has a chip on its shoulder and wants to kick somebody's ass. Case in point: the 2007 Holiday Bowl, when Arizona State QB Rudy Carpenter decided to pop off about the Texas defense, resulting in an angry bunch of Horns swarming Carpenter and propelling Texas to a huge lead and an ultimate 52-34 win. There's been no such bulletin board stuff from Oregon State leading up to the Alamo Bowl, at least that I have heard. But from the sound of it, the Beavers are pretty excited to be bowling against a program the caliber of Texas after coming off a 3-9 season in 2011. As for the Horns, well, who can even guess the mindset of this Texas football team, especially after the news broke Friday of Case McCoy and Jordan Hicks being sent home for violating team rules.

Actually, after getting destroyed by OU and losing its last two games of the season, the Horns should feel fortunate to have gotten an invite to a game in a town like San Antonio against a good team from a power conference. And maybe, with Bryan Harsin gone and Major Applewhite running the offense and setting the tone for the team, the Longhorns will come out energized and motivated, despite the absence of the security blanket that McCoy provided. With all the heat coming down on the program after yet another mediocre season and then Friday's incident to top it all off, the Horns should take this opportunity to get mad at the world and play mean football, and gain back a little of the pride lost in a four-loss season. At least, that's what I'm hoping they'll do.

I look for the Horns to ride their five-headed backfield hydra of Bergeron, Brown, Johnson (if he plays), Monroe and Gray to a huge night on the ground, and for David Ash to make enough plays against a talented Beaver secondary to keep the OSU front seven honest. Defensively, with Kenny Vacarro and Alex Okafor buckling it up for the last time in burnt orange, I think the Horn D will look a lot more like the team we saw against Texas Tech than the one that got crushed by the likes of West Virginia, Baylor and OU. Playing in what should essentially be Royal-Memorial South should also help Texas to play with emotion and focus. The Beavers are battle-tested and will fight, but the Horns, in true Texan fashion, will draw a line in the sand and defend the ramparts (sorry, I just had to). Texas 31, Oregon State 24.

Clendon Ross, Inside Texas Co-Publisher - Even before I woke up this Friday morning, the day before Texas takes on Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl, I planned to pick a Beavers win in San Antonio in a track meet. That was before the headline from the San Antonio Express-News website that greeted me when I awoke: Two Longhorn players accused of sexual assault, SAPD says (http://www.kens5.com/news/Two-Longhorns-players-accused-of-sexual-assault-San-Antonio-police-say-185042231.html).

I now expect a Freedom Bowl-type performance from a Texas team that just isn’t all that good to begin with and will now deal with the distraction of two of its own facing criminal charges less than 36 hours before kickoff. Oregon State already had a huge advantage offensively, with a set of skill position players poised to burn Manny Diaz’s defense, and we’ve seen Diaz’s guys ‘inspired’ before (think: Dallas in October).

The only possible saving grace is a spark from Major Applewhite offensively, but now I’m concerned that that spark will be completely extinguished by the sexual assault fallout. Mack Brown may be meeting his Ron McKelvey/Weaver situation. And it may lead not only to a bowl embarrassment, but to his demise as head coach at The University of Texas. Oregon State 52, Texas 21. 

Pat Culpepper, Inside Texas Special Contributor - Oregon State 24, Texas 17.

Click here to read his take: http://www.insidetexas.com/news/story.php?article=4163

 

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