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
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
Texas has superior talent; but
will Texas have enough heart/motivation?
I think so. Texas 31, Oregon
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).
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