2013 Valero Alamo Bowl
Texas Longhorns vs #10 Oregon Ducks
Alamodome – San Antonio, Texas
Monday, December 30, 2013, 6:45 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Oregon -10 1/2
Current Line: Oregon -14
Opening Total: 66
Current Total: 67
Opening Money Line: Oregon -560 / Texas +430
Current Money Line: Oregon -600 / Texas +450
After 16 seasons as the head coach at the University of Texas, Mack Brown will step down after Monday’s Alamo Bowl against the Oregon Ducks in San Antonio. Texas was openly flirting with Alabama coach Nick Saban and Brown decided to step down on December 14. No replacement has been named yet. Texas went 8-4 this season and 7-2 in conference, but had a chance to clinch the outright Big 12 title had they beaten Baylor in the season finale.
Oregon went 10-2 overall and 7-2 in the Pac 12 North division. The Ducks tied with Stanford for the division, but the Cardinal won the tiebreaker by beating Oregon head to head. Long time Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti will also retire at the end of this game.
Oregon won the last meeting against Texas 35-30 in the 2000 Holiday Bowl. Texas won all four previous meetings but those were all prior to 1972.
Texas is 27-22-2 in Bowl games. This is the 53rd bowl appearance for Texas, second only to Alabama. The Longhorns have won 8 of their last 9 bowls and have won six straight games, including 31-27 against Oregon State last year in the Alamo Bowl. This is the third time since 2006 that the Longhorns have made the short trip from Austin to San Antonio. Texas is making their 15th bowl appearance in 16 seasons under Brown.
Oregon is 11-15 all-time in bowl games. The Ducks have won 2 straight bowl games including 35-17 over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl last year. Oregon is making their 17th bowl appearance in the last 18 seasons. Oregon had played in four straight BCS bowls until this season. The Ducks have never played in the Alamo Bowl before, and haven’t played a bowl game in Texas since the 2007 Sun Bowl in El Paso.
The Longhorns have road losses at BYU 40-21 and Baylor 30-10 to close out the regular season, along with home losses to Ole Miss 44-23 and Oklahoma State 38-13. Texas has gone 1-2 in their last 3 games after a six game winning streak. Texas has home wins over New Mexico State 56-7, Kansas State 31-21, Oklahoma 36-20 (in Dallas), Kansas 35-13 and Texas Tech 41-16, along with road wins at Iowa State 31-30, at TCU 30-7 and West Virginia 47-40 in overtime. Texas is 6-6 ATS and the total is 5-7 as well. The Longhorns were 17.5 point underdogs against Baylor and the total was 71.
Texas is outscoring teams 31-26 this season The Longhorns are averaging 423.1 yards per game on offense, including 225.5 passing and 197.6 rushing yards. Texas is #34 in rushing. On defense, Texas is allowing 402.2 yards per game including 221.8 passing and 180.5 rushing yards. Texas is #47 in pass defense and #79 against the run out of 125 FBS teams. The Longhorns are +6 in turnovers with 26 takeaways. Texas is 93/224 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 78/209. The Longhorns are 36/40 scoring in the red zone with 23 touchdowns and opponents are 42/48 with 26 touchdowns. Texas has forced 37 sacks and allowed 14 this season. The Longhorns are averaging 47 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 66 penalty yards per game. Texas has a pick six, a fumble return for a TD and a punt return for a touchdown this season and has also allowed 2 pick sixes and a punt return for a touchdown.
Quarterback Case McCoy has played well since starting quarterback David Ash was lost for the season with a severe concussion earlier in the season. McCoy has completed 57.4% of his passes for 1,885 yards with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, along with 2 rushing touchdowns. Ash has completed 60.9% of his passes for 760 yards with 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 31 carries, 152 yards and a touchdown. Back-up Tyrone Swoopes has thrown for 18 yards, and also has 12 carries for 41 yards and a touchdown.
Running back Johnathan Gray has 159 carries, 780 yards and 4 touchdowns, and also has 15 catches for 61 yards. He is out for the season with an Achilles’ tendon tear. Malcolm Brown has 188 carries, 774 yards and 9 touchdowns, plus 17 catches for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns. Joe Bergeron has 65 carries, 341 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 10 catches for 100 yards. He is questionable with a foot injury. Jalen Overstreet has 20 carries, 102 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is out for academic reasons, as is Daje Johnson. Johnson has 24 carries, 140 yards and a touchdown, along with 24 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown. He also has a punt return for a touchdown. Besides McCoy and Swoopes, no other Texas back has more than 2 carries. It is unclear who get the carries behind Brown with all of the injuries and suspensions. Fullback Chet Moss is also questionable with a suspension.
Receiver Mike Davis has 49 catches, 715 yards and 8 scores. Receiver Jaxon Shipley has 55 catches for 581 yards and a touchdown. Kendall Sanders has 35 catches, 351 yards and a touchdown. Marcus Johnson and John Harris each have two touchdown catches. Nine defensive players are listed as questionable or out Monday for the Longhorns.
Oregon is coached by Mark Helfrich. The Ducks have home wins over Nicholls State 66-3, Tennessee 59-14, California 55-16, Washington State 62-38, UCLA 42-14, Utah 44-21 and Oregon State 36-35 to close out the regular season, along with road wins at Virginia 59-10, Colorado 57-16 and at Washington 45-24. The Ducks have road losses at Stanford 26-20 and at Arizona 42-16. Oregon is 7-5 ATS and the total is 7-5 this season. The Ducks were 24 point favorites against Oregon State and the total was 69.5.
Oregon is outscoring teams 47-22 this season. Oregon is #3 nationally in scoring and #24 in points allowed. The Ducks average 573.1 yards per game including 294.7 rushing and 278.4 passing yards. Oregon is #2 in total offense and #9 in rushing. Even the passing attack is #20 in the country. Oregon is allowing 381.2 yards per game on defense, including 216.9 passing and 164.3 rushing yards. Oregon is #37 in pass defense out of 125 teams. The Ducks are +9 in turnovers for the season with 27 takeaways. Oregon is 80/179 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 98/238. The Ducks have forced 26 sacks and allowed 16. Oregon is 55/70 scoring in the red zone with 48 touchdowns, and opponents are 36/44 with 24 touchdowns. The Ducks are averaging 69 penalty yards per game, and opponents are averaging 43. Oregon has 2 punt returns for touchdowns, a kick return for a TD, a fumble return for a touchdown and a pick six. The Ducks have allowed one fumble return for a touchdown.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has completed 63.1% of his passes for 3,412 yards with 30 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions, along with 81 carries for 582 yards and 9 touchdowns. Back-up Jake Rodrigues has a touchdown and a pick and 67 passing yards along with 38 rushing yards. Jeff Lockie has thrown for 57 yards with an interception, along with 28 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Running back Byron Marshall has 155 carries, 995 yards, and 14 touchdowns, along with 11 catches for 150 yards. He is questionable with a foot injury. Thomas Tyner has 109 carries for 689 yards and 9 touchdowns, along with 12 catches for 109 yards. De’Anthony Thomas has 93 carries, 581 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 20 catches for 222 yards and a touchdown. He also has a kickoff return for a touchdown.
Receiver Josh Huff has 57 catches for 1,036 yards and 11 touchdowns, plus 27 rushing yards. Bralon Addison has 56 catches for 842 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 2 punt returns for touchdowns. Keanon Lowe, John Mundt and Daryle Hawkins have 3 touchdown catches each. Tight end Pharaoh Brown has 2 touchdown catches, but is suspended for violating team rules.
Texas is 4-0 ATS after failing to cover, 5-1 against Pac 12 teams, 6-2 on grass, 3-7-1 in neutral site games, 1-5 after allowing 280 passing yards or more, and 0-5 after gaining less than 275 total yards.
Oregon is 4-0 ATS in non-conference games, after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 10-2 on grass, 14-3 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 12-4 after a straight up win, 1-4 against teams with winning records, 0-4 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, after allowing more than 450 total yards, and overall.
Texas struggled with the speed of Oklahoma State and Baylor recently and were blown out in both games. Oregon has even more speed than those two teams. Certainly the Longhorns can’t get into a shootout or track meet with the Ducks. Texas is also very thin at running back with so many injuries and suspensions. If Oregon is properly motivated, they should win this game easily. However, that is a very big if, because Oregon was blown out by Arizona and barely beat Civil War rival Oregon State. Oregon was favored by at least 20 points in both of those games. There will be emotion on both sides though because of the departures of Brown and Aliotti. I like Oregon to win in a high scoring game.