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Texas ends up-and-down season with Alamo Bowl win

Valero Bowl - Texas v Oregon State Getty Images

Texas entered the 2012 season as a dark horse of sorts to bring home a Big 12 championship. Suffice to say that didn’t exactly pan out. It’s been three years since a Texas team won the Big 12 and played in a BCS bowl, and with the Longhorns sitting at 8-4 heading into tonight’s Alamo Bowl against Oregon State, there was a question of when — if? —  Mack Brown was going to get his team back on top of the Big 12.

It could very well happen in 2013.

The Longhorns needed a fourth quarter rally, but were able to top No. 15 Oregon State 31-27. Quarterback David Ash went from fumbling a pump fake in the first half (hilarious GIF here, y’all) to tossing two touchdown scores in the fourth quarter. It was quite the turnaround. Then again, Ash’s story this year has been that he’s a Jekyll and Hyde. When Ash is good, he’s damn good. When he’s bad, well, he fumbles a pump fake. The growth for Ash going forward is finding more consistency to go along with the promise he continues to display in spurts.

But it was Texas’ defense that made the game-changing plays when it mattered most. The Longhorns’ D under Manny Diaz has been a punchline for missed tackles and points allowed, but they had an Alamo Bowl record 10 sacks against the Beavers. Alex Okafor had nine tackles, 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble by himself. The irony is that Texas’ defense played the single best half of football it had all season while officially becoming the worst defense statistically in the history of the program.

While Texas’ defensive line deserves credit, Oregon State also all but completely abandoned the run game in the fourth quarter despite the fact that running back Storm Woods had 120 yards on the ground. Taking away the 10 sacks (for -81 yards) on a visibly injured Cody Vaz, the Beavers had 184 yards rushing. It made little sense.

Still, what a good year for Mike Riley‘s team after back-to-back disappointing seasons. There will be questions in the offseason, namely the quarterback competition between Vaz and Sean Mannion. Both saw playing time this year.

As for Texas, the win makes the offseason more manageable. But 2013 is going to be an important year from Brown and Texas no matter how you dissect it.

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12 Responses to “Texas ends up-and-down season with Alamo Bowl win”
  1. thefiesty1 says: Dec 29, 2012 11:31 PM

    Defense finally shows up in 4th quarter. Holy cow, Horns win. Major for head coach.

  2. imaduffer says: Dec 30, 2012 12:04 AM

    Did the refs get free BBQ at half time?

  3. rsmeans says: Dec 30, 2012 1:59 AM

    Except for questionable officiating Texas would have lost the game. Texas will not be a relevant team for many years to come. Such a waste of talent. So much incompetence.

  4. 13datsyuk13 says: Dec 30, 2012 2:54 AM

    Okafor was a full on stud tonight. I think ash is bipolar

  5. term3186 says: Dec 30, 2012 3:18 AM

    Questionable officiating? Sure, but not FOR Texas. Texas had 9 penalties for 78 yards vs. 2/10 for Oregon State. So many missed holds/DPIs.

  6. panthrobro says: Dec 30, 2012 5:52 AM

    And another Pac-12 team gives up over 30 points. You guys have an awesome arena league Pac-12.

  7. allen227 says: Dec 30, 2012 7:03 AM

    I love all the Texas haters that are so Jealous of the Horns that they have to get on here and run there mouthes with negative comments. We will be back. Hook’em!!!

  8. v2rotate says: Dec 30, 2012 9:14 AM

    “Texas will not be a relevant team for many years to come.”

    The irrelevant team in Texas is aggy. Always has been; always will be.

  9. greggatx says: Dec 30, 2012 11:40 AM

    The Horns came through with a great come from behind victory in the Alamo Bowl and 2013 looks bright! We’re the best football program in the state. We do need better offensive play calling though. As far as the aggies are concerned they had their one ok season and will lose to the Sooners on Jan. 4th because, well, they are the aggies. Hook’em Horns!!!

  10. radrntn says: Dec 30, 2012 11:59 AM

    those refs blew it at the end of the first half.

    as far as draft the DE from Texas moves up. and the safety moved down

  11. rockgate says: Dec 30, 2012 12:05 PM

    I’m a Horns fan and happy for the win….There were certainly some things to be excited about (10 sacs from a team that hasn’t demonstrated an understanding of the fundamentals of tackling all year ain’t bad.) but the Texas teams of the last 3 years have not been what we grew used to seeing and I’m concerned it may be some time before ‘that’ team shows back up.

    There just seems to be a basic lack of the ‘it’ factor by the team itself. Given how much Mac has done for this program, I’m not ready to sell him out but I do think it’s time for a little introspection on his part. The Horns need some fire….Give us some fire Mac! (Will…..come back Will! We love you man!!!)

  12. amosalanzostagg says: Dec 30, 2012 7:03 PM

    I’m glad to see the Longhorns win. They have their “boutique” conference in which OU and Texas should
    dominate. It is nothing more than the old Big Eight + 2, so Texas should in the conference. KSU and WVU
    will be rebuilding, so two losses this year become wins. 8-4 becomes 10-2 and a BCS bowl bid. Anything less than 10-2 and Texas should be ashamed.

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