By Wendell Barnhouse | email@example.com
Mack Brown's final game as Texas' coach will be in a game named for another famous last stand.
After 16 seasons, Brown announced on Dec. 22 that Monday's Alamo Bowl will be his last game as the Longhorns' coach. UT will try to give him a winning send off, but they face No. 10 Oregon in a game few expect the Longhorns (8-4) will win.
"We're going to be doubted," Texas junior defensive back Quandre Diggs said. "Some people are going to look at that in a negative way, but I'm going to look at that in a positive way. Y'all keep us as the underdog and we got out and win, then y'all are all shocked in the media. That's up to y'all."
Baylor, which defeated Texas 30-10 in the season finale to win the Big 12 championship and send the Longhorns to the Alamo Bowl, runs an offense similar to the Ducks. Oregon (10-2) averages 46.8 points and 573 yards, which both rank in the top three in the country. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is a more dangerous runner than the Bears' Bryce Petty but they have similar passing statistics.
"It's crazy that we're about to play the same team, almost," said Texas junior defensive end Cedric Reed. "Those are two quarterbacks that have been in the Heisman running this year. They're smart quarterbacks. The offense runs through them."
The Longhorns hope to follow the blueprints used by Stanford and Arizona, the two teams that defeated Oregon this season. Both relied on a punishing ground game to control the football and keep the Ducks' offense on the sideline. Oregon had the ball for fewer than a combined 42 minutes in those two defeats.
"You can see that teams that have had success against and beat Oregon are teams that have taken pride in a power running game," Texas senior guard Mason Walters said. "Playing Oregon, if you don't get pumped up and find a reason to go fight and have it be something that brings out the competitor in you, you can get embarrassed."
The Longhorns have won nine of their last 11 bowls and have a 10-4 record under Brown.
"These guys are like Baylor," Brown said of Oregon. "They can score fast and they do a tremendous job."
Valero Alamo Bowl
Texas vs. Oregon
Need to know: 5:45 p.m. Monday, Alamodome, ESPN.
Team records: Texas 8-4 overall, 7-2 in Big 12; Oregon 10-2 overall, 7-2 in Pac-12 North Division.
Scouting Texas: The Longhorns are coming off their worst offensive performance of the season that contributed to the 30-10 loss to Baylor in game that decided the Big 12 championship. Senior quarterback Case McCoy closes out his career and will try to spark an offense that will need to be productive to keep pace with the Oregon offense. Texas goes into the game with just two scholarship running backs – Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron. The defense has been solid and is led by consensus All-America defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat.
Scouting Oregon: The Ducks rank third nationally in scoring offense (46.8 points per game) and second in totals yards (573.0 pg). Quarterback Marcus Mariota, who figures to contend for the Heisman Trophy next season, is a dual threat as a runner and a passer. Running back De'Anthony Thomas and receiver Josh Huff are just two of the talented play makers that make the Ducks' offense a nightmare for defensive coordinators. Oregon is allowing just 21.6 points per game which ranks No. 25 in the nation.
Short yardage: Texas will be without three players. Offensive tackle Kennedy Estelle, wide receiver/running back Daje Johnson and running back Jalen Overstreet are academically ineligible. … Senior Anthony Fera is the first Longhorn place-kicker to earn consensus All-America honors. … The Alamo Bowl is a sellout, the third-fastest sellout in its history. The Alamo has been a sellout in all three of the appearances made by UT. … The Longhorns lost three of their four games with top 25 foes this season. … Texas has won seven bowl games since the 2004 season, tied for most in FBS in that span. … Oregon's 42-16 loss at Arizona was its biggest margin of defeat since 2008 and its first loss to an unranked team since 2009. … Oregon beat Texas 35-30 in the teams' most recent meeting in the 2000 Holiday Bowl.