Longhorns Over Come Flat Start to Win Alamo Bowl

The first half of the Alamo Bowl had to be hard to watch for fans of the Longhorns, but they had to be happy with the end result.

Take away a 64-yard touchdown run by Olympic sprinter Marquise Goodwin turned wide receiver on an end around play, and the Texas Longhorns had a dismal 54 yards of offense in the first half of the Alamo Bowl. Even with the run the offense was pretty bad; they didn't get a first down until the second quarter and that was due to an Oregon State penalty!

If it wasn’t for the help the Longhorns got from Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz in the first half the game could have been put out of reach pretty early. Thanks to a handful of adjustments and tremendous play by the defense the Longhorns were able to recover and go on to make a dramatic come from behind win, 31-27.

''I told them this it wasn't going to be easy, but I told them this game was ours and we would win it,'' head coach Mack Brown said.

The defense had been doing a good job of keeping the team in the game with a pair of turnovers in the first half, and in spite of the relative ease that Oregon State running back Storm Woods was running the ball with. Over the last four drives of the first half the Beavers went on drives of  75, 58, 67, and 60 yards; three were for points (17) and the fourth should have been had the Beavers called time out (they thought the clock had stopped to move the chains for a first down, but it had not).

For both the defense and offense it was nearly a tale of two halves. The defense was able to neutralize the Beavers running game. According to the television analysts, Woods may have been out for a while getting an injury looked at. He had only six carries in the second half after gashing the Longhorns throughout the first.

That allowed defensive coordinator to let his guys loose against the pass—and it worked. A group that had only 25 sacks throughout the regular season had 10 against the Beavers, six of them coming in the second half.

It took some time in the second half for the offense to get started, but thanks to the defense they had it. Once the Longhorns began to open up the game plan David Ash took over.

An 11-yard run by Ash capped off a touchdown drive that started at the Oregon State 46 thanks to an interception by Quandre Diggs. An 83-yard touchdown drive brought the Longhorns within three again with a little over eight minutes left. The go-ahead score came on the team’s next drive courtesy of a 36-yard pass from Ash to Goodwin.

The win gave the Longhorns their first nine-win season since they played for the ’09 National Championship. Repeating that feat may not be as hard next year with most of both starting units returning; the offense loses three and the defense just two.
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