Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs. Texas

Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs. TexasAlamo Bowl Matchup: Oregon Ducks vs. Texas Longhorns

Date/Time: December 30th, 6:45 ET

Television: ESPN

Alamo Bowl Odds from Bookmaker

Point Spread: Oregon -14

Total: 68

The Alamo Bowl will be the last stand for Head Coach Mack Brown, as he’ll be stepping aside at the end of this one from his post with the Texas Longhorns. The task for winning his last game is a tough one, as the Oregon Ducks are on tap in San Antonio.

Oregon is a team which bothers us quite a bit. The Ducks are a good team for sure, but they really didn’t play up to their potential this season, especially down the stretch. It’s almost as if they just gave up when they lost to the Stanford Cardinal in November. The team didn’t cover a spread in the final four games of the year, and the offense only averaged 29.0 points per game in those outings without really taking on a tremendously tough schedule. For a club which was averaging over 50 points per game prior to that, that’s a huge drop. QB Marcus Mariota probably could have left school after this year to go to the NFL, but he has decided to come back to school, at least for the time being. He threw for 30 TDs and four picks this year, and the truth of the matter is that it wasn’t his fault that his team fell apart on him down the stretch. If that wasn’t the case, he would have been a Heisman Trophy finalist for sure.

Texas never really had a shot against the two best teams in the Big XII, the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Baylor Bears, and scoring just 23 points and getting beaten by at least three TDs in both of those games has a lot of bettors running for the hills away from the Longhorns. There’s something to be said about emotion and home field advantage though, and the Horns will definitely have both of those items on their side. The list of injuries is eight miles long for the Longhorns, and there is no doubt that a lot of these players who are listed as questionable really need to be playing for them to have a shot of beating a team which many believe is one of the best five in the nation. QB Case McCoy also really has to avoid turning the ball over in the worst way. He has 11 INTs against 11 TDs, and he is clearly the inferior of these two quarterbacks. However, QB David Ash is out for the season, and McCoy is the only option which UT has to work with in this game.

Part of what made Brown such a great coach in Texas history is the fact that he won his bowl games. In fact, the only losses he has suffered in a bowl game since the 2000 Holiday Bowl (interestingly enough, against these Ducks) came in the 2003 Holiday Bowl and the 2009 BCS National Championship Game, and McCoy’s brother, QB Colt McCoy, was injured on the fourth offensive play of the game in the latter of those two games. The Ducks have won back to back bowl games, but this is the first time since 2008 which they have played in a bowl game which wasn’t a BCS game.

Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.