Brown out: Ducks rout Texas in Mack Brown’s finale
Mack Brown came to Texas in 1998 and told a frustrated fan base
to ”Come early, be loud and stay late.” Sixteen years later, many
obeyed him again one last time, sticking around even after another
pummeling in an underachieving season.
Now they’ll find out what the post-Mack Brown era holds.
The Longhorns don’t want it to resemble this: Getting crushed by
No. 10 Oregon 30-7 in the Alamo Bowl on Monday night in the worst
postseason loss of Brown’s run at Texas, which tacks on another
dreary footnote to a season of constant tension and unmet
The blowout was a final reminder of why Brown is resigning after
16 seasons at Texas, which he led to a national championship in
2005 but couldn’t pull out of mediocrity and disappointment in
recent years. He led the Longhorns off the field for the last time
with his arm slung around his wife, flashing the ”Hook `em Horns”
sign before disappearing into a tunnel to a chorus of cheers.
”The fan base needed to be pulled together because it was very
divided in 1997. We pulled them together. We had a great run,”
Brown said. ”Now there’s some for you, some against you. That’s
not fair to these guys. They need to have positive energy all the
time. That’s what I want for them.”
Brown received warm goodbyes from a sellout crowd in what was
practically a home game for Texas (8-5). The school marching band
spelled his name at halftime, and the halter over Bevo’s face was
emblazoned with the word ”MACK.”
It was a tribute to Brown returning Texas to a national power
before the last four uneven seasons, when he couldn’t reverse a
sharp decline since the Longhorns lost to Alabama in the 2009
Brown said he had no regrets about making this his exit.
”I think it’s best for Texas. It’s best for me, it’s best for
the players,” he said. ”We need to win more than eight games.
Last year was nine. I really thought we had a chance to win all the
games this year. It didn’t work. It’s my job to make that work. I
told them tonight, the only regret I had is we didn’t win enough
games this year.”
The BCS-snubbed Ducks (11-2) dominated throughout – even though
their famously high-powered offense scored just one touchdown and
repeatedly settled for field goals. Yet the rout didn’t seem to
completely balm the sting of not playing in a BCS bowl for the
first time in five years, with Oregon players after the game still
reflecting on their championship hopes derailed by November
Quarterback Marcus Mariota had 386 total yards and Oregon
returned two interceptions for touchdowns, spoiling Brown’s
farewell. He led all rushers with 133 yards on 15 carries and was
18 of 26 for 253 yards passing in a Heisman Trophy campaign tuneup
for 2014, having announced earlier this month that he was coming
back for his junior season.
His one touchdown pass was to Josh Huff, who turned a short pass
into a spectacular 16-yard sprint to the end zone.
”Yeah, it wasn’t the season we hoped for,” Huff said. ”That
month of November was a tough stretch for us but we were able to
come together as a team and continue to fight for one
Oregon’s first touchdown came on the third play of the game when
safety Avery Patterson intercepted an overthrown pass by Texas
quarterback Case McCoy and returned it 37 yards to the end zone.
McCoy later bookended a dismal performance in his final game with
another pick-six, this one returned 38 yards by linebacker Derrick
Malone that sent waves of burnt orange-clad fans streaming for the
McCoy scored on a 1-yard rush in the first quarter for Texas’
only touchdown. He finished 8 of 17 for 48 yards and was pulled at
times in the second half for freshman Tyrone Swoopes.
Running back Malcolm Brown was the lone offensive constant for
Texas, finishing with 130 yards on 26 carries.
”It’s tough not to get a win for him,” defensive end Jackson
Jeffcoat said. ”Miss Sally, she’s like a second mom to us. She
takes care of us. Coach Brown loves us ”
Far from the uplifting send-off Texas wanted for Brown, the
school now shifts its focus to finding a replacement. New Texas
athletic director Steve Patterson said before kickoff that he wants
a successor by Jan. 15.
Patterson said coaches interested in the job have come forward
but wouldn’t discuss potential candidates.
”There’s interest that’s sincere, and there’s interest that’s
`Help me find a better contract,”’ Patterson said.
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