Texas preps for fast-paced Ducks in Alamo Bowl

Texas must defend a prolific up-tempo offense when the Longhorns

face No. 10 Oregon in the Alamo Bowl in coach Mack Brown’s

farewell.

They have experience after playing Baylor in their last

game.

The Ducks (10-2) average 46.8 points and 573 yards, which both

rank in the top three in the country. Texas (8-4) held the Bears,

the nation’s highest-scoring team, to three first-half points Dec.

7 in what was essentially a Big 12 title game. But Baylor scored 17

in the third quarter and went on to win 30-10.

Oregon’s Marcus Mariota has been one of the nation’s most

efficient quarterbacks, completing 63.1 percent of his passes and

throwing for 30 touchdowns and four interceptions while running for

582 yards and nine more scores.

Baylor’s Bryce Petty is the only QB with fewer interceptions (2)

among those with at least 30 touchdown passes. Facing a quarterback

like Petty, who also has 11 touchdowns rushing, helped prepare

Texas for Monday’s matchup with Mariota.

”It’s crazy that we’re about to play the same team, almost,”

said 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.”

Texas’ best chance at slowing Oregon may be running the ball to

keep the offense on the sideline, as Arizona and Stanford did in

the Ducks’ only two losses.

Tyler Gaffney ran for 157 of the Cardinal’s 274 yards on 45

carries in a 26-20 win that ended Oregon’s perfect season Nov. 7.

Two weeks later, the Wildcats’ Ka’Deem Carey ran 48 times for 206

yards and four touchdowns in a 42-16 trouncing. 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,”

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.”

For the third time this year, the Longhorns are double-digit

underdogs. They pummeled Oklahoma 36-20, but fell to Baylor by 20

points.

”We’re going to be doubted,” 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.”