No. NR/25 Football defeats No. 15/14 Oregon State, 31-27 in Valero Alamo Bowl
Dec. 29, 2012
SAN ANTONIO - The No. NR/25 Texas football team erased a 10-point fourth quarter deficit and emerged with a thrilling 31-27 victory over No. 15/14 Oregon State Saturday evening in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
Oregon State (9-4) took a 27-17 lead into the fourth quarter, but Texas scored a pair of touchdowns over the final 8:18 to secure its ninth win in its last 11 bowl games.
Quarterback David Ash, who completed his final seven passes, and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, playing in his final game as a Longhorn, made the key plays for the offense, while senior defensive end Alex Okafor set an Alamo Bowl record with 4 1/2 of Texas' 10 sacks.
The Longhorns (9-4) drove 83 yards in nine plays midway through the fourth quarter to cut the Oregon State lead to 27-24. On third-and-4, Ash eluded a sack attempt, scrambled to his left and hit running back Johnathan Gray in stride down the sideline for a 15-yard touchdown.
Oregon State rolled up 228 total yards in the first half, but the final 30 minutes were controlled by the Longhorn defense. The Beavers were held to 69 yards in the second half, including minus 4 in the fourth quarter.
After the Gray touchdown, Okafor and Cedric Reed teamed up for a sack of OSU quarterback Cody Vaz on third-and-11 to force a punt and the Longhorn offense took over near midfield with 4:35 on the clock.
On fourth-and-1 from the OSU 39, Gray carried for 3 yards out of the Wild formation. On the next play, Ash hit a streaking Goodwin in the right side of the end zone on a 36-yard touchdown, his second score of the game.
Oregon State had one last shot to regain the lead, but Texas sacked Vaz on the final two plays.
Okafor came off the edge and sacked Vaz on third-and-8 and Kendall Thompson picked up his second sack of the game on fourth-and-14 from the OSU 21. Texas ran out the clock to seal Mack Brown's 10th bowl win in 14 trips as head coach.
Texas forced the first of its three turnovers on Oregon State's first play of the game when linebacker Peter Jinkens stepped in front of a Vaz screen pass at the Beavers' 34 and returned it 4 yards.
Three plays later, Texas lined up for a 46-yard field goal try, but Scott Crichton blocked Nick Jordan's attempt. OSU's Feti Unga returned the ball 14 yards and lateraled to Ryan Murphy, who carried 23 yards to the UT 37.
Oregon State converted the turnover into points as Trevor Romaine booted a 29-yard field goal with 9:12 left in the first quarter.
The Texas defense forced another turnover when Okafor rushed the pocket and swatted the ball out of Vaz's hand. Reed recovered the ball at the OSU 26. Moments later, Jordan converted a 40-yard field goal to even score at 3-all with 6:46 left in the first quarter.
Oregon State regained the lead on its next possession as Storm Woods, who played with Okafor at Pflugerville High School, raced into the end zone from 12 yards out. Texas punted on its next possession, but an Oregon State offside penalty on the kick gave the ball back to the Horns at their 36. Texas immediately made Oregon State pay for its mistake.
On the next play, Goodwin, who was lined up on the right side at wide receiver, took a handoff from Gray and swept around the left end and down the sideline for a 64-yard touchdown and the game was tied at 10-all with 14:40 left in the first half.
Oregon State drove into Texas territory on its next possession, but on third-and-10 from the UT 13, Okafor sacked Vaz and forced the Beavers to settle for a 37-yard Romaine field goal.
The Beavers forced a Texas punt, and Terron Ward capped off a five-play drive with a 9-yard touchdown to give Oregon State a 20-10 lead it took into halftime.
Cornerback Quandre Diggs made another huge defensive play for the Horns midway through the third quarter. He picked off Vaz at the OSU 49 and returned it 3 yards.
Ash, who was 21 of 33 for 241 yards in the game, hit Jaxon Shipley for a key 16-yard, third-down completion and then for 11 yards to set up a first down at the 22. Four plays later, Ash called his own number and hurdled over the goal line for an 11-yard touchdown to move Texas within 20-17 with 5:17 left in the third.
Texas forced an Oregon State punt, but the Beavers' defense created a turnover two plays later. Andrew Seumalo hit Ash's arm as he delivered a pass, and Unga picked off the resulting wobbly throw and gave Oregon State the ball at the Texas 42.
Five plays later, Woods scored from 2 yards out to stake Oregon State to a 27-17 lead just before the end of the third quarter.
Okafor's sack total was one better than Purdue's Chike Okeafor 3.5 against Kansas State in the 1998 Alamo Bowl. It was also tied for the third-highest total in bowl game history.
Goodwin earned offensive game MVP honors and Okafor was the defensive MVP.