Only days separate the clash between the No. 23 Texas Longhorns (8-4, 5-4) and the No. 13 Oregon State Beavers (9-3, 6-3) in the 2012 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, and the matchup features two teams with plenty to play for come Saturday evening.
The Beavers are looking to cap off a fantastic surge in 2012. After finishing 2011 with a 3-9 mark, OSU has a chance to reach the 10-win plateau against one of college football's most storied programs.
The Longhorns can soothe themselves with a win to finish a roller coaster season. Since losing the 2009 BCS Championship Game, Texas is a mere 21-16 over that span. But as the rebuild continues for Mack Brown's Longhorns, a second trip to the Alamo Bowl can be another stepping stone back to the top.
Here is a breakdown of five keys to the game on Saturday.