The Texas Longhorns are set for their matchup with No. 15 Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday, but quarterbacks David Ash and Case McCoy are not enough to help lift the team over the Beavers.
Texas comes into this game ice-cold. After losing at home to TCU, the team went on the road and was embarrassed by No. 6 Kansas State. Ash and McCoy struggled in both games, combining to throw for just two touchdown passes and five interceptions
Texas relied on its rushing attack for much of the season, but it will be stymied against Oregon State.
The Beavers' 27th-ranked rush defense (h/t Rivals.com) is one of the best that the Longhorns will play this year, just behind TCU and Kansas State. Texas averaged just 92.5 rushing yards against the Horned Frogs and Wildcats, and we can expect similar numbers in the Alamo Bowl.
Texas will be forced to pass the ball to win the game, which simply won't happen.
After throwing just five interceptions in the first 10 games of the season, Texas' passing attack has unraveled.
Ash was named the starter for the Alamo Bowl after missing the game against Kansas State due to a rib injury that left him as questionable. It was a toss-up as to who would start, but Ash got the nod.
The last time we saw Ash was in his worst performance of the season. Against TCU he completed just 10 of 21 passes for 104 yards while throwing two picks before being injured.
Oregon State's secondary has been drooling at the thought of this matchup since it was announced. Texas is tied with Florida for the seventh-most interceptions in the country. The Beavers are going to take advantage of the Longhorns' recent struggles, and it could get ugly.
The only defense as good as Oregon State's that Texas has played was that of TCU. The Longhorns struggled mightily against TCU, scoring just six points in the first 56-and-a-half minutes of the game, and turning the ball over a total of four times.
The Longhorns found a way to rack up 300 yards of total offense in the game, but TCU's bend-don't-break defense ended the longest drives with turnovers. Oregon State has a similar style, but the team has done a better job of not allowing long drives by stopping the pass as well as the run.
The Beavers' defense has been exceptional this season and will give a struggling Texas team fits. Without the ability to run the ball, Texas will need Ash to have the game of his life to win the Alamo Bowl, but Oregon State's secondary will make sure that doesn't happen.