It’s always smart to know your opponent, and in preparation for the 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl, that’s exactly what Hook ‘Em Headlines is here to help you do. Today, we take a look at the Oregon State defense.
Statistically speaking, Oregon State will be the second-best defense the Longhorns have faced this year, behind only TCU. The Beavers surrender 353.7 total yards and just 19.8 points per game.
Their hallmark, though, is their ability to turn you over. Led by senior All-American cornerback Jordan Poyer, Oregon State has 19 interceptions on the season, which ranks tied for sixth in the country. Poyer has snagged seven interceptions himself, equaling the total of, among others, Heisman finalist Manti Te’o of Notre Dame.
In the front seven, the Beavers are big and physical, giving up 130.5 rushing yards per game (28th nationally). Sophomore defensive end Scott Chrichton registered nine of the team’s 26 sacks, while junior linebacker Michael Doctor leads the team in tackles with 72. Depth could be an issue, however, as backup defensive linemen Rudolf Fifita and Mana Rosa—along with backup linebacker Dyllon Maffi—were suspended earlier in December for an incident at a Corvallis nightclub.
Sophomore punter Keith Kostol averages a solid 42.1 yards per kick, with a long of 67.
Like pretty much every team, Texas’ offensive struggles this year have been directly tied to turnovers. In their four losses, the Horns had a turnover margin of minus-six. In eight wins, it was plus-nine. Take care of the ball against Oregon State like you did against Texas Tech and Iowa State, and you can pound the running game and hit the occasional shot play off play-action. Start giving the ball away, and you’re going to have a tough time selling the message of progress after another 8-5 season.
The game will be televised on ESPN, and kickoff is scheduled for 5:45pm CST Saturday night.
You can contact Brent Stoller at [email protected]