It wasn’t always pretty, but the Texas Longhorns overcame a slow first three quarters to beat Oregon State 31-27 in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of the Horns’ performance…
For much of the first three quarters, there wasn’t much reason to even notice sophomore David Ash. This wasn’t Kansas or TCU, where he was throwing interceptions and—literally and figuratively—dropping the ball. This was more Oklahoma, where he was just kind of…there. That all changed in the fourth quarter, when he went 9-11 for 146 and two touchdowns—including the game-winning 36 yard strike to Marquise Goodwin.
One shining moment: The scrambling, sack-escaping 15 yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Gray to pull the Horns within three with 8:18 left in regulation. That was championship-caliber stuff.
Grade: One to grow on
As a running back, it’s never a good sign when a)your team’s most effective running play is a quarterback draw, and b)your team’s leading rusher for the game is a wide receiver. Going up against a stout Beavers’ rush defense, the trio of Jonathan Gray, Joe Bergeron, and Malcolm Brown ran hard, but saw more Oregon State orange than open-field green all night, combining for 28 yards on 16 carries (1.75 yards per carry). Not even D.J. “Free Carl Lee” Monroe could get loose, as his career 7.7 YPC took one last hit with a three carries-nine yards performance.
One shining moment: Gray’s touchdown catch was clutch, but let’s go with his fourth-and-1 conversion out of the Wildcat to extend the game-winning drive. On the very next play, Ash hit Goodwin for the go-ahead score.
Grade: Good job, good effort