The Alamo Bowl: Oregon Ducks vs. Texas Longhorns Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/30/13
Texas Longhorns (8-4) at Oregon Ducks (10-2)
College Football: Monday, December 30, 2013 at 6:45 pm (Alamodome)
The Line: Oregon Ducks -14 -- Over/Under: 69 See the Latest Odds
Storyline: The 10th-ranked Oregon Ducks look to erase the memory of another stalled title run when they clash with Texas, whose 2013 met a similarly bitter end, in the Valero Alamo Bowl Monday.
The Breakdown: The 2013 Ducks were a carbon copy of last year’s team, ripping through the first two-thirds of the schedule with little to no resistance only to have their title hopes dashed by a Stanford side that held Oregon to its lowest offensive output of the season. The Ducks would bounce back in their next outing, dominating Utah 44-21, but stumble again the following week at Arizona before winning their annual rivalry with Oregon State in the finale.
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Sophomore QB Marcus Mariota was again at the helm of one of the nation’s most potent offenses, ranking second in the nation at 573 total yards per contest, 20th in passing yards at 294.7, 9th in rushing yards at 278.3 and 3rd in scoring at 46.8 points per game. The rushing tandem of sophomore Byron Marshall (995 YDs, 14 TDs) and freshman Thomas Tyner (689 YDs, 9 TDs) combined for 1,684 YDs and 23 TDs. Mariota’s top target, senior WR Josh Huff (57 REC, 1,036 YDs, 11 TDs), needs 88 yards and one touchdown to become Oregon’s most productive receiver.
Texas, meanwhile, had one of the most turbulent seasons in recent memory, ending with the resignation of head coach Mack Brown after 16 years. At the end of it all, however, the Horns could still bring Brown’s career to a close with a nine win season. The fireworks started right out of the gate when after a 1-2 start and consecutive blowout losses to BYU and Ole Miss, Longhorn nation was calling for Mack Brown’s head. Backed in a corner, Texas responded well, though, and rattled off six straight, with the highlight coming in the Red River Rivalry and a commanding 36-20 upset of then #12 Oklahoma. The Horns would then drop two of their final three games, ending the regular season with a 30-10 loss to Baylor.
Texas brings the nation’s 73rd-ranked passing offense at 225.5 yards a contest, its 34th-ranked rushing game at 197.6 yards per outing, and the 55th-ranked scoring offense at 25.5 points per contest. They’ll be led by senior QB Case McCoy, who’ll be playing in his final game after replacing junior David Ash midway through the season due to an injury. McCoy completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 1,885 yards, 11 TDs to 11 INTs and he’ll need to outdo himself for Texas to have a shot. He’ll be joined in the backfield by sophomore RB Johnathan Gray (780 YDs, 4 TDs) and junior Malcolm Brown (774 YDs, 9 TDs), who combined to rush for 1,554 YDs and 13 TDs. McCoy’s top targets are senior WR Mike Davis (49 REC, 715 YDs, 8 TDs) and junior Jaxon Shipley (55 REC, 581 YDs, 1 TD). Defensively, the Horns own the country’s 57th-ranked scoring defense, allowing 25.5 points per outing and senior DE Jackson Jeffcoat (74 Tackles, 21 forLoss, 12 Sacks), the Big 12 Defensive Player Of The Year, is this unit’s anchor.
Rick’s Pick: The line in this one is currently set at -14 for Oregon with a 69 point total. Although it looks like Texas is outmanned here, the Horns have been at their best with their backs against the wall so laying down two TDs could be a bit much. The point total’s rather large as well so the under looks like the safest play.
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