ALAMO BOWL NOTES

MARKUS WHEATON

IT SEEMS LIKE Mack Brown has been coaching Texas forever. In his 15 years with the Longhorns, Texas has gone bowling 14 times. And it seems like Brown will be there for many more years and bowl appearances. Unless of course you believe the media…

Last season, a radio station breathlessly reported Brown would announce his retirement after the Baylor game. That of course ended up not being true but it hasn't stopped rampant speculation on Brown from continuing. Every month it seems, a new retirement report makes the rounds. It creates a stir, then quietly flames out. Until the next one.

Brown is 61 years old, still relatively young for a football coach. He is the highest-paid public university employee in the nation with a $5 million-plus salary. He's also signed through 2020.

Two guess – one, that Brown isn't going anywhere for a long time. Two, that continued rumors of his retirement will continue for a long, long time. And at some point down the road, the final one that just happened to coincide with Brown's actual retirement, will say; 'See? Told ya.'

HOW GOOD IS the receiving tandem of Markus Wheaton (88 receptions, 1,207 yards, 11 TDs) and Brandin Cooks (64 receptions, 1,129 yards, 5 TDs)?

Well, consider that only one other school in the nation had a pair of receivers who each had more than 1,000 receiving yards (Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin of West Virginia).

Cooks and Wheaton have accounted for over 60 percent of the Beavers' total receiving yards and 16 of the Beavs' 27 touchdowns through the air. Wheaton also set the new career record for receptions (224) at Oregon State.

Texas HAS USED a running back by committee approach this season but many expect true freshman RB Johnathan Gray to be the featured back and get a lot of touches in the early going.

The rationale is that Gray is the fastest of the Longhorn running backs and that while OSU has performed well against the run, they have had some troubles with faster backs.

THE MAGIC NUMBER in the Alamo Bowl is 136.

Texas is 8-0 when rushing for over 136 yards. They are 0-4 when they fail to reach that number on the ground.

Boiled down to its essentials, Oregon State's strategy figures to focus on stopping the run and forcing Texas to try and beat them through the air, where the Longhorns have been inconsistent this season.

CONSENSUS ALL-AMERICA cornerback Jordan Poyer is getting a lot of press these days, and he should, but the Beavs' other corner, Rashaad Reynolds has quietly had a heck of a season, too.

Reynolds is second on the team in tackles with 70, behind only linebacker Michael Doctor (72 tackles, 10.5 TFLs).

THE BEAVERS have the 22nd best scoring defense (19.8 ppg) in the country and rank19th nationally in turnover margin (plus-10).

Oregon State on offense ranks among the top 40 teams in the country in terms of both scoring (33.0 ppg) and total offense (442.7 ypg).

THE RED ZONE would seem to augur well for Oregon State in this Alamo Bowl matchup.

Texas ranks 117th out of 124 FBS schools by allowing opponents to score on 90.6 percent of their attempts inside the 20-yard line. Oregon State is No. 10 in red zone efficiency, scoring 90.6 percent of the time.

Texas' base defense is a 4-3 but they'll sometimes change to a three-man front in some passing situations.

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