Scott Crichton blocks a field goal attempt by Texas' Nick Jordan. - Stacy Revere
Oregon State controls the first half with a strong rushing game and defensive performance, but the Texas Longhorns take advantage of some poor pass protection and a struggling QB performance by the Beavers to win the Alamo Bowl 31 to 27.
The 2012 Alamo Bowl started out rough with both teams, Oregon State and Texas, making some key mistakes. First Oregon State threw a interception to put Texas in scoring range, to then return the favor by blocking the Texas 46 yard field goal attempt. The Beavs though settled down and were able to score first with a Trevor Romaine 29 yard field goal to have Texas tie the game at 3 to 3. Storm Woods, in his homecoming scored on a 12 yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter to open up the OSU lead to 10 to 3, which the Beavs were able to then hold the lead until late in the fourth quarter.
Cody Vaz got the start but was not sharp all night due to both some poor decisions in the pocket as well as some furious pass rush defense by Texas (a lot of this due to some poor off tackle blocking), but Vaz was able to bring the Beavs into the fourth quarter with a 27 to 17 lead. But the offense could not put the final touches on the solid rushing performance as Storm Woods (21 rushes for 119 yards) did not return to the game with an injury. Sean Mannion did come in to lead the Beavs to their late second quarter scoring drive, which actually did not involve a pass play.
Oregon State went into the first half up 20 to 10 and had what looked to be a great opportunity to get a field goal attempt but a mix up on the officiating and the Oregon State sideline allowed the clock to run out on the Beavs. The field goal itself may not have made a difference in the final result, but one does also wonder what type of play calling would have taken place on the Beavs final game drive if they were only down one point versus four.
The first half looked to have the Beavs on track to win the game. OSU had the Longhorns off balance on both sides of the ball, indeed the Beavs held Texas to 359 total yards and only 16 first downs. It also looked good in the third quarter as Texas looked poised to make its run by closing the gap to 20 to 17, but OSU capitalized on a Texas interception to go back up by ten.
But it all came apart for the Beavs in the last part of the fourth quarter as Texas found its rhythm on both sides of the ball and rode the "home" crowd energy to sneak out a four point victory. David Ash found his touch and confidence going 22 for 34 and 243 yards, and defensive end Alex Okafor had an MVP night with 4 and 1/2 sacks.
It was a rewarding season for the most part for the Beavs, but some of these late losses in the season do seem to put a bit of a damper on the 9 and 4 season. But at the same time the Beavs showed up and played tough in a top-notch Bowl game against a high quality program playing in the backyard. It is disappointing for sure but there are lots of positives to build on for the next season as the Oregon State football program moves forward.