Halt­ing any run at­tack a prob­lem for Horns

Beavers not stel­lar on ground but still present a chal­lenge.

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - Steve Ed­mond (bring­ing down Bay­lor’s Glasco Martin) is solid in the mid­dle, but Texas has had prob­lems all sea­son at out­side line­backer. DEB­O­RAH CAN­NON / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN Ore­gon State’s im­proved run­ning at­tack in­cludes Storm Woods, a red­shirt fresh­man f

Part 4 of a col­lab­o­ra­tion by the Amer­i­canS­tates­man and The Ore­go­nian, break­ing down po­si­tion-by-po­si­tion matchups in ad­vance of the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.

To­day’s matchup: Ore­gon State’s run­ning backs vs. Texas’ lineback­ers.

Texas: Steve Ed­mond, a first-year starter at mid­dle line­backer, leads the team with 101 tack­les. He’s manned the mid­dle all sea­son, but the ’back­ers on his flanks have come and gone. In­juries and poor per­for­mances have forced Texas to mix and match at the po­si­tion, and the mis­sion to find the right trio con­tin­ues (two sopho­mores, Tevin Jack­son and Ken­dall Thompson, likely will start). Longhorns lineback­ers have had a for­get­table year; a lot of that can pos­si­bly be chalked up to Jor­dan Hicks — who was sup­posed to lead the unit — suf­fer­ing a sea­so­nend­ing in­jury be­fore Big 12 play be­gan. But whether it’s poor schemes or tal­ent is­sues, the po­si­tion has been a big rea­son why the Longhorns have strug­gled to stop the run.

Ore­gon State: Af­ter two years of hav­ing pretty much no run­ning game, the Beavers got bet­ter this sea­son, though they’re still not as good as head coach Mike Ri­ley would like. In the pre­sea­son, Ri­ley set a goal of his team rush­ing for 1,800 yards; through 12 games, Ore­gon State has rushed for 1,514 yards. Red­shirt fresh­man Storm Woods, from Pflugerville, has got­ten bet­ter through­out the sea­son, but hasn’t yet be­come the go-to back like the Beavers have had in the past. Sopho­more Ter­ron Ward av­er­ages only 32.5 yards a game, but looked ter­rific against Ari­zona State, rush­ing for 146 yards.

Hookem.com’s Dave Behr says: Edge to Ore­gon State. All run­ning backs get the edge over the Longhorns un­til proven oth­er­wise. There’s po­ten­tial there, but there’s no rea­son to think the strug­gles against the run will sud­denly change.

The Ore­go­nian’s Lindsay Sch­nell says: Edge to Ore­gon State. Ev­ery­one has been able to run on Texas this sea­son, so why can’t the Beavers?

Sun­day’s matchup: Texas’ of­fen­sive line vs. Ore­gon State’s de­fen­sive line.

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