Par­al­lels easy to see, good and bad

Ore­gon State, Texas have been strug­gling to run the ball; both coaches tak­ing heat.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Lindsay Sch­nell The Ore­go­nian

COR­VAL­LIS, ORe. — Sean Man­nion fan­cies him­self a foot­ball junkie, which means Ore­gon State’s sopho­more quar­ter­back takes pride in know­ing a lot about col­lege foot­ball around the na­tion. He pays at­ten­tion to games and statis­tics, and he can talk knowl­edge­ably about some of the best play­ers across the coun­try.

But even he doesn’t know all the sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the No. 15 Beavers (9-3) and the Texas Longhorns (8-4).

They might not be mir­ror im­ages, but when Ore­gon

alaMo boWl

Texas vs. Ore­gon State, 5:45 p.m. Satur­day, Alam­od­ome, eSPN, 1300, 98.1 State and Texas meet in San An­to­nio’s Alamo Bowl on Satur­day, the par­al­lels can’t be ig­nored.

When the Beavers went 57 two years ago, it was talk up and down the West Coast. When Texas went 5-7 in the same sea­son, miss­ing the post­sea­son for the first time in the Mack Brown era, it was talk

around the na­tion.

In the past few years, both Ore­gon State coach Mike Ri­ley and Brown have come un­der fire, with some fans de­mand­ing a coach­ing change. Both pro­grams have long his­to­ries of run­ning the ball, but the Beavers and Longhorns have strug­gled to do that in re­cent years. This sea­son, Texas and Ore­gon State jug­gled two quar­ter­backs.

There are some ob­vi­ous dif­fer­ences, too.

“I hadn’t really thought of it that way, but there are some sim­i­lar­i­ties,” said of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Danny Langs­dorf. “But one thing that seems dif­fer­ent is that around their pro­gram, there isn’t as much mo­men­tum, or they’re feel­ing like there isn’t as much. But we’re feel­ing great. We pre- formed great in con­fer­ence, and we’re ex­cited to play in this cal­iber of bowl.”

It’s true that UT fans have be­come ac­cus­tomed to more than Alamo Bowl trips. The Longhorns started out as the pre­sea­son No. 15 team in the coun­try but tum­bled out of the rank­ings af­ter some puz­zling losses.

No one out­side of Cor­val­lis, Ore., ex­pected much of the Beavers this sea­son, but they now find them­selves a two-point fa­vorite over Texas.

Yet even though their roles have switched since Au­gust, so that now the Beavers are ex­pected to win, Ore­gon State play­ers don’t want to di­min­ish the im­por­tance of fac­ing this par­tic­u­lar op­po­nent.

“Texas is a pow­er­house,” said fresh­man run­ning back Storm Woods, who is from Pflugerville. “They’re like the Alaba­mas and all that. They might not be what they were, but I also don’t think their record shows how good they are.

“This would be a big win for our pro­gram. This would show we can play with any­body.” Man­nion agrees. “They’re not like they were when Vince Young was there and they won a cham­pi­onship, but the tal­ent level is still there,” Man­nion said. “The fact that we could get a win over a pro­gram like that, with its his­tory, that would be huge for us.”

DON RYAN / AP

Beavers run­ning back Storm Woods says Texas is tougher than its record shows.

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