Parallels easy to see, good and bad
Oregon State, Texas have been struggling to run the ball; both coaches taking heat.
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
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.”
Beavers running back Storm Woods says Texas is tougher than its record shows.