Woods gath­er­ing tick­ets for his fans in Pflugerville

Ore­gon State back ex­pects ‘about 120’

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - — Cedric Golden and Randy Riggs mixed Bag TCU Cat­e­gory WVA Con­tact Kevin Lyt­tle at 4453615. Wire ser­vices CHUCK BUR­TON / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

SAN AN­TO­NIO — Ore­gon State run­ning back Storm Woods knew his al­lot­ment of six Alamo Bowl tick­ets would not be enough to sat­isfy his friends and fam­ily mem­bers in Pflugerville. So the former Pflugerville High star got busy ask­ing his team­mates who weren’t us­ing their tick­ets to trans­fer them over to him. So what was the re­sult? “I got 89 tick­ets,” Woods said. “And those are just the ones I came up with. I ex­pect to see about 120 peo­ple show up to sup­port me.”

Woods, a red­shirt fresh­man who led the Beavers with 843 rush­ing yards and 11 touch­downs, said had the Beavers been se­lected to play in the Hol­i­day Bowl, he would not have got­ten the chance to play in front of so many fa­mil­iar faces. He smiled when re­minded that this game will also be a big deal in the home­town he shares with Texas All-Amer­i­can de­fen­sive end Alex Okafor, a former high school team­mate he af­fec­tion­ately calls “Oaky.”

“It’s very big,” said Woods, who has spent time with his mother, grand­mother and sib­lings this week. “I’m blessed to be able to play against him, but at the same time I’m try­ing to get a win. I’m go­ing to have to be aware of where he is at all times be­cause he’s a dom­i­nant player.”

Tick­ets up­date: An Alamo Bowl of­fi­cial said only a few scat­tered tick­ets re­main for Satur­day’s game, and a sell­out in the 65,000-seat Alam­od­ome is pos­si­ble.

A Texas spokesman said “just a few” of the Longhorns’ al­lot­ment of 12,500 tick­ets re­main un­sold. The bowl of­fi­cial said tem­po­rary seat­ing could be added, if needed.

The at­ten­dance record for the bowl is 66,166 set in 2007, when Texas A&M played Penn State.

Re­mem­ber the run­ning backs: With Ma­jor Applewhite now coach­ing quar­ter­backs in­stead of run­ning backs as part of his new re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as pri­mary co-co­or­di­na­tor, do his run­ning backs feel aban­doned?

The ques­tion, asked jok­ingly, brought smiles to run­ning backs Johnathan Gray and Mal­colm Brown.

“I think he still has love for us RBs,” Gray said. Added Brown: “Like Johnathan said, he still has a lit­tle love for us, I hope.”

Applewhite said grad­u­ate as­sis­tant Blair Peter­son is work­ing with the run­ning backs un­til coach Mack Brown hires a full-time as­sis­tant. That’s ex­pected shortly af­ter the bowl game.

“(Peter­son) is very in tune to the of­fense,” Applewhite said. “He’s been in the of­fense a cou­ple of years, so he’s been able to help us in that area. I think the guys have taken to changes and done a great job with it.”

Jinkens has ar­rived: One of the high­lights for Texas at the end of the sea­son was the emer­gence of fresh­man line­backer Peter Jinkens. The Dal­las Sky­line prod­uct plays with an en­thu­si­asm that co­or­di­na­tor Manny Diaz likes.

“He’s added a lit­tle bit of spunk,” Diaz said. “Peter’s brought a lit­tle bit of bravado to our bunch, and has got­ten in some plays we can get ex­cited about.”

A sta­tis­ti­cal com­par­i­son of TCU’s and West Vir­ginia’s first sea­son as Big 12 mem­bers shows a clear con­trast be­tween of­fense and de­fense: 7-5 4-5 29.3 397.0 157.5 239.5 23.1 332.0 103.9 228.1

Record Conf. rec. Scor­ing To­tal off. Rush off. Pass off. Scor­ing def. To­tal def. Rush def. Pass def. 7-5 4-5 41.6 518.5 177.6 340.9

38.1 469.6 142.5 327.1 go­ing to take. We need to get deeper, stronger. Mostly, we’ve got to keep grow­ing up.”

Led by break­out stars like de­fen­sive end Devonte Fields (nine sacks, 17.5 tack­les for loss) and ju­nior cor­ner­back Ja­son Ver­rett (six in­ter­cep­tions, 14 pass breakups), the stout TCU de­fense that lines up against Michi­gan State in the Buf­falo Wild Wings Bowl ranks 18th in yardage, 10th against the rush.

The of­fense, ranked be­tween 55th and 65th in key cat­e­gories, needs lots of im­prove­ment.

West Vir­ginia, pre­par­ing for Syra­cuse in the Pin­stripe Bowl, has a top10 of­fense and a bot­tom10 de­fense. Hol­gorsen al­ready has shaken up the de­fen­sive staff this month.

Prob­lem is, the of­fen­sive fire­power — quar­ter­back Geno Smith, scat­back Tavon Austin and wide­out St­ed­man Bai­ley — is headed to the NFL.

“There’s no min­i­miz­ing those losses,” Hol­gorsen said, “but long-term I think the in­creased vis­i­bil­ity and re­sources as a Big 12 mem­ber will pay off in re­cruit­ing and other ar­eas. We’ll adapt. We’ve won be­fore, and we’ll win again.”

Bren­don Kay wasn’t sure if he’d get an­other shot. When he did, he made the most of it.

Duke run­ning back Josh Snead fum­bled at the Cincin­nati 5 with 1:20 left and Kay threw an 83-yard touch­down pass to tight end Travis Kelce with 44 sec­onds to go, lift­ing the Bearcats to an im­prob­a­ble 48-34 win over the Blue Devils on Thurs­day night in Char­lotte, N.C.

Kay threw for 332 yards and his four scor­ing passes were a Belk Bowl record.

Duke ap­peared to have the game in hand and was driv­ing for the goa­head score — and its first bowl vic­tory since 1961 — but the fi­nal 80 sec­onds proved dis­as­trous. With the game tied at 34, Snead fum­bled and Bearcats de­fen­sive line­man John Wil­liams re­cov­ered.

Kay quickly took ad­van­tage of the change in mo­men­tum, con­nect­ing with Kelce down the mid­dle for the go-ahead score. Kelce got be­hind the Duke de­fense on a seam route, caught the ball in stride and raced the fi­nal 60 yards to the end zone as Blue Devils fans looked on in stunned si­lence.

Cincin­nati (10-3) sealed it on the next se­ries when Maa­lik Bo­mar came crash­ing into Duke quar­ter­back Sean Ren­free, forc­ing a de­flec­tion that Nick Tem­ple re­turned 55 yards for a touch­down.

Ren­free threw for 358 yards — an­other Belk Bowl record — for the Blue Devils (6-7). Con­ner Ver­non, the ACC’s all-time leader in re­cep­tions and re­ceiv­ing yards, had 190 catches for 119 yards and a touch­down in his fi­nal game for the Blue Devils.

Duke, which came in hav­ing al­lowed 51 points and an av­er­age of 294.5 yards rush­ing over its pre­vi­ous four games, strug­gled to stop Cincin­nati af­ter the first quar­ter.

The Bearcats piled up 554 to­tal yards of of­fense, in­clud­ing 130 yards on the ground by Ge­orge Winn. Duke wasn’t too shabby on of­fense, ei­ther, as the two teams com­bined for a Belk Bowl-record 1,114 yards.

Kay’s MVP per­for­mance comes af­ter a ca­reer be­set by in­juries, but this turned out to be his night to shine.

Mil­i­tary Bowl

San Jose State 29, Bowl­ing Green 20: The best sea­son in San Jose State his­tory? There’s a good case for it, yet it’s one no­body could make if the per­son with the awk­ward role of in­terim, on­the-way-out coach hadn’t fin­ished the job.

The Spar­tans are done for the year with an 112 record. Ten wins go to Mike MacIn­tyre, who re­built a pro­gram that was 1-12 just two years ago be­fore leav­ing this month for a bet­ter pay­day at Colorado.

Win No. 11 goes to de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Kent Baer, who was put in charge and got to speak in a victorious locker room af­ter Thurs­day’s win over the Fal­cons (8-5) in Washington, D.C.

“I didn’t cry, but I wanted to,” Baer said. “I stood tall, took a cou­ple of deep breaths. It’s been a lit­tle emo­tional the last few days.”

Baer wanted to stay at San Jose State, but he was passed over for the full­time job in fa­vor of San Diego’s Ron Caragher and plans to fol­low MacIn­tyre to the Buf­fa­los. With all those dis­trac­tions go­ing on, the Spar­tans could be for­given for be­ing a lit­tle rat­tled ahead of their first bowl game since 2006.

In­stead, San Jose State capped the year with a seven-game win­ning streak for its first 11-win sea­son since 1940, re­cov­er­ing quickly from the shock of MacIn­tyre’s de­par­ture with the help of Baer.

Florida: Safety De’Ante Saun­ders and of­fen­sive tackle Matt Patchan are leav­ing the pro­gram.

Coach Will Muschamp an­nounced the pend­ing trans­fers Thurs­day af­ter the fourth-ranked Ga­tors landed in New Or­leans for the Sugar Bowl.

Muschamp says “I think they needed a fresh start and that’s all I’ve got to say about it.”

Saun­ders, a sopho­more from DeLand, played in eight games this sea­son. He had 18 tack­les and an in­ter­cep­tion. Saun­ders played in 12 games last year, in­clud­ing nine starts, and fin­ished with 26 tack­les and two in­ter­cep­tions.

Patchan, a fourth-year ju­nior from Tampa, has missed all sea­son with a pec­toral in­jury.

South­ern Cal: Matt Barkley came to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia as a hot-shot re­cruit, seem­ingly des­tined to be the Tro­jans’ next star quar­ter­back. For the most part he de­liv­ered on that prom­ise dur­ing a record-break­ing four-year run as USC’s starter.

Barkley, though, won’t get to give a grand fi­nale.

He won’t play in the Sun Bowl against Ge­or­gia Tech on Mon­day be­cause of a lin­ger­ing in­jury to his right shoul­der. Doc­tor’s didn’t clear him to play, coach Lane Kif­fin said.

“It’s a tough day,” Barkley said. “As you heard from Coach Kif­fin I won’t be play­ing on the 31st. I’ve worked as hard as I could to get back for this game, but na­ture’s not al­low­ing it and the doc­tors aren’t al­low­ing it, which is the most im­por­tant thing. They’re look­ing out for my best in­ter­est, and I trust their judg­ment in how things have turned out.”

Kif­fin said Max Wit­tek will start. The red­shirt fresh­man will be mak­ing his sec­ond ca­reer start.

Cincin­nati’s An­thony McClung dives in for the score on a short pass as Duke’s An­thony Young-Wise­man tries to stop him in the Belk Bowl.

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