AUSTIN, Texas – The University of Texas has accepted an invitation to be the Big 12 Conference representative in the 2013 Valero Alamo Bowl and will face the Oregon Ducks of the Pac-12 Conference on Monday, Dec. 30 at 5:45 p.m. Central in San Antonio.
The game will be played at the Alamodome and be televised on ESPN.
“We are so excited to be playing Oregon,” said head coach Mack Brown. “Great challenge, (Oregon head coach) Mark (Helfrich) has done a tremendous job and we can’t wait to get down there because we know it is a tremendous challenge to be representing the Big 12.”
This will be the sixth meeting between the Longhorns (8-4, 7-2) and the No. 10/12 Ducks (10-2, 6-2), including the second time in the postseason. Oregon downed Texas, 35-30, in the 2000 Holiday Bowl.
“We didn’t finish the way we wanted to but we are going to go back to work and get after these guys because these guys are like Baylor, they can score fast and they do a tremendous job,” said Brown. “They have been one of the best football teams in the country for the past four years.”
This will be the Horns’ third appearance in the Alamo Bowl’s 21-year history. They defeated Iowa, 26-24, in 2006 and knocked off Oregon State, 31-27, in a thriller last season.
Texas will be making its 52nd all-time bowl appearance (second in NCAA history), including 15th in head coach Mack Brown’s 16 years. The Horns have won nine of their last 11 bowls and have a 10-4 record under Brown who has directed his teams to 21 bowls in the last 22 seasons, which is tied for the most in the nation with Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech over that stretch.
“Being that the University has been in the second-most bowl games ever, you need to win your last game regardless of where you are coaching and that is something all of our guys are aware of,” said Brown. “They really enjoy playing in bowl games and it gives you a chance to get out of the box; playing Oregon State last year and playing Iowa earlier in the decade, and now having the chance to play Oregon that is as good as anybody in the country. It gives you a month to prepare, you do a lot of stuff for spring practice, you are working on your team for the future, and at the same time you have one last game for your seniors. We talked about Senior Night being at home but really and truly your Senior Night is the bowl game.”
Oregon enters the game with a high-powered offensive attack. The Ducks rank third nationally in scoring offense (46.8 points per game) and second in totals yards (573.0 pg). QB Marcus Mariota ranks sixth in the nation in passing efficiency (167.9 rating) and ninth in total offense (332.8 per game).
Oregon is allowing just 21.6 points per game which ranks No. 25 in the nation.
The Longhorns rank 36th nationally in rushing offense (197.6 yards per game) with running back Malcolm Brown having averaged 101.6 yards per game over the last seven contests. Jaxon Shipley leads the team with 55 receptions, while Mike Davis has a team-high 715 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
Defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat leads a Texas defense which is tied for fifth nationally in sacks (3.08 per game). Jeffcoat is tied for third in the FBS with 1.0 sack per game, while Cedric Reed is tied for 23rd (0.8 per game). Jeffcoat also leads the team in tackles (80) and tackles for loss (21).
Lou Groza Award finalist Anthony Fera leads the special teams, having connected on 20-of-22 field goals and averaged 40.6 yards per punt on the year.
Tickets for the Valero Alamo Bowl can be requested through www.TexasSports.com. Fans may also call the UT Athletics Ticket Office at 512/471-3333 or 800/982-BEVO if you have any questions. The Athletics Ticket Office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST.
• Texas will be facing a Pac-12 (formerly Pac-10) team for the eighth time in its last 13 bowl trips.
• Texas now has 52 all-time bowl appearances which trails just Alabama (60) on the NCAA all-time list. Nebraska is third with 50. UT has a record of 7-22-2 (.549), including 10-4 (.714) during the Mack Brown era. The 10 wins are the most by any UT coach (Darrell K Royal is second with eight).
• UT had a school-record stretch of 12 straight bowl appearances from 1998-2009, which bettered the previous mark of nine-straight from 1977-85.
• With a 24-21 victory over No. 10 Ohio State in the 2009 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Texas won bowl games in five consecutive years for the first time in school history (2004-08 seasons). The Horns did win five straight previously (1963-64, '66, '68-69), but the streak was interrupted by seasons that did not result in a bowl.
Head coach Mack Brown
On San Antonio native Malcolm Brown and his season: Malcolm has matured a lot the last couple of years. He has had a tremendous year because he has stayed healthy. That has really been his issue. He did some good things for us against Oregon State late last year in the Alamo Bowl game but he has become a key component now with our offense because we are a run-oriented offense. He is tough, he has protected the ball, and I am really proud of him. I know he is also excited about coming back to San Antonio.
On how Jackson Jeffcoat and the defense have stepped up the second half of the year: Jackson has also been a tremendous leader for us. He learned a lot from his dad, Jim Jeffcoat who was a great pro for the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills and who now coaches at Colorado. He has just been a force for us throughout the year and Cedric Reed on the other side has done a real good job so those guys have been a real strength for our defense.
Senior OG Trey Hopkins
On excitement of finding out about Alamo Bowl: It’s always exciting finding out what bowl you’re going to because we found out through the year that things aren’t promised and it’s a testament to how hard we’ve worked throughout the season. It’s great to be going to San Antonio where all our fans can come see us for our final game.
On facing Oregon: It’s definitely going to be exciting to play a top-10 team, a very talented team that’s been in the national spotlight all year, talking about possibly going to a national championship. Now we get a chance to play against a high-caliber team.
On the possibility of finishing his senior year with a win: The bowl game really propels you into the next season and the offseason. That’s really your first step into that next year. It’s your last game coming out as a Texas Longhorn and the last game to be out there as a player for the University of Texas.
On maintaining bowl success: It’s very important. We pride ourselves on the way that we prepare for bowl games and the way that the coaches help us take care of our bodies. We’ll spend as much time as we can preparing for this game.
Senior DE Jackson Jeffcoat
On excitement of finding out about Alamo Bowl: We are very excited to find out where we’re going. It’s a great opportunity to go back to San Antonio and play in the Valero Alamo Bowl. It’ll be a lot of fun. It’s close and basically in our backyard. It’ll be fun to finish out our senior year down there. They did a lot for us. It was a fun atmosphere last year. We went to Sea World and all. I’m excited to hopefully do that again and have more fun in San Antonio.
On facing Oregon: I’m very excited to play Oregon. My dad (Jim Jeffcoat, Colorado assistant coach) and them actually played Oregon during the year so he was giving me some pointers about them already. I’m excited to play them, Marcus Mariota at quarterback and their running back De’Anthony Thomas. It’s going to be a fun challenge and they are a team that people were talking about being in the national championship. It’ll be a lot of fun to square off with them.
On maintaining bowl success: It’s very important. It’s big when you go to bowl games and win them. It just helps with momentum for the next year. These are all my brothers and I want to keep this thing going so next year they can go and win the Big 12 championship and maybe a national championship.
On going out on a high note as a senior: We didn’t win the Big 12 championship like we wanted, but we still have a bowl game. The season is still going. There are a lot of teams in the country that want to be in our shoes. We need to take advantage of being in a bowl game because my freshman year we didn’t have that. We weren’t in a bowl game. We just went home and did workouts. It’s very important to end on a high note and get ready, especially for myself going to the NFL and the other guys that are going to get ready to play in the NFL.
On following Alex Okafor’s showing in Alamo Bowl last year: It would be incredible to go out with a bang and have a great game as a senior like Alex Okafor did. It would just be a great moment for me but really it’s more important to me to have a team win. I want to win and that’s the most important thing for me.
Junior RB Malcolm Brown
On excitement of finding out about Alamo Bowl: It was very exciting. It’s a great opportunity for us. We’re ready to head back to the Alamo Bowl and play a top-10 team. That’ll be very exciting for us.
On facing Oregon: It’s going to be a crazy atmosphere. They’re a top-10 team. It’s a crazy opportunity for us to play them and go out and compete against one of the best teams in the country.
On playing in his hometown: It’s always exciting. San Antonio, I know the city and I know it has a crazy amount of Longhorn fans there. I’m excited to play in front of them and San Antonio is my home so I’ve got to go out there and represent.
On importance of ending season on high note: We always want to go out with some momentum going into the next season, to get that win and have that in our minds and build up going into the next season with that.
On sending the seniors off in right fashion: We just want to go out and send them off on a good note, have them feeling good.
On preparation and mindset: Stay focused. We have a small little break (before bowl practice starts) but we’ve got to have our mind there and keep on focusing.