A slow start and the memory of getting pulled out of a game in the regular season didn’t stop David Ash from following through on the claims that Texas have a quarterback again. Life was difficult in the first half, but Ash ended up with his hand on top, throwing two fourth quarter game winning touchdowns and end a weird season for the Longhorns on a very high note.
He did a lot of the job security of Mack Brown as well. Another disappointing 8-5 season wasn’t exactly going to quiet all those looking for the end of the long Brown tenure in Austin, which seems to have hit a rough spot or two since losing in the national title game to Alabama after the 2009 season. But Brown sent Case McCoy home along with another player in what might turn out to be quite a big legal scandal for the two players, and gave the sophomore a chance to redeem himself after a tough experience a month ago vs TCU.
I learned a lot at TCU. It was a tough situation I was in. I was just really thankful I got another opportunity to play a game I love.
David Ash finished with 241 yards, throwing a couple of touchdowns and an interception. It all came down to the fourth quarter. The Oregon State defense made it very difficult for him and Texas for three quarters, entering with a 27-17 lead. Texas didn’t even get a first down for the entire first quarter, the second time this has happened all season, with the previous one being in the 63-21 loss to Oklahoma.
Things went a little differently this time. Marquise Goodwin opened the second quarter with a 64 yard run for a touchdown, and although the defense struggled to get a complete lock down on the Beavers offense, things started to look a bit better. In the fourth quarter, everything came together.
Ash went 9 for 11 for 146 yards in the fourth with two touchdowns. The first was to Johnathan Gray, making it only 27-24 for Oregon State. The second one, winning the game, was with 02:24 left on the clock, connecting with Marquise Goodwin, who had a total of 132 yards from scrimmage.
The defense made itself present as well. All season people talked about how talented the Longhorns defense is, but how something isn’t coming together for it in the big games: Kansas State, Oklahoma, West Virginia. The fourth quarter was a masterpiece, holding the Beavers to a negative 4 yards in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Cody Vaz had a nightmarish game, finishing with 198 yards and two interceptions.
The big standout for the Texas defense was Alex Okafor, who finished with 4.5 sacks on the day, tied for the 3rd-most in any bowl game. The record still belong to Shay Muirbrook from BYU in the 1997 Cotton Bowl with six. He’s followed by Victor Butler of Oregon State with 5 from the 2008 Sun Bowl.
Storm Woods had a big day wasted, running for two touchdowns and 118 yards. For a team that was actually thinking of undefeated and a BCS Bowl, it was quite a disappointing way to end 2012, even if it was better than most expected. For Texas, is was something to be happy about. Nothing less than Conference titles and BCS Bowls is acceptable in Austin, but this season, the eventual emergence of David Ash and winning the Alamo Bowl will have to do.