Gridiron Girl Game Preview: Oregon State

Happy Holidays, ‘Horns fans! I hope you’re enjoying some well-deserved time off, roasting your chestnuts, dashing through the snow, lighting candles—whatever works for you.

‘Tis the season for overeating, annoying your relatives, being annoyed by your relatives … and football! It’s time to gorge on college football, because next comes the long hibernation until spring practice. I’m surprised we didn’t experience the Mayan apocalypse, since in the span of a few short days I will be rooting for both the Sooners and Notre Dame. I’m pretty sure that’s what comes right before the flaming skulls with bat wings and rivers of blood. Get your affairs in order.

But we’re not here to talk smack about the SEC! Oh wait, yes we are. But also, we are here to talk about Texas football and the upcoming bowl game against the Oregon State Beavers. Yeah, I know. The Beavers. I’m not making this up. As you’re aware—because you read this blog as if it were a religious text—my No. 2 team is the Oregon Ducks. We like our wildlife in Oregon, okay?

This game is by no means a sure thing for either team. OSU comes in with a 9-3 record and ranked 13th. Like Texas, the Beavers cycled through two different QBs this season. OSU starter Sean Mannion won the first four games then went out with a knee injury. Sophomore Cody Vaz replaced Mannion until he, too, was injured. However, Vaz was named as the starter for the Alamo Bowl.

The Beavers have been prolific in the passing attack this season, landing at 15th in passing yards. The top Beaver receiver (it rhymes!) is Markus Wheaton. He is scary good. This season he racked up 88 receptions for 1207 yards and 11 touchdowns. As we’re all painfully aware, the entire Texas defense has been plagued this season with a variety of ailments, including “no-tackle-itis” and “he’s-too-fast-for-me” syndromes. They better bring their A-game on Saturday if there’s any hope of stopping Wheaton.

The one giant caveat here is that OSU has a one-dimensional offense. And that’s where the glimmer of hope lives. Texas must shut down Wheaton and the passing game; the Beaver running game pretty much doesn’t exist. Take away the passing game, and Texas controls its own destiny.

The other side of that coin is Texas’ uneven performance on offense. Coach Brown reports that David Ash will start the game. He’s working with a 67.7 percent completion rate, which is not chopped liver. My spirit animal, Jonathan Gray, is the team’s leading rusher with 142 carries for 683 yards and three touchdowns. I hope he rides into the stadium on Rudolph and runs up and down the field so often we lose count. Is it bad luck to tell you that was on my wish list to Santa?

Expect a lively match-up between two teams in orange. One, the lovely burnt-orange shade that warms our hearts. The other, the color of a traffic cone. You figure that one out.

Texas will face the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday, Dec. 29, at 5:45 p.m. CST. Oregon State is favored by only two points. The over/under is 57, so someone expects plenty of scoring.

I appreciate you, gentle readers, for taking the time to read my blog posts with your human eyeballs. Here’s wishing you a lovely holiday season with family and friends.

Rebecca May is a Texas ex-pat living in Oregon while rooting for the Longhorns. An attorney by day, she blogs about college football by night. This story was first published by GridironGirl on


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