WHY OREGON WON
Too much Marcus Mariota. The running game got yards. The passing game moved the chains. Oregon’s offense didn’t light up the scoreboard like a pinball machine, settling for field goals, but two pick-sixes — say it ain’t so, Case McCoy — were plenty enough.
WHY TEXAS LOST
Too much Marcus Mariota. It takes two teams for a shootout, and Texas didn’t looked equipped to match Oregon’s output — even though the Horns did hold Oregon’s offense to only one touchdown. Mariota wasn’t fazed by the pass rush. Malcolm Brown got his yards, but Texas couldn’t sustain drives. And the defense got tired in the second half. We’ll save talk of all of Texas’ missed opportunities (Cedric Reed’s missed fumble recovery, an interception taken away by penalty, Mike Davis’ missed catch that would’ve been a touchdown) for some other conversation.
THE EYES OF TEXAS
… were on three specific Ducks — QB Marcus Mariota, who should be a 2014 Heisman contender after throwing for 3,412 yards and 30 TDs this year; RB Byron Marshall, who was only 5 yards shy of 1,000 coming in; and CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, an All-Pac 12 defender. How’d they do? Mariota was the game’s offensive MVP, with 386 total yards (253 passing, 133 rushing). Marshall had 13 carries for 43 yards, averaging 3.3 yards. And Ekpre-Olomu had six tackles, one for loss.
Offense: Malcolm Brown. 26 carries for 130 yards, playing in his own backyard.
Defense: Jackson Jeffcoat. In his final game, 6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 for loss, 1 hurry, 1 forced fumble.
THIS AND THAT
Cheers: Brown (Texas’ only offensive weapon); Jackson Jeffcoat (forced fumble); Cedric Reed (sack); Carrington Byndom (endzone breakup).
Jeers: Geoff Swaim (two dropped catches for first downs), Jaxon Shipley (a hold, two drops), Mike Davis (long pass, dropped).
Texcetra: Davis, who had only 2 catches for 12 yards, passed Mike Adams for the eighth best single season in school history for receiving yards (951). … Senior right guard Mason Walters started his 51st straight game, the best streak in the nation among offensive linemen — until Mississippi State’s Gabe Jackson ties it in Tuesday’s Liberty Bowl vs. Rice. … Jackson Jeffcoat moved into third place on the all-time FBS list for career sacks, with .69 sacks per game. His second quarter sack was his 13th of the season. Jeffcoat finished his UT career seventh place all-time with 27.5 sacks (in 40 games).
Kirk Bohls: I was stunned to see Texas’ defense outplay its own offense for the entire night. The defense gave more than a credible performance, containing as explosive an offense as there is in college football and giving Texas a chance in the game. But the offense had no consistent weapon outside of a hard-running Malcolm Brown.
Cedric Golden: Mack Brown took his lumps Monday, but went out with his head held high, and the program now concentrates its efforts on finding a suitable replacement. Good luck with that. There are some good coaches out there, but the bar’s been set pretty high thanks to the outgoing coach.
UP NEXT: TEXAS TO DO’S
(1) Hire a coach. (2) Fill his staff. (3) Shore up recruiting. (4) Sign a top class. (5) Have a successful spring.
We’re 244 days away from Texas vs. North Texas, at DKR.
— Richard Tijerina