Oregon State, Cody Vaz can forget the Alamo Bowl
Oregon State's final offensive play of the Valero Alamo Bowl pretty much summed up its Saturday night.
Quarterback Cody Vaz dropped back to pass and was promptly swallowed up by the Texas defense, falling to the turf in San Antonio for his 10th sack. From there Texas ran out the clock and the Beavers dropped a tough one, 31-27.
The Beavers had their chances to grab their 10th win of the season. For a good while it looked like they were well on their way. But like a few of their losses this season, quarterback play and mistakes down the stretch contributed to a bad 4th quarter that cost them the game.
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Vaz, 15-of-28 for 194 yards with two interceptions, made a few good throws but not enough. He was battered and bruised by the end of the game. Oregon State was just 3-of-11 on 3rd down during the game and managed just 297 total yards.
The defense certainly came to play and kept OSU in the game for the most part, limiting Texas to just 3.8 yards a rush. Their lone weakness seemed to be the Longhorns speedy receiver Marqise Goodwin, who had 132 yards and two touchdowns on several big plays.
Head coach Mike Riley is one of the best in college football at what he does but he'll be the first to admit that it wasn't his best game. The Beavers blew an opportunity at a field goal right before halftime by clocking the ball instead of using their remaining timeout. The team also went away from running back Storm Woods at the end of the game in a crucial time, despite early success against the Longhorns defense.
Worst of all, 10 sacks is pretty much unacceptable for any team. The offense didn't run many draws or keep a tight end or back in to help slow down the pass rush. The staff could have opted to make a change at quarterback as Vaz held the ball far too long all night. Mistakes will be in the minds of many as the Beavers make their way back to Corvallis.
That said, it still was a terrific season for Oregon State despite the rough finale. The team set a school record as they had a six-win turnaround from a year ago and one of the program's best years offensively. Cornerback Jordan Poyer was an All-American and Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton were one of the top receiving duos in the country. This was a young team and a good number of players on the two-deep return primed for a run in 2013.
A win Saturday night against Texas would have meant a lot to the program had they been able to pull it out. Perhaps Saturday's loss will fuel the team during the offseason. Perhaps they'll watch the film of it back in Corvallis then forget about it.