Mack Brown finished his coaching career and at one point said he thought No. 8, Marcus Mariota looked an awful lot like a former quarterback of his, Vince Young. It was probably a pretty good comparison.
Mariota dispelled all the rumors about the health of his knees by rushing to the tune of 133 yards on 15 carries. He also threw for 253 yards on 18-of-26 passing and a touchdown. That comes after a very rough November in which Mariota struggled to regain his form, even though he led his team to a an incredible comeback against Oregon State. Against Texas he was so good that he was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player of the game. The Oregon coaches were not surprised at how well Mariota performed.
"He's a closer," said Mark Helfrich of his quarterback Mariota. "He's still not one hundred percent, which is scary."
Brown was even more specific in his praise of Mariota.
"We played a really good football team," Brown said of Oregon. "I thought that quarterback (Mariota) looked like one I saw play for us (Vince Young) a while back."
The Oregon offense, even with all of Mariota's heroics could only put the ball in the end zone once. That was after a long drive at the end of the second quarter that covered 88 yards and took eight plays and minute and 24 seconds culminating with Mariota rolling right and shoveling the ball to Josh Huff, who carried the ball in from 16 yards out.
While Mariota was the game's leading rusher, Byron Marshall pitched in 54 yards to go over the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the season. Freshman Thomas Tyner had 22 yards of rushing but also pulled in two passes for another 25 yards. De'Anthony Thomas was relatively quiet with 13 yards rushing, two catches for 24 yards and had 25 yards in kickoff returns.
Huff finished the game with 104 yards receiving on five catches to lead all receivers in the game. Bralon Addison had five grabs for 48 yards. Huff broke Oregon's single-season record for receiving yards with 1,140 and tied the single season receiving touchdown with 12 (tying Jeff Meahl in 2010.)
Mariota now is the Oregon's all-time leader in rushing yards for a quarterback with 1,467 yards passing Jeremiah Masoli's career mark of 1,386. Mariota also became the first Duck to eclipse the 4,000 yard mark in total offense with 253 passing yards and 134 rushing yards in the Alamo Bowl.
Malcolm Brown was Texas' leading rusher with 132 yards (nearly all gained in the first half) and McCoy was 8-for-17, 48 yards passing with two interceptions and no touchdowns.
Oregon's scoring also came in the form of three Matt Wogan field goals of 25, 32 and 39 yards.
The biggest surprise in the scoring department though came from the much maligned Duck defense. The Oregon scoring started off when the game's Defensive MVP Avery Patterson picked off Case McCoy and returned the ball 37 yards for a score. Then in the fourth quarter Derrick Malone sent nearly 60,000 Texas fans to turnstiles when he pulled in another McCoy pass and weaved his way 38-yards to put the game out the Longhorn's reach.
"I was just following his (McCoy) eyes," described Patterson of his Pick-6. "I told Ifo (Ekpre-Olomu)I got it. We kind of sandwiched him together and I was able to get lucky and get a pick."
For Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti, the win couldn't have been sweeter. After announcing last Friday that the bowl game would mark the end of his career with retirement, the Duck defense was stingy and tough. Oregon's defense gave up just 236 yards of total offense with 1 56 of that coming to Texas in the first half.
"Even in our clap session today, he (Aliotti) told us he wanted some touchdowns on the defensive side," said Avery Patterson of the effort put out by the Duck defense for Coach Aliotti. "He didn't specify how many touchdowns he wanted. We were able to get two today."
Senior Taylor Hart was the leading tackler for Oregon recording 11 tackles (three solos) including a half sack within his total of one Tackles for Loss. Senior safety Brian Jackson had 10 tackles (six solos) and Patterson had nine tackles (one solo) and the interception.
"Total team win," observed Helfrich of the game. "Very happy to send Nick (Aliotti) out on the right note."