Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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College bowl roundup: Oregon spoils Brown’s finale by beating Texas

SAN ANTONIO — Quarterback Marcus Mariota had 386 total yards and No. 10 Oregon returned two interceptions for touchdowns, spoiling Texas coach Mack Brown’s farewell with a runaway 30-7 victory in the Alamo Bowl on Monday.

The BCS-snubbed Ducks (11-2) dominated throughout even though their famously high-powered offense scored just one touchdown, when Josh Huff turned a short pass from Mariota into a spectacular 16-yard sprint to the end zone.

Brown received warm goodbyes from a sellout crowd in what was practically a home game for Texas (8-5). Even the school marching band spelled his name at halftime.

But the blowout was a final reminder of why Brown is resigning after 16 seasons at Texas, which he led to a national championship in 2005 but couldn’t reverse a sharp decline in recent years.

Walking off the field for the last time, Brown flashed the “Hook ‘em Horns” hand signal to the scattered remaining Texas fans who stuck around to the end of another humbling loss this season.

Mariota led all rushers with 133 yards on 15 carries, making sure Oregon eased the sting of not playing in a BCS bowl for the first time in five years. He was 18-of-26 for 253 yards passing in his Heisman Trophy campaign tuneup for 2014, having announced earlier this month that he was coming back for his junior season.

Yet even Mariota was outscored by Oregon’s defense — and so was Texas, for that matter.

Oregon’s first touchdown came on the third play of the game when safety Avery Patterson intercepted an overthrown pass by Texas quarterback Case McCoy and returned it 37 yards to the end zone. McCoy later bookended a dismal performance in his final game with another pick-six, this one returned 38 yards by linebacker Derrick Malone that sent waves of burnt orange-clad fans streaming for the exits.

McCoy scored on a 1-yard rush in the first quarter for Texas’ only touchdown. He finished 8-of-17 for 48 yards and was pulled at times in the second half for freshman Tyrone Swoopes.

Running back Malcolm Brown was the lone offensive constant for Texas, finishing with 130 yards on 26 carries.

Far from the uplifting send-off Texas wanted for Brown, the school now shifts its focus to finding a replacement. New Texas athletic director Steve Patterson said before kickoff that he wants a successor by Jan. 15.

Patterson said coaches interested in the job have come forward but wouldn’t discuss potential candidates.

“There’s interest that’s sincere, and there’s interest that’s ‘Help me find a better contract,’” Patterson said.

Whoever Texas hires shouldn’t expect patience from a fanbase that grew accustomed to winning under Brown, and then became restless as the Longhorns slid from perennial BCS contention. Brown arrived in 1998 and went 128-27 by the end of 2009, when the Longhorns lost to Alabama in its second BCS title game in five years.

He goes out, however, 30-21 in his final four seasons.

Holiday Bowl

Texas Tech 37, No. 16 Arizona State 23: At San Diego, Davis Webb threw for 403 yards and tied the Holiday Bowl record with four touchdown passes, and Texas Tech raced past Arizona State to snap five-game losing streak.

Webb tied the record set by BYU’s Jim McMahon in 1980 and matched by Kansas State’s Brian Kavanagh in 1995 and Texas’ Major Applewhite in 2001.

The Red Raiders (8-5) won for the first time since beating West Virginia on Oct. 19. Arizona State (10-4) lost its second straight.

Webb threw TD passes of 18 and 21 yards to Jakeem Grant, 1 yard to Rodney Hall and 23 yards to Bradley Marquez, all in the first half.

The Red Raiders scored on four of their first five drives to take a 27-6 lead 5 minutes into the second quarter.

Armed Forces Bowl

Navy 24, Middle Tennessee 6: At Fort Worth, Texas, Keenan Reynolds ran for 86 yards with two more touchdowns and Navy won for the second time its last seven bowl games.

Reynolds had a 3-yard score to cap the opening drive for Navy (9-4) and added a 1-yarder in the fourth quarter. Already with the NCAA record for touchdowns rushing by a quarterback, Reynolds upped his total to 31 to match Colorado State running back Kapri Bibbs, also a sophomore, for the national lead this season.

Middle Tennessee (8-5) was held to a season low in points. The Blue Raiders finished the regular season with a five-game winning streak, averaging nearly 43 points a game in that stretch — since a 34-7 loss on Oct. 12 at North Texas, about 40 miles away from the TCU campus where the bowl was played.

Music City Bowl

Mississippi 25, Georgia Tech 17: At Nashville, Tenn., Bo Wallace ran for two touchdowns and threw for another score in the Rebels’ second straight bowl victory under coach Hugh Freeze.

The junior quarterback and Tennessee native made up for his three turnovers in the Egg Bowl overtime loss by throwing for 256 yards and running for 86 more, giving him the school record for total yards in a season and most completions in a season, topping Eli Manning for both.

Ole Miss (8-5) now has won six straight bowls and 10 of the last 11 in making up for the lone loss in that stretch in the 2000 Music City Bowl.

Georgia Tech (7-6) has lost eight of nine bowls. The Yellow Jackets scored 10 points in the fourth quarter as they tried to rally before a safety with 4:22 left ended their last chance.

The Associated Press

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