Alamo Bowl roundup: Ducks heavy favorites in Mack Brown's final game

Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

The game will be Mack Brown's finale as Texas's head coach. Here's what our three team blogs are talking about.

Mack Brown's final game coaching the Texas Longhorns will be the 2013 Alamo Bowl, when his team faces off against a tough and talented Oregon Ducks squad.

Brown will resign after the game, giving way to a new era in Texas football, but the Longhorns will first play what is essentially a home game against one of the most explosive offenses in college football.

Barking Carnival had some fun with Brown's final game, retelling the story as Game of Thrones' author George R.R. Martin would. A sample:

Lord Brown had won much renown at the head of the Longhorns, and babes had become men grown during the length of his rule. Brown turned his smiling eye to all, and was quick to clasp hands and slap backs at feasts while asking after the health of minor lordling's fifth sons. Whispers abounded, though, of former Longhorn men-at-arms being flayed deep within the bowels of Bellmont for the merest hint of disloyalty. Whether real or imagined, that disloyalty had grown in the last several seasons as the Longhorns had fallen farther from glory. Lord Briles had as yet won no crowns, but his prowess as a battle commander was far-famed. It was rumored that Brown and Briles had small affection for one another, and each man's jaw clenched a bit tighter at the thought of losing to the other.

The Longhorns will be missing some key players in the contest, as wide receiver Daje Johnson, offensive tackle Kennedy Estelle and running back Jalen Overstreet will all be unavailable due to academic issues.

Barking Carnival says the key loss is Estelle, which forces Texas into a tough position on the offensive line.

The loss means that Searels will have to figure out his best 5 - and that likely means weighing the best options at RT and LG for the unit as a whole.  All Big 12 guard Trey Hopkins may have to play right tackle, replaced by either Kent Perkins, Sedrick Flowers, or Curtis Riser inside.  Conversely, Searels could roll with the depth chart  as stated and start a true freshman Perkins at RT.  A horrible position to place any freshman, no matter their talent level.

Without Overstreet, Texas may have a hard time trying to establish their offense on the ground -- which Wescott Eberts at Burnt Orange Nation will be key for a Longhorns' victory.

To break it down -- Texas has lost the players who have produced explosive rushing plays, the type of which Oregon doesn't really give up, and the Ducks don't give up methodical drives, either, so while there have been some low points and linebackers like Malone may be vulnerable when offensive linemen get in their faces, the Horns aren't going to enter this game with a significant advantage running the football.

Josh Schlichter at Addicted to Quack also pointed to Texas's ability to run the ball as a key matchup in the game, and says the Longhorns should be able to score on the Ducks.

After watching the defense get shredded by Oregon State, Arizona, and Stanford, Texas' running game should rub a lot of Duck fans the wrong way. McCoy's job will likely become a lot easier if Texas can soften the interior of Oregon's defense, and with Oregon's pass defense already looking for replacements, it's hard to imagine Texas being held out of the end zone for nearly the entire game like they were against Baylor to end the season.

Addicted to Quack also took a look at the advanced statistics, and found a heavy advantage favoring the Ducks in the game.

Oregon should not only win, they should win handily. Their offense should dominate repeatedly, similar to the Virginia, Tennessee or Utah games. Their defense should be acceptable enough and cause enough turnovers to get stops.

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