Texas will make a short postseason trip this year to face No. 15 Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl.
The Longhorns (8-4) will need only to zip down Interstate 35 to San Antonio for the Dec. 29 game. It will be Texas’ first appearance in the bowl since 2006, when the Alamo Bowl enjoyed its second-best crowd and second-best television ratings in its 20-year history.
“You’re never sure where you get to go, and we’re fortunate to get to go to a city that we love and appreciate but also that the parents of our players and the high school coaches can come and watch,” coach Mack Brown said.
Texas won its last Alamo Bowl appearance, beating Iowa 26-24.
“We beat them as badly as we could,” Brown said. “We’re excited about coming back. I love San Antonio. We’ve got so much support down there from Texas Longhorns, and no city does it better than San Antonio when it comes to hospitality.”
The bowl presents a little bit of home for some of the Oregon State contingent, too. Coach Mike Riley spent two years there coaching the San Antonio Riders of the World Football League.
“I personally love the city, have been back every year since I coached there back in the early ’90s,” Riley said. “So, it’s just personally a special, special treat for me and my family. All of our players will be truly excited about the chance to play.”
The state of Texas has also been an important talent pipeline for Riley, providing ex-Beavers standouts James and Jacquizz Rodgers and current leading rusher Storm Woods, who is from Pflugerville, just outside Austin.
“We’re excited to bring Storm back home, and we’ve got a couple other guys on our team from Texas. It’ll be really fun for them,” Riley said. “We’ve done some recruiting down there.
“We actually got started back about six years ago with the Rodgers brothers … They’ve really impacted not only our football but all of Oregon State. They kind of became rock stars in our world up here.”
The Beavers (9-3) will be playing in a bowl game for the first time in three years.
“I think it’s just great to be in a bowl game and have that extra time with your team,” said Riley, who is 5-1 in bowl games. “I always look at the game as a great reward for the season that you’ve just been through, and really a good chance to get ready and play.”
“It’s a great, great bonus to be in a bowl game,” he added.
Texas has won six of its last seven bowl games, including last season’s Holiday Bowl. Brown said Riley is a “great friend of mine” and the Beavers will present a tough challenge.
Oregon State set a school scoring record in a 77-3 rout of Nicholls State in its season finale Saturday. Texas is coming off back-to-back losses, on Thanksgiving against TCU and Saturday at Fiesta Bowl-bound Kansas State.
“I think it worked out perfect for us today and the guys will be excited about it,” Brown said. “Unlike Mike, who won yesterday big, our guys lost. So, they’ll be down a little bit for a while here, but they’ll pick themselves up. This will be a real upper for them to get ready for the challenge of Oregon State.”
Both previous meetings were played in Austin and won by the Longhorns, 35-0 in 1980 and 61-16 in 1987.
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