Austin -- The University of Texas (8-4, 5-4 conference) has accepted an invitation to be the Big 12 representative in the 2012 Valero Alamo Bowl. It will face the Oregon State Beavers (9-3, 6-3 conference) of the Pac-12 Conference on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 5:45 p.m. Central on ESPN at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
"We are excited about the opportunity to play in the Alamo Bowl against a great Oregon State team," head coach Mack Brown said. "I've known (Oregon State head coach) Mike (Riley) for a long time, have tremendous respect for him and am looking forward to a great game."
This will be the third meeting between the Longhorns and Beavers with Texas leading the all-time series, 2-0. Both games were played in Austin with UT winning 35-0 in 1980, followed by a 61-16 victory in 1987. This will also mark Texas' second appearance in the Alamo Bowl's 20-year history. The previous time came in 2006 when Texas defeated Iowa, 26-24.
"The Alamo Bowl folks do a great job, and we had a wonderful experience in the 2006 game against Iowa," Brown said. "It's such a great opportunity for all our families and high school coaches to easily get to the game. We have a tremendous fan base in San Antonio as well, so we know that the game week will be fun, guys will enjoy themselves and the Alamodome will be packed and full of energy on game day."
Texas Longhorn football season ticket holders can request Valero Alamo Bowl tickets through www.TexasBoxOffice.com. Football season ticket holders and UT students who are Longhorn All Sports Package holders should log in to their online accounts using their Customer Number or email address and password or PIN in order to request their bowl tickets. Only credit cards will be accepted online (MC, Visa, AMEX, Discover).
Fans may call the UT Athletics Ticket Office at 512/471-3333 or 800/982-BEVO if you have any questions. The Athletics Ticket Office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST.
The 23rd-ranked Longhorns are set to play in their 14th bowl game in Mack Brown's 15 years, including a UT-record stretch of 12 straight from 1998-2009, which bettered the previous mark of nine-straight from 1977-85. The Horns have won eight of their last 10 bowls and have a 9-4 record under Brown. In the 15 years prior to Brown's arrival, Texas went to eight bowls and was 2-6. Brown is the first UT coach since Darrell Royal, who was 8-7-1 in bowl games, to post a .500 or better bowl record. It will be the Longhorns' 51st all-time bowl appearance, which ranks second in NCAA history.
"Playing in a bowl game is such a valuable experience for a young team," Brown said. "The extra practices are critical in the development of our program, and it's a chance to get that ninth win and to finish the year on a good note. We're looking forward to getting back to work, preparing for Oregon State and playing our best game of the season on Dec. 29."
With a 24-21 victory over No. 10 Ohio State in the 2009 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Texas won bowl games in five consecutive years for the first time in school history (2004-08 seasons). The Horns did win five straight previously (1963-64, '66, '68-69), but the streak was interrupted by seasons that did not result in a bowl. Brown's personal string, including time at North Carolina, goes back even further. He has directed his teams to 20 bowls in the last 21 seasons, which is tied for the longest active streak in the nation with Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech.
No. 13 Oregon State ranks No. 22 in the FBS in scoring defense (19.8 ppg) and 17th in pass efficiency defense (110.8 rating). The Beavers are among the best teams in the country in forcing turnovers. They rank tied for sixth in interceptions with 19 and tied for 12th with 30 forced turnovers.
Sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion leads an offense which ranks 15th in the nation in passing yards (316.5 ypg) and No. 38 in scoring (33.0 ppg). Senior wide receiver Markus Wheaton, who ranks 11th in the nation in receiving yards per game, is the school’s all-time receptions leader (224).
The Horns rank 24th in the nation in scoring offense (36.1 ppg) and No. 37 in total offense (441.0 ypg). Texas posted more than 400 yards of total offense in nine games this season and scored 40-plus points in five contests.
Junior Mike Davis leads the team in receptions (54) and receiving yards (909), while freshman Johnathan Gray has a team-high 683 rushing yards, which is tops among first-year backs in the Big 12. Davis is seeking to become just the sixth player in school history with 1,000 receiving yards.
Defensive end Alex Okafor and safety Kenny Vaccaro, two of just nine scholarship seniors on the squad, headline a defense, which has improved over the second half of the season. Texas has allowed an average of 330.4 yards over the last five games, more than 140 less than the first seven contests. Vaccaro leads the team in tackles (99) and is tied for first in forced fumbles (three). Okafor also has three forced fumbles and is among the best in the nation in sacks (0.67 pg/tied for 33rd).