Oregon State (minus 2) vs. Texas — Given that the game is the next thing to a home date in nearby San Antonio for the Longhorns, the line is a credit to the Beavers and their nine-win season.
Both teams have a good recent bowl history: Texas has won eight of its last 10, and the Beavers six of their last eight. And each team has had some fluctuation at quarterback, the Beavers with Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz, and the ‘Horns with David Ash and Case McCoy, who replaced an injured Ash as the starter in the Kansas State finale and threw for 314 yards. Ash has been named to start against OSU.
Texas’ weakness, defending the run (it allows 199.6 yards a game) doesn’t necessarily play well for the Beavers, who, while respectable with Storm Woods, aren’t exactly a juggernaut on the ground. So that matchup will say a lot about the outcome. On the other side, Ash has been relatively erratic, and the Beavers have allowed only 29 percent on third-down conversions.
I like the explosiveness of the OSU passing game, and the soundness of the Beaver defense, to prevail. Oregon State 28, Texas 23.