Originally written December 04, 2012 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Plenty to watch for in Alamo Bowl It’s no Rose Bowl, but for the 9-3 Beavers to make it this far is still a huge accomplishment. Set to take on the Texas Longhorns in the Alamo Bowl, there’s plenty to watch for in this matchup. Having the Beavers back in a bowl It’s been two years since the Beavers last had a bowl game, and what a long two years it’s been. 2010 Oregon State finished a disappointing 5-7, only to follow that up in 2011 with a stunning 3-9—the worst single season record in the Mike Riley era. Its last bowl game was a 2009 20-44 loss to BYU in the Las Vegas bowl. Now OSU returns to the postseason on the tails of a great 9-3 rebound season. The Beavs have played tough all season long to get to this point, and it’s good to have them back in the mix. Beavs facing high profile opponent Texas has taken a bit of a tumble from grace, but it’s still one of the most storied programs in college football. At 8-4 on the season, the Longhorns finished third in the Big 12 and ranked No. 23 in the BCS standings. They have big wins against Ole Miss, Baylor and Oklahoma State in 2012, but finished the season with back-to-back losses to TCU and Kansas State. It wasn’t that long ago (2009) that Texas was playing in the BCS Championship Game. Another factor to take into consideration is that this game is being played in Austin, Texas. So technically, it’s a home game for the Longhorns. Though it may not seem like a huge matchup, a win would be a great statement by the Beavers. Storm Woods in full throttle Storm Woods has had an inconsistent first season for the Beavers. His season high in rushing was 161 yards, with a low of 36—those games were just a couple weeks apart. He’s rushed for three touchdowns in one game, and zero on four separate occasions. But when Woods is at his best, he is great to watch. One reason for the inconsistencies have been health, but Woods will get a steady dose of rest leading up to the Alamo Bowl. When Wood’s gets extra rest—bye in Week 3, did not pay Week 10—he’s averaging 95 yards per game (5.3 per carry) in his returns. Time for Wheaton’s final game with the Beavers. (Photo: Steve Dykes / Getty Images) Texas’ 100th ranked rush defense is allowing 198.8 yards per game. That means Woods could be in for a very big performance. Poyer and Wheaton in final Oregon State action Perhaps the best—and worst—thing about this game will be seeing seniors Jordan Poyer and Markus Wheaton in their final collegiate action with the Beavers. These two put on an absolute show in the Beavs final homestand against Nicholls State. Wheaton set the all-time receptions record at Oregon State with 224 catches in his career. He finished his day with 123 yards receiving and two touchdowns (one on the ground). Poyer didn’t have as prolific a day, but he did finish with an interception—his seventh of the season, putting him second in the FBS. With both players looking at solid NFL draft prospects, it’ll be great to see what kind of final show they put on for Beaver Nation. OSU putting cap on phenomenal season How do you put the perfect end on a phenomenal season? A big bowl game win over a high profile opponent is a good start. If Oregon State wins this game, it’ll be its first bowl game win since 2008. The 10-3 finish would be the best under Mike Riley, and the best since the 2001 Fiesta Bowl season under Dennis Erickson. Seeing how many pundits expected Oregon State to finish in the Pac-12 cellar, a win here would be the perfect close to such an improbable season. CHECK OUT THE BEAVERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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