SAN ANTONIO — It’s been a challenging year for the Longhorns offense.
Texas lost its starting running back and quarterback due to injuries earlier this season, causing backups such as quarterback Case McCoy and running back Malcolm Brown to step up.
Now the Texas offense faces another challenge when it takes on the No. 10 Oregon Ducks and a talented secondary, which has given up the fourth-lowest yards per pass attempt in the country this year.
“They have great players, very athletic, fast,” Texas offensive coordinator Major Applewhite said regarding Oregon’s defense. “When you look at third downs, they can be very effective in third-down situations and get some turnovers.”
Applewhite also spoke about how the experience Oregon’s secondary has presents a threat.
McCoy agreed with Applewhite on the talent of Oregon’s defense.
“They play together very well. They trust their safeties to make plays … and you can see they know what they’re doing back there,” McCoy said.
Heading into Monday’s bowl game, one question for Oregon is the strength of its run defense and how it will match up going against Texas’ running game, which averaged 197.6 yards per game this season. Oregon has struggled against the run in the latter portion of the season, especially in games against Arizona and Oregon State.
With Oregon’s offense known for the ability to explode and score quickly, Texas offensive lineman Mason Walters said the Longhorns will need to capitalize on every offense drive.
Fellow lineman Trey Hopkins said he noticed in film the talent of Oregon senior defensive tackle Taylor Hart.
“He’s a great player,” Hopkins said. “All four up front are great players. They are great athletes … but that number 66 has shown he can be physical.”
Both teams will practice again Saturday in preparation for the bowl game on Dec. 30. There will be press conferences featuring Texas’ defense and Oregon’s offense commencing Saturday afternoon.
Check back here for all updates and stories on the 2013 Alamo Bowl.
Follow Beth Maiman on Twitter @bethamaiman