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Oregon runs over Texas in Alamo Bowl
SAN ANTONIO -- Nick Aliotti's retirement party went better than the one for Mack Brown.
No. 10 Oregon's defense outscored Texas during a farewell performance for Aliotti in the Ducks' 30-7 win over the Longhorns Monday night in the Alamo Bowl. Oregon had two defensive touchdowns to send off Aliotti, the longtime defensive coordinator for the Ducks who ended a 37-year coaching career in the bowl game.
"The reality tonight was better than I could have dreamed," Aliotti said.
Oregon's win ruined the finale for Brown, who resigned after 16 seasons as Texas' head coach.
"Disappointed in the game," Brown said. "Guys played hard. We couldn't move the ball as well as we needed to. The offensive guys tried, it just didn't work out."
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota got rid of the knee brace that slowed him down during the second half of the season and compiled 386 yards of total offense for the Ducks. He ran 15 times for 133 yards and completed 18-of-26 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown.
"That was something we talked about a lot, you look at how Texas played mobile quarterbacks and there are some things there for the quarterback to make some hay," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said.
Wide receiver Josh Huff set Oregon's single-season record for receiving yards after catching five passes for 104 yards and a touchdown to finish the season with 1,140 yards. Mariota threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Huff just before halftime to put Oregon ahead 20-7 at the break.
"Marcus was incredible all night," Huff said. "Marcus stepped up big especially when we had penalties on drives. He was able to use his legs and stay in the pocket a while and find his receivers. He came up big every time we needed him."
Oregon received the opening kickoff of the second half and got a 39-yard field goal by freshman kicker Matt Wogan to put the Ducks ahead 23-7. It was the third field goal of the game for Wogan, who missed a 31-yarder later in the quarter.
Meanwhile, Oregon's defense pitched a shutout in the second half as Texas rotated between senior Case McCoy and freshman Tyrone Swoopes at quarterback.
McCoy threw an interception that linebacker Derrick Malone returned 38 yards for a touchdown that put Oregon ahead 30-7 with 8:55 left in the game.
"It felt great," Malone said. "All the preparation and it was the perfect call and it happened to be me who made the play. It felt like that sealed the deal."
Oregon's defense had been criticized in late-season losses at Stanford and Arizona, but the Ducks gave up just 236 yards against the Longhorns. Texas ran for 180 yards, but totaled just 56 yards through the air.
Running back Malcolm Brown rushed for 130 yards, but that was more than half of the offense for Texas. McCoy threw for 48 yards and Swoopes threw for eight.
"We just did a couple things wrong," McCoy said. "We dropped a couple third-down conversions."
Safety Avery Patterson began the scoring less than two minutes into the game with a 37-yard interception return for the Ducks.
The Ducks advanced to the Texas 8-yard line on their first offensive possession before Wogan kicked a 25-yard field goal to put Oregon ahead 10-0 with 8:36 remaining in the first quarter.
Texas responded with a long scoring drive. McCoy scored on a 1-yard sneak to get the Longhorns within 10-7 with 1:24 remaining in the first quarter. McCoy completed an 8-yard pass to wide receiver Jaxon Shipley on fourth-and-7 to continue the march, which eventually went 79 yards on 16 plays while taking nearly seven minutes off the clock.
Oregon again drove into the red zone but had to settle for another field goal, this time a 32-yarder by Wogan that boosted the lead to 13-7 with 12:30 remaining in the half.
The Ducks added a touchdown to take a 20-7 lead at the break.
Oregon got the ball at its own 12-yard line with 2:08 left in the first half, and Mariota ran for 33 yards on the first play. The Ducks scored on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to Huff with 44 seconds left in the second quarter.
Mariota shed the knee brace that he wore during the second half of the season and looked healthier than he did in two months. He ran for 132 yards in the first half and completed nine of 13 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown.
Huff, a Texas native, had three catches for 61 yards and a score in the first half.
Brown, playing in his hometown, had 18 first-half carries for 113 yards.
NOTES: Oregon LT Tyler Johnstone, who started every game this season, injured his knee early in the second quarter and did not return. He was replaced by Everett Benyard. ... Oregon LB Derrick Malone did not start for the first time this season due to an injury suffered in the final game of the regular season against Oregon State, but he entered the game in the first quarter. Joe Walker started in Malone's place. ... Oregon LB Tyson Coleman missed the game due to injury. ... Texas RBs Jalen Overstreet and Daje Johnson and OT Kennedy Estelle were declared academically ineligible before the bowl game. Longhorns OT Desmond Harrison did not travel to the bowl game due to family issues.