SAN ANTONIO – David Ash wasn’t sure he would start the Alamo Bowl. No one will remember after the way he finished Texas’ rocky season with a validating and dazzling victory.
The sophomore threw a 36-yard touchdown strike to Marquise Goodwin with 2:24 left for the last of two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, stunning No. 15 Oregon State and lifting the Longhorns to a 31-27 comeback victory Saturday night.
The Longhorns (9-4) never led before Goodwin scored his second touchdown on a deep post pattern, just a down after Texas converted a fourth-and-1 play to keep its chances alive.
“I guess in in every situation you have to be thankful,” said Ash, who was pulled in a loss to TCU a month ago and wasn’t immediately selected the starter for the Alamo Bowl. “I learned a lot at TCU. It was a tough situation I was in. I was just really thankful I got another opportunity to play a game I love.”
With Texas down 20-10 at halftime, Longhorns coach Mack Brown said he told his players they would win.
“I told them this it wasn’t going to be easy, but I told them this game was ours and we would win it,” Brown said. “This one is really special.”
Storm Woods ran for 118 yards and scored two touchdowns for the Beavers (9-4), who left stunned after looking as though they would wrap up their first 10-win season since 2006.
“Not to take anything away from Texas, that was a great team offensively and defensively,” Wood said. “In the first half we had a great style of football. In the second half, Texas made some adjustments and I guess, they just wanted it more.”
The victory was a dose of much-needed good news for Texas after coming into the game under a cloud of questions following the suspensions of backup quarterback Case McCoy and injured linebacker Jordan Hicks.
Ash, whose been pulled at times for McCoy this season, was 21 of 33 for 241 yards. Ash sputtered until the fourth quarter, when he went 9 for 11 for 146 yards.
Even if there were doubts about Ash before then, Texas had no choice but to stick with him: The only backups were two redshirt freshmen who haven’t taken a snap all season.
Brown announced the suspensions Friday but wouldn’t reveal which players were sent home. A person with knowledge of the suspensions told The Associated Press the players were McCoy and Hicks.
Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz was 15 of 28 for 194 yards and two interceptions. The Beavers had negative 4 yards in the fourth quarter as they were muffled by the Longhorns defense that was led by Alex Okafor, who finished with 4 1/2 sacks.
“When we tried to just drop back and pass, it was difficult,” Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. “That’s why Cody had to just hang in there. It was very, very tough. He made some plays and some other plays didn’t develop because he didn’t just have time.”