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  • COLLEGE FOOTBALL

    Ducks enjoyed last meeting with Longhorns

    Oregon used 2000 Holiday Bowl win as springboard to future success
  • AUSTIN, Texas — Former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti still can't believe how big the Texas players looked when they walked onto the field for the 2000 Holiday Bowl.
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    • No. 10 Oregon vs. Texas
      WHEN, WHERE: Dec. 30, 3:45 p.m., at San Antonio.
      • TV: ESPN.
      • RADIO: KCMX (880-AM).



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      BREAKING DOWN THE MATCHUP
      Texas Results
      Texas 56, New Mexico Stat...
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      No. 10 Oregon vs. Texas
      WHEN, WHERE: Dec. 30, 3:45 p.m., at San Antonio.

      • TV: ESPN.
      • RADIO: KCMX (880-AM).




      u

      BREAKING DOWN THE MATCHUP

      Texas Results

      Texas 56, New Mexico State 7

      BYU 40, Texas 21

      Ole Miss 44, Texas 23

      Texas 31, Kansas State 21

      Texas 31, Iowa State 30

      Texas 36, Oklahoma 20

      Texas 30, TCU 7

      Texas 35, Kansas 13

      Texas 47, West Virginia 40, OT

      Oklahoma State 38, Texas 13

      Texas 41, Texas Tech 16

      Baylor 30, Texas 10

      Oregon Results

      Oregon 66, Nicholls State 3

      Oregon 59, Virginia 10

      Oregon 59, Tennessee 14

      Oregon 55, Cal 16

      Oregon 57, Colorado 16

      Oregon 45, Washington 24

      Oregon 62, Washington State 24

      Oregon 42, UCLA 14

      Stanford 26, Oregon 20

      Oregon 44, Utah 21

      Arizona 42, Oregon 16

      Oregon 36, Oregon State 35

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      STATISTICAL COMPARISON

      (National rankings in parentheses)

      Total offense: Oregon (2nd), Texas (54th).

      Rushing offense: Oregon (2nd), Texas (36th)

      Passing offense: Oregon (20th), Texas (71st)

      Scoring offense: Oregon (3rd), Texas (55th)

      Total defense: Oregon (47th), Texas (62nd)

      Rushing defense: Oregon (66th), Texas (80th)

      Scoring defense: Oregon (25th), Texas (56th)
  • AUSTIN, Texas — Former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti still can't believe how big the Texas players looked when they walked onto the field for the 2000 Holiday Bowl.
    Big Longhorns tackle Leonard Davis checked in at 360 pounds. Little Oregon defensive end Saul Patu was about 250.
    "When the Texas team walked on the field," Bellotti said Monday, "I swear the field tilted because they were so much bigger than we were."
    Oregon was the up-and-coming program then and just getting comfortable with its heady top-10 status. The Ducks stood tall and knocked off the 12th-ranked Longhorns, 35-30. Looking back now, that game turned out to be the launch pad for what became the neon Nike-loving bunch college football fans know today.
    Texas (8-4) won't face an excited underdog this time around at the Alamo Bowl. Oregon (10-2) is now a top-25 regular. The 10th-ranked Ducks are the ones sporting the nation's third-best scoring offense. And they're the ones wanting to inflict some damage, having been snubbed by the BCS.
    Bellotti, who guided Oregon from 1995 to 2008, said Ducks fans are understandably disappointed after going to four straight BCS bowls. But Bellotti once got some advice from Texas coach Mack Brown that both fan bases should heed.
    "Mack told me this one time: You better be the most excited team to be there," Bellotti said. "When you are facing a top-10 team, it's no problem. When you are playing another team at another site and your team isn't excited, watch out."
    Back in 2000, few fans outside of the Pacific Northwest knew much about the program in Eugene. The Ducks regularly posted winning seasons and had even reached the 1996 Cotton Bowl. They came into the Holiday Bowl against the Longhorns with a 9-2 record.
    "It was the country's first real chance to see us," former Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington said Monday. "There was definitely a David-and-Goliath theme to that game."
    Harrington became the third player in Holiday Bowl history to throw for a touchdown, run for another and catch a touchdown pass. Oregon's defense stood tall and allowed only 88 total yards in the second half.
    Oregon cornerback Rashad Bauman stopped the Longhorns late when he intercepted Chris Simms' pass at the Ducks' 16-yard line with just over one minute remaining.
    After that victory, everything changed for the program known locally as UO. The Ducks felt Harrington was a Heisman Trophy candidate going into the 2001 season, so school officials put up a massive billboard in New York's Times Square. It was a headline-grabbing gambit that worked to perfection. Suddenly, college football fans were agog at Oregon and its in-your-face attitude.
    "Had we lost that game, people wouldn't have paid attention to us," Harrington said. "So the billboard would have come completely out of left field. Because of that game, we were on people's radar, so the billboard made sense."
    The next season, Harrington became a Heisman finalist and the Ducks finished the year ranked second nationally. Oregon remained in the top 25 throughout the decade and played for the 2010 national title under then-coach Chip Kelly.
    This season, Oregon was in the national title hunt until two November losses ended that quest. Those losses and a knee injury knocked quarterback Marcus Mariota from Heisman contention. Harrington said the December layoff will give Mariota plenty of time to get healthy.
    "I think that Marcus is unlike anybody they've seen this year at quarterback," Harrington said. "(Baylor's) Bryce Petty was the class of the Big 12 at that position, but he can't run like Marcus can. That's going to add another dimension to try to stop him."
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