Leave It to Beaver (Nuggets)

2 Jan

TEXAS_oregonstate12Texas 31, Oregon State 27

Dec. 29, 2012 • Alamo Bowl, San Antonio

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You know you have a problem when, upon learning your team’s next opponent, your first thought is not how well your guys will fare against them. Instead of thinking of matchups, my first reaction was elation over knowing how I’d spell Texas! As soon as I heard we’d be playing the Oregon State Beavers, I knew I’d use Beaver Nuggets, and since the game was in San Antonio, that meant an excuse to stop at Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels along the way.

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For the uninitiated, Buc-ee’s is a roadside stop much-loved by Texans who crave the store’s overabundance of sweets, beef jerky, snacks and beaver-bedecked apparel. The New Braunfels Buc-ee’s is billed as the world’s largest convenience store. Buc-ee’s Beaver Nuggets are akin to Kellogg’s Corn Pops on steroids: crunchy and extra sweet.

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Of course, we took it for granted that Buc-ee, in spite of being a beaver, would be rooting for the Horns!

It was around the time of our Buc-ee’s stop that I learned the bad news: Early that Friday morning, two Longhorn players had been accused of sexual assault. While the San Antonio police were sorting out of the facts of those allegations, one fact was undeniable: These two players broke their 11 p.m. curfew, and for that, they were suspended from the team and sent home.

When Coach Brown announced the suspensions, he didn’t name names. Brett said, “Well, you know it wasn’t McCoy!” I agreed, saying our two CoC boys, Case McCoy and Jaxon Shipley, would never put themselves in that situation.

Imagine my shock when I learned that Case was indeed one of the two suspended. The other was Jordan Hicks, which was nearly as shocking. What in the world? Granted, I don’t KNOW either of these players, but their reputations had been spotless. Case, especially. The brother of Colt and son of Brad, Case comes from a great, Christ-led family. On Twitter, Case has been known to post scriptures and encouraging messages. Upon hearing Case’s name, I posted my shock and disbelief on Facebook. It was hard enough to think he broke curfew; it was beyond belief that he would sexually assault anyone.

So far no one has been arrested, and no charges have been filed against either player. I pray for everyone’s sake that no sexual assault occurred. But good grief, is it frustrating and flat-out sad that this happened at all! Less than 48 hours until kickoff, and these two were out on the town? What would possess these “team leaders” to do that? Huge, ridiculous, dumb mistake. Football-wise, it didn’t seem to be as bad as it could’ve been (Hicks has missed most of the season with an injury, and Ash had already been named starter at QB). But for the accuser and accused?  Devastating.

Enough of that. On with the recap:

After the requisite San Antonio tourist stops, we were ready for the game. Brett headed back to the hotel, and the kids and I met the team buses for the pregame “stadium stampede.”

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Mack

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New play-caller, Major

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DC Manny Diaz follows some of his guys

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Disney Spirit Award winner Nate Boyer and more of the team

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Defensive stud Alex Okafor greets a friend or family member

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Bevo!

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This guy really drew the paparazzi

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Benny the Beaver: I’m thinking our mascot could take him.

After greeting the team, we wandered to the north side of the stadium for the fan fest. There Ryan and Katie found some old pals.

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Inside the Alamodome, we discovered our seats provided us with a familiar view. (In DKR, our seats are in the corner of the endzone overlooking the band and Bevo.)

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Oregon State’s twirling drum major: The dude could twirl and hurl that baton!

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OSU band

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LHB pregame

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Pregame

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National anthem

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LHN Texas Gameday crew (including Ricky Williams, second from left)

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Here come the Horns!

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So how was the game? Let’s just say our first half stunk. Our offensive play-calling was way too reminiscent of our Greg Davis days, which was frightening. We threw sideline passes. On third and 9, we threw for 5. Our O-line was not helping our RBs find daylight. It was an abysmal first half, yielding few (if any?) first downs. I couldn’t help but wonder if this would be our future with Major Applewhite calling the plays.

Fortunately, the second half told a different tale. Ash threw more, ran more, took a few more chances, and it made a huge difference. So what happened at halftime? One friend speculated that since we had no real backup QB, Major was conservative early, playing it safe. Thank goodness he took some risks in the second half.

Our defense also came to life in this game. Alex Okafor was on fire, registering 4.5 of Texas’ 10 sacks. After coming back from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to take the 31-27 lead, our guys needed that D to hold on for the win.

Images from the game:

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Kates with the Alamodome’s oft-advertised hand-dipped ice cream bar

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Press box

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LHB halftime

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Halftime extravaganza celebrating the Alamo Bowl’s 20th anniversary

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Offensive MVP Marquise Goodwin

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Players greet fans postgame

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The Eyes

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Trophy presentation

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Oak! Defensive MVP

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Kenny Vaccaro and Mack Brown attempt to lift the heavy trophy

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Fireworks and the s-l-o-w balloon drop

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Hook ’em!

It was the most unlikeliest of wins, but we’ll take it! So will our strong quarter and a half give us the momentum we need to succeed in 2013? We can only hope. Too bad we have to wait until August to find out.

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By the way, while in San Antonio our family visited Fiesta Texas, the Riverwalk and the Alamo. We also hit a couple of used bookstores in SA and in ATX and ate lunch at our beloved Kerbey Lane Cafe in Austin. Here’s a look at the rest of our weekend:

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We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend. We love San Antone, and the city did not disappoint. I told the mayor that, and he agreed, retweeting me!

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How’s that for a nice howdy-do!

Until next season, HOOK ’EM.

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