CSNNW.com will countdown to the Alamo Bowl by previewing position matchups between Oregon and Texas leading up to kickoff on Dec. 30 in San Antonio, Texas.
Oregon’s starter: Marcus Mariota, So., 6-4, 211, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Texas’ starter: Case McCoy, Sr., 6-2, 200, Graham, Texas.
Mariota at a glance: Mariota mysteriously fell from Heisman Trophy front-runner to out of the top 10 despite throwing for 30 touchdowns with just four interceptions and rushing for 582 yards and nine touchdowns.
Mariota ranks sixth in the nation in passing efficiency (167.9).
However, Mariota wasn’t so super over the final month of the season when he and the entire offense struggled during losses at Stanford and Arizona.
Backups Jeff Locke and Jake Rodriguez have combined to attempt 19 passes this season.
McCoy at a glance: McCoy’s 112.7-passer rating defines his inconsistency. He’s thrown for 1,885 yards and 11 touchdowns with 11 interceptions while completing 57.4 percent of his passes.
He’s not much of a runner having contributed just right yards net rushing on the season but he does have two rushing touchdowns.
McCoy’s best game came during a 47-41 overtime win at West Virginia when he threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.
But he followed that up with a three-interception performance in a 38-13 loss to Oklahoma State.
McCoy, the younger brother of former Texas star quarterback Colt McCoy, has overcome scleroderma.
He became the starter after David Ash was lost for the season following multiple concussions.
Backups Jaxon Shipley and Tyrone Swoops have combined to attempt eight passes this season.
Evaluation: Mariota is an elite-level quarterback bound for the NFL.
McCoy has had his moments but has not proven to be capable of carrying his team for long stretches.
The Ducks will have a great opportunity to load up against the run and dare McCoy to beat them
On the other hand, Texas must worry about facing a driven Mariota who should be at least close to 100 percent healthy after dealing with a knee injury for the final month of the season.
Advantage: Oregon by far. Mariota is capable of dominating this game while McCoy will likely be asked to manage his team and hope its running game can put the Longhorns in position for an upset.