Posted December 29th, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Bowls, Football

It featured one of the wildest and weirdest plays in recent memory, but the 2007 [tag]Holiday Bowl[/tag] ended up being an easier Texas win than anyone expected. The Horns came out fired up and got up on the [tag]Arizona State[/tag] early before finishing with a 52-34 victory.

Here’s how the team did with my keys for the game:

1. Pressure Rudy Carpenter.

The Longhorns not only pressured Carpenter but they eventually knocked him out of the game. Carpenter was rattled early and did not perform well when the Horns were able to hurry him. The team finished the night with four sacks but more importantly was in the quarterback’s face all game long. Defensive coordinator [tag]Duane Akina[/tag] brought blitzes from every direction and every position. Defensive end [tag]Brian Orakpo[/tag] had a heck of a game (two sacks, tons of pressure) was named the game’s defensive MVP. Verdict: Passed.

2. Don’t turn the ball over.

[tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] didn’t throw any interceptions but did put the ball on the turf with alarming frequency. McCoy fumbled the football four times, but only lost a critical one on a boneheaded play at the end of the first half that could have cost Texas dearly. He also botched two snaps and was bailed out big time (after a great long scramble) when Jermichael Finley fell on his fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. The Horns didn’t protect the football very well but they only turned it over once, so… Verdict: Passed.

3. Don’t forget about the run game.

I don’t think the coaches gave the ball enough to [tag]Jamaal Charles[/tag] early in the game, but as the game wore on he ended up getting more than his share of touches. Thanks to the big second half lead Charles finished the game with 27 carries and 161 yards. Colt McCoy did what he’s been doing this season, finding a way to make big plays with his feet. The team also went to freshman quarterback [tag]John Chiles[/tag] early to spark the offense and he carried the ran the ball very successfully. Overall the team ran the ball 54 times for a whopping 300 yards in the game. Verdict: Passed.

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