Texas Longhorns remove distractions by focusing on beating the Oregon Ducks

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AUSTIN, Texas — Being a high school football coach’s son and the starting quarterback at one of the most scrutinized programs in the country, Case McCoy wasn’t as surprised as some of his teammates when Mack Brown told them he was stepping down.

Mack Brown: Will coach his final game at Texas against the Oregon Ducks on Dec. 30.  ASSOCIATED PRESS
Mack Brown: Will coach his final game at Texas against the Oregon Ducks on Dec. 30.

“I’ve had the ‘For Sale’ signs in my yard numerous times,” McCoy said of the sometimes volatile lives of coaching families. “I’ve moved a few times in my life. The job is to win a lot of ball games here. That’s what people expect at this university and we haven’t done what we’ve needed to do.”

Brown will be coaching his 206th and final game at Texas when the Longhorns (8-4) take on No. 10 Oregon (10-2) in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.

The team’s 30-10 loss to Baylor kept Texas from claiming its first Big 12 title since McCoy’s older brother, Colt, took the Longhorns to the national title game in 2009.

“It would be great to have him ride off in the sunset (with a win),” junior center Dominic Espinosa said. “More than anything it excites us to make sure we send Mack out with a win.”

Brown led the Longhorns to nine consecutive 10-win seasons from 2001-09, but has gone 30-20 over the past four seasons.

And as much as the Longhorns players want Brown to end his career on a high note, they want to beat the Ducks just as badly for themselves.

“We definitely love Coach Brown and it’s sad to hear that but you can’t approach it in a different way,” senior All-American defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said. “I’m approaching it as my last game and I’m working my butt off this week.”

Like McCoy, junior defensive back Quandre Diggs had an older brother play for Brown at Texas. Quentin Jammer was a sophomore when Brown was hired and was a consensus All-American by the time he left. .

“I’ve known Coach Brown since I was six or seven years old,” Diggs said. “He means a lot to me because he’s a legend here, but besides coaching he’s just a better man.”

Assuming Diggs returns for his senior season, he will be welcoming a new coach like his older brother did 16 years ago.

But first comes Oregon.

“I wasn’t named to the search committee,” Diggs said. “We just have to adjust to it. ... I go out and play.”

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