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AUSTIN, Texas -- Five days after Mack Brown stepped down as Texas coach, the Longhorns' players admitted they were "shocked" and "upset" by the move and never saw it coming.
Ten players met with reporters Thursday for the first time since Brown announced his resignation, and their message was consistent: They're disappointed his 16-year tenure is ending and they want to send him off with one final victory.
"It's been a long season, a tough season," center Dominic Espinosa said. "We want to go out on top, but there's also that factor that it would be great for him to kind of ride off into the sunset."
Brown delivered the news to his team Saturday afternoon following a practice for the Valero Alamo Bowl. His players say Brown hasn't acted any differently in bowl practices, and they're trying to treat it like any other week.
"It was definitely shocking," defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat said. "Just the timing of it, we didn't expect it. You always hear things floating around, always hear rumors, but you never really pay attention to it until something happens.
"It really upset us when it happened. He made his decision and he's still coaching for this game, so we've got to get ready for this."
Texas takes on No. 10 Oregon on Dec. 30 in San Antonio. For quarterback Case McCoy and at least 19 of his teammates, this is also their final game in burnt orange. They'd like nothing more than to give Brown a proper send-off to a Longhorn career that began in 1998.