"I guess in in every situation you have to be thankful," said Ash, who was pulled in a loss to TCU a month ago and wasn't immediately selected the starter for the Alamo Bowl. "I learned a lot at TCU. It was a tough situation I was in. I was just really thankful I got another opportunity to play a game I love."
With Texas down 20-10 at halftime, Longhorns coach Mack Brown said he told his players they would win.
"I told them this it wasn't going to be easy, but I told them this game was ours and we would win it," Brown said. "This one is really special."
Storm Woods ran for 118 yards and scored two touchdowns for the Beavers (9-4), who left stunned after looking as though they would wrap up their first 10-win season since 2006.
"Not to take anything away from Texas, that was a great team offensively and defensively," Wood said. "In the first half we had a great style of football. In the second half, Texas made some adjustments and I guess, they just wanted it more."
The victory was a dose of much-needed good news for Texas after coming into the game under a cloud of questions following the suspensions of backup quarterback Case McCoy and injured linebacker Jordan Hicks.
Ash, whose been pulled at times for McCoy this season, was 21 of 33 for 241 yards. Ash sputtered until the fourth quarter, when he went 9 for 11 for 146 yards.
Even if there were doubts about Ash before then, Texas had no choice but to stick with him: the only backups were two redshirt freshmen who haven't taken a snap all season.
Brown announced the suspensions Friday but wouldn't reveal which players were sent home. A person with knowledge of the suspensions told The Associated Press the players were McCoy and Hicks, speaking on condition of anonymity because Texas wasn't releasing the names.
Brown addressed the suspensions during a previously scheduled news conference and referred to a local TV report that police were investigating two unidentified Texas players in an alleged sexual assault at a San Antonio hotel.
Police released a heavily redacted incident report that only identifies the suspects as two students, one 20 and the other 21.
Authorities are still investigating and no charges have been filed.
Brown said he would not address the suspensions further.
Oregon State quarterback Cody Vaz was 15 of 28 for 194 yards and two interceptions. The Beavers had negative 4 yards in the fourth quarter as they were muffled by the Longhorns defense that was led by Alex Okafor, who finished with 41/2 sacks.
"When we tried to just drop back and pass, it was difficult," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "That's why Cody had to just hang in there. It was very, very tough. He made some plays, and some other plays didn't develop because he didn't just have time."
Texas 31, Oregon State 27
Texas 3 7 7 14 31
Oregon St. 10 10 7 0 27
OrSt • FG Romaine 29, 9:12.
Tex • FG Jordan 40, 6:46.
OrSt • Woods 12 run (Romaine kick), 1:33.
Tex • Goodwin 64 run (Jordan kick), 14:40.
OrSt • FG Romaine 37, 9:20.
OrSt • Ward 9 run (Romaine kick), 3:46.
Tex • Ash 11 run (Jordan kick), 5:17.
OrSt • Woods 2 run (Romaine kick), :09.
Tex • Gray 15 pass from Ash (Jordan kick), 8:18.
Tex • Goodwin 36 pass from Ash (Jordan kick), 2:24.
Attendance • 65,277.
First downs 16 21
Rushes-yards 31-117 42-103
Passing 241 194
Comp-Att-Int 21-34-1 15-29-2
Return Yards 33 22
Punts-Avg. 5-45.4 4-40.0
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 9-78 2-10
Time of Possession 29:02 30:58
Rushing • Texas, Goodwin 1-64, Ash 7-22, Gray 7-18, Monroe 3-9, Malcol.Brown 4-8, Shipley 1-2, Bergeron 5-2, Team 3-(minus 8). Oregon St., Woods 21-118, Wheaton 4-26, Ward 6-25, Cooks 1-15, Vaz 10-(minus 81).
Passing • Texas, Ash 21-33-1-241, King 0-1-0-0. Oregon St., Vaz 15-28-2-194, Team 0-1-0-0.
Receiving • Texas, Shipley 8-88, Goodwin 4-68, M.Davis 3-30, Gray 2-27, Malcol.Brown 2-14, Monroe 1-9, Grant 1-5. Oregon St., Hamlett 5-70, Wheaton 3-37, Cooks 3-31, K.Cummings 2-15, Woods 1-22, Ward 1-19.