COLLEGE STATION, Tex. — Texas A&M freshman quarterback Lance Pavlas bolstered a sagging offense, and the Aggie defense bottled up Washington quarterback Chris Chandler en route to a 29-12 defeat of the 10th-ranked Huskies Saturday.
The Aggie defense didn't allow a touchdown, forced four Washington fumbles--two by Chandler--to help out the slow-starting offense that sputtered in the first half under quarterback Craig Stump. Chandler, who entered the game with 514 yards passing in two games, finished with 11 completions in 31 attempts for 120 yards.
The Aggies (1-1) scratched out a 14-9 halftime lead on Matt Gurley's 2-yard scoring run, set up by a 77-yard run by Keith Woodside, and Pavlas' 7-yard touchdown pass to Percy Waddle. That was the first touchdown pass and catch for the pair.
Texas A&M stretched the lead in the third quarter, when an end zone punt by Washington's Brandy Brownlee bounced off teammate Aaron Jenkins' shoulder. Lafayette Turner returned it two yards for a touchdown.
Gurley got the final Aggie touchdown on another two-yard run, with 11:38 to play, after Chandler's second fumble.
Brownlee, a transfer from Southern Methodist, kept the Huskies (2-1) in the game in the first half with field goals of 47, 48 and 49 yards. He kicked a 30-yarder in the third quarter.
Pavlas, a red-shirt freshman, completed of 13 of 19 passes for 83 yards, and nose guard Sammy O'Brient keyed the Aggie defense. O'Brient had 2 tackles for 6 yards in losses that forced Brownlee to punt out of his end zone, setting up Turner's short punt return. In the fourth quarter, O'Brient recovered Chandler's fumble at the Washington 45.
The Aggie defense held an opponent under 100 yards rushing for the fifth straight game, allowing the Huskies 53 yards in 30 attempts.
Both teams were hurt by first-half turnovers. Washington's Vince Weathersby fumbled, and Tim Landrum recovered for the Aggies at the Husky 7. Two plays later, Pavlas and Waddle hooked up.
Pavlas threw and interception before the intermission, which Washington coverted into three points on Brownlee's 49-yard field goal with two seconds left in the first half.
The Huskies struggled offensively in the first half and didn't convert their first third-down opportunity until the final 39 seconds of the half.
The Aggies had only three first downs at the half, one after each touchdown and on Woodside's 77-yard run.
Texas A&M, playing for the first time since an opening-week loss to Louisiana State, turned Washington turnovers into 22 points. Washington fell to 2-1.