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SOUTHWEST ROUNDUP : For Rice, Close but No Cigar

October 23, 1994|From Associated Press

Corey Pullig passed for one touchdown and saved another with a tremendous tackle on a fumble return as Texas A&M fought off upstart Rice, 7-0, Saturday at College Station, Tex., for its 26th consecutive Southwest Conference victory and 14th in a row over the Owls.

It was the 25th consecutive victory at home for the Aggies, 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the SWC. The close loss for Rice (3-3, 2-1) comes six days after a 19-17 victory over No. 13 Texas.

"I hope we gained a little more respect today," Rice Coach Ken Hatfield said. "A&M made one more play than we did. We were just one play short of doing it.

"We've played two nationally ranked teams in less than a week. We beat one and came pretty close today against a great team."

The Aggies struck quickly against the 20-point underdogs for the game's only touchdown. Halfback Rodney Thomas took a short swing pass from Pullig and followed a block by wide receiver Chris Sanders on a 60-yard scoring play less than two minutes into the game.

Pullig made his touchdown-saving tackle in the fourth quarter, chasing down Rice defensive end Andy Clifton as he returned Leeland McElroy's fumble 20 yards to the Aggies' 43.

"I knew I was the only one with a shot at him," Pullig said. "I knew I had to bring him down."

The Aggies rolled up 395 yards of total offense. Thomas rushed 21 times for 136 yards and Pullig was 17 of 25 for 191 yards.

No. 13 Texas 42, Southern Methodist 20--Rodrick Walker ran for two touchdowns and backup quarterback James Brown revived a sluggish offense as the Longhorns (5-2, 2-1) recorded an SWC victory at Austin, Tex.

In its first two series, Texas appeared to be showing the effects of a tumultuous week in which the Longhorns tried to put player suspensions and their first loss to Rice in 29 years behind them.

After SMU (1-7, 0-4) put together a 13-play touchdown drive on its first possession, Texas went three-and-out on its first drive and fumbled the ball to SMU on the first play of its second possession.

With 1:23 left in the first quarter and Texas trailing 7-0, Coach John Mackovic replaced starter Shea Morenz with Brown, a redshirt freshman who had guided Texas to a 17-10 victory over Oklahoma earlier in the season when Morenz was hurt.

Brown, who drew roaring cheers when he entered the game, hit Curtis Jackson with a perfect 39-yard strike down the left sideline, putting the ball on the SMU 38. Three plays later, Walker, who finished with 107 yards in 15 carries, scored on a 19-yard touchdown, although replays showed he appeared to step out of bounds at the three.

Texas Tech 38, Baylor 7--Zebbie Lethridge threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and the Red Raiders (3-4, 2-2) had four interceptions at Lubbock, Tex.

It was the most points and biggest margin of victory this season for the Red Raiders.

The Bears (5-3, 2-2) didn't score after the first quarter. They didn't have a first down or complete a pass in the third quarter.

Texas Christian 31, Houston 10--Max Knake threw three touchdown passes to Brian Collins as TCU (4-3, 1-2) took advantage of four turnovers to beat the Cougars (1-6, 1-2) at Houston.

The Horned Frogs led, 17-0, at halftime, but Houston staged a mini-comeback behind reserve quarterback Chad O'Shea, cutting TCU's lead to 24-10. Knake wrapped up the victory with scoring strikes of 29 and 22 yards to Collins.

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