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SOUTHWEST ROUNDUP : Texas A&M Bowls Over Texas, 34-10

November 06, 1994|From Associated Press

The 11th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies aren't eligible for a bowl game due to NCAA sanctions, so they played Texas like it was the postseason.

A matchup that figured in preseason to be one of the best in the Southwest Conference was over before halftime as A&M routed the Longhorns, 34-10, Saturday at Austin, Tex.

Rodney Thomas scored twice, Leeland McElroy ran for a touchdown and set up another with an 83-yard kickoff return, and that was the offense.

Brandon Mitchell returned a fumble 48 yards for a score after a sack by Antonio Armstrong separated Texas quarterback James Brown from the ball in the second quarter. And A&M's Dennis Allen blocked a punt in the third quarter, although it didn't lead to any points.

"We knew we had to beat them to the punch and that's why we won the game," Thomas said. "Games like this are won on big plays, and we just had more than they did."

A&M, 8-0-1 overall and 5-0-1 in the SWC, which has Louisville and Texas Christian left on its schedule, rebounded from a shocking 21-21 tie with Southern Methodist last week.

Texas (5-4, 2-3) must win one more game against Houston or Baylor to qualify for its first bowl game in four years.

The Longhorns, whose season opened with Cotton Bowl hopes and degenerated into a nightmare of injuries and player suspensions, played before 82,312 fans, the fourth largest home crowd in school history.

The Aggies won their fourth consecutive against the Longhorns and their 10th in the last 11 meetings of the heated 101-game rivalry.

Texas A&M scored on its first two drives--on a 15-yard pass from Corey Pullig to Thomas and a three-yard run by McElroy--while Texas never got past the Aggies 38 in the first half.

A&M put the game away with 9:30 left in the second quarter when Mitchell lumbered down the sideline with his fumble recovery, giving the Aggies a 21-0 lead.

Texas didn't score until Darrell Wilson churned into the end zone on a 1-yard run with 9:57 left in the third quarter. Phil Dawson added a 47-yard field goal with 2:08 left in the game.

Rice 17, Southern Methodist 10--Rice built an early 17-point lead on short touchdown runs by Emerson Allen and Spencer George, and Warrick Franklin made a game-saving tackle as the Owls held off Southern Methodist, keeping alive hopes of representing the Southwest Conference in the Cotton Bowl.

On fourth down at the Rice nine with four seconds left, SMU's Jacques Smith hauled down a pass from Ramon Flanigan but was stopped at the two by Franklin as time ran out.

The game at Houston featured 10 fumbles, six by Rice (4-4, 3-2) and each team had three turnovers.

SMU is 1-8-1 and 0-5-1.

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