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BIG 12

Oklahoma Can't Repeat Feat at Texas A&M

November 10, 2002|From Associated Press

Oklahoma escaped Kyle Field two years ago, clearing the way for the Sooners to win the national title.

They couldn't pull off another victory against Texas A&M on Saturday at College Station, Texas, and now the No. 1-ranked Sooners might not get another shot to win it all after a 30-26 loss to the Aggies.

"I never talked about it when we had a BCS future. I don't know that we have one now and don't really care," Coach Bob Stoops said.

The Sooners, 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference, certainly will drop from their top position in both the Associated Press poll and the bowl championship series standings.

No. 2-ranked Miami had an easy 26-3 win at Tennessee on Saturday.

The Aggies (6-4, 3-3) beat a No. 1 team for the first time in school history behind freshman reserve quarterback Reggie McNeal, who completed eight of 13 passes for 191 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 89 yards in 16 carries.

McNeal had scoring passes on three straight possessions to give Texas A&M its first lead. His fourth touchdown pass, a 40-yarder to Terrence Murphy with 1 minute 51 seconds remaining in the third quarter, put the Aggies ahead, 27-23, before the teams traded field goals in the fourth quarter.

Terrence Kiel, who was burned for an earlier touchdown, intercepted Nate Hybl's pass with 1:12 left to seal the victory.

When the Sooners won the national championship two years ago, they arrived at College Station coming off three impressive wins over top 25 teams. Then they overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Aggies, 35-31, propelling them to the national title game.

Oklahoma was trying to follow the same path this time, having beaten Texas, Iowa State and Colorado in its previous three games. But the Aggies and McNeal didn't cooperate.

Texas A&M broke a three-game losing streak at Kyle Field, where it lost only four times in the 1990s. They had blown fourth-quarter leads of 18 and 17 points in their last two home games.

The struggles had put Aggie Coach R.C. Slocum under intense pressure. But this one victory -- before a mostly maroon-clad crowd of 84,036 -- may go a long way in lowering the heat on the 14th-year coach.

"It's been one of those challenge years," Slocum said. "It's gratifying to go in and play with the No. 1 team in a game where virtually no one gave us a chance to win. It is satisfying. This is pretty big."

Slocum can thank his sensational freshman quarterback.

McNeal replaced struggling starter Dustin Long, who completed only three of nine passes for 28 yards and an interception, on the final possession of the first quarter.

After the Aggies went three-and-out on his first possession, and Oklahoma then drove for a field goal and a 10-0 lead, McNeal was almost unstoppable.

Hybl completed 20 of 34 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns.

Quentin Griffin had his fifth straight 100-yard rushing game but had only 29 of his 141 yards after halftime.

No. 4 Texas 41, Baylor 0 -- Roy Williams had eight receptions for 172 yards, including a 73-yard touchdown on the second play, to lead the Longhorns at Austin, Texas. Chris Simms completed 18 of 23 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns for Texas (9-1, 5-1), which led, 31-0, at halftime. Baylor is 3-7, 1-5.

No. 12 Kansas State 58, No. 21 Iowa State 7 -- Bobby Walker intercepted two Seneca Wallace passes and returned them for touchdowns 23 seconds apart as the Wildcats (8-4, 4-2) won in a rout at Manhattan, Kan. Wallace, who had a school-record 493 yards of total offense the week before against Missouri, completed 11 of 26 passes for 162 yards and three interceptions. He had only four yards rushing.

The Cyclones are 7-4, 4-3.

No. 18 Colorado 42, Missouri 35 -- Chris Brown rushed for 211 yards in 35 carries and scored his third touchdown on a one-yard run in overtime to help the Buffaloes win at Columbia, Mo. On Missouri's overtime possession, Darius Outlaw caught a pass on third and 10, but he fumbled after being hit by J.J. Billingsley. Kory Mossoni recovered for Colorado (7-3, 5-1).

Missouri (4-6, 1-5) trailed, 27-7, in the third quarter before rallying to force overtime.

Texas Tech 49, Oklahoma State 24 -- Kliff Kingsbury completed 38 of 49 passes for 425 yards and four touchdowns to become the No. 5 passer in NCAA Division I history and help the Red Raiders (7-4, 4-2) win at Lubbock, Texas.

Oklahoma State is 4-5, 2-3.

Nebraska 45, Kansas 7 -- Freshman David Horne ran for 122 yards in only nine carries to help Nebraska (7-4, 3-3) win at Lincoln, Neb. Kansas is 2-9, 0-7.

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