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Trading Texas-Sized Barbs

October 06, 2002|Mike Bresnahan

Say this about the budding rivalry between Texas Tech and Texas A&M, and then say no more: Even the kickers were taking potshots at each other after Saturday's game, the latest chapter in the suddenly acrimonious in-state free-for-all.

The teams combined for 12 touchdown passes, 1,061 yards and, most important, two missed extra points--both by Texas A&M--in Texas Tech's 48-47 overtime victory at College Station.

The team that refused to acknowledge Texas Tech as a worthy opponent earlier in the week--"It's not Texas, so I don't see it as a rivalry.... It's just another game on the schedule," said Texas A&M receiver Jamaar Taylor--has now lost six of its last eight against the Red Raiders.

This one was particularly embarrassing for the Aggies, who let Texas Tech overcome an 18-point third-quarter deficit and gave Red Raider fans the last chuckle in a yearlong battle of insults.

The animosity began last year when Texas Tech fans celebrated a 12-0 victory by jamming a goalpost into the stands near a group of Aggie fans, sparking a brawl.

Texas A&M fired back with a story in its media guide that called Red Raider fans "uglier than the barren stretch of dirt some West Texans call a city," a not-so-subtle shot at Lubbock, where Texas Tech is located.

Fast-forward to Saturday, where Texas A&M scored first in the overtime, but John Pierson missed the extra point--his second miss of the game--to leave the door open for the Red Raiders.

Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury completed 49 of 59 passes for 474 yards and five touchdowns, including a 10-yard touchdown to Nehemiah Glover on the Red Raiders' overtime possession.

Most important, Robert Treece made the crucial extra point.

"In my head, I like to think extra points are guaranteed," Treece said. "High school kids and junior high kids make them all the time. There's no greater feeling than helping your team, especially over the Aggies."

Said Pierson, the less fortunate kicker: "It was my fault.... I guarantee you it'll never happen again."

The loss wiped out a record-setting day for quarterback Dustin Long, who began the season as Texas A&M's No. 2 quarterback, but set a Big 12 record with seven touchdown passes Saturday.

Said Long: "The bottom line is that we didn't get it done."

Somebody Save Us

Nebraska fans had one thought in common after last week's debacle against Iowa State: Lord help us.

So he did.

Jammal Lord, Nebraska's embattled quarterback, set school records for total offense and rushing yards by a quarterback in Nebraska's 38-14 victory over Division I-AA McNeese State.

Lord, who had to win back his starting position during practice last week, had 218 yards rushing and three touchdowns, breaking the Nebraska single-game quarterback rushing mark of 199 yards set by Tommie Frazier in 1996. Lord also threw for 151 yards and a touchdown, and his 369 total yards topped Eric Crouch's record of 360 set last year against Colorado.

Lord, who didn't speak to the media in the days leading up to the game, continued his silence Saturday, although other people were willing to talk.

"Everybody in the state, everybody in the country had been doubting him," Nebraska tight end Jon Bowling said. "Very few thought he could get it done."

It was a stormy few days for McNeese State, which was forced to leave St. Charles, La., two days earlier than planned because of worries that Hurricane Lili could make traveling difficult.

The extra motel nights and earlier airplane departure cost the Cowboys about $40,000. Then they went out and got pasted by Nebraska.

"It was a tough day for the Cowboys," McNeese State Coach Tommy Tate said.

Macho, Macho Men

OK, so maybe Georgia is manly enough.

The Bulldogs, angered by comments from former Auburn Coach Pat Dye that they were "not man enough" to beat Alabama, won the Southeastern Conference showdown, 27-25, on a last-minute field goal by Billy Bennett.

Dye fanned the flames of controversy earlier in the week during a radio interview in Birmingham, Ala., ripping the Bulldogs and then repeating his thoughts twice when prodded by the show's host.

"Alabama is gonna line up and run the football and they're gonna play defense and I don't believe Georgia is man enough to beat that," said Dye, who, believe it or not, was a two-time All-American offensive lineman at Georgia.

All the Bulldogs did was keep alive a shot at their first SEC title in 20 years, outrushing the conference's top running team 161-109.

"What he said helped motivate us some," Georgia Coach Mark Richt said of Dye's remarks. "It does help a little bit when you're tired [in the fourth quarter] and want to quit and your manhood's questioned."

How's Roy Hobbs this week?

In a jab at Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder, the Colorado sports information folks withheld injury updates from their weekly notes because Snyder is notorious for hiding his players' injuries.

The Buffaloes' injury report this week included fictitious injuries from familiar movies.

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