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BIG 12

Texas A&M Falls to Virginia Tech

September 22, 2002|From Associated Press

Coach Frank Beamer took No. 7 Virginia Tech into hostile territory, hoping to find out just how good the Hokies really are.

Playing in a stadium where no nonconference visitor had won since 1988, facing a defense that gave up 33.5 rushing yards per game, the seventh-ranked Hokies earned a hard-fought victory by defeating 19th-ranked Texas A&M, 13-3, Saturday at College Station, Texas.

"I couldn't be more proud," Beamer said. "We've beaten three ranked opponents, but until you go up on the road and beat a good team, that's what you can put your stamp on. We're going to enjoy this one."

Over the previous two weeks, Virginia Tech (4-0) easily beat then-No. 14 Louisiana State and stomped then-No. 16 Marshall. Those games were in front of home crowds in Blacksburg, Va., as was an opening rout of Arkansas State.

This one wasn't nearly as easy.

With only a few hundred orange-clad Hokies fans among the crowd of 83,746, Virginia Tech got behind for the first time this season, didn't go ahead until the third quarter then finally gained control in the fourth quarter.

And it wasn't the offense, led by the backfield of Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones, that came up with the biggest plays. It was a defense that came in with stats nearly as good as Texas A&M's "Wrecking Crew."

"We wanted to show we're right up there with the Wrecking Crew," said linebacker Vegas Robinson, whose interception set up the field goal that put Virginia Tech up, 6-3, early in the third quarter.

The Hokies had two interceptions, a key fumble recovery and five sacks--two coming on consecutive plays by defensive ends Nathaniel Adibi and Cols Colas, which pushed one of the Aggies' best drives back to midfield and forced a punt.

On the ensuing drive, Bryan Randall threw a short pass to Ernest Wilford. He bounced out of a tackle by Byron Jones and ran 52 yards to the Texas A&M one. Suggs plunged in from there, putting Virginia Tech up by 10 early in the fourth quarter.

Suggs ran 13 times for 51 yards, and Jones carried 15 times for 48 yards. They had been averaging a combined 202.3 yards. Bryan Randall was 10 of 11 for 119 yards--nearly half on Wilford's burst--as the Hokies had only 248 total yards.

Texas A&M is 2-1.

No. 3 Texas 41, Houston 11--Cedric Benson ran for 160 yards in 37 carries and Chris Simms passed for two touchdowns as the Longhorns (3-0) won at Austin, Texas. Beau Trahan scored a touchdown on a fake field goal and Michael Huff returned an interception for Texas. Simms was sharp for the third consecutive game, completing 20 of 30 passes for 233 yards. Houston (2-2) managed only 152 yards of total offense.

No. 17 North Carolina State 51, Texas Tech 48--Freshman T.A. McLendon scored his school record-tying fifth rushing touchdown in overtime to help the Wolfpack (5-0) win at Lubbock, Texas. McLendon had 150 yards in 32 carries. Texas Tech (2-2) scored four touchdowns in the fourth quarter and the game went into overtime. The Red Raiders got a 33-yard field goal from Robert Treece in overtime before McLendon won it. In the anticipated quarterback matchup, North Carolina State's Philip Rivers passed for 301 yards but no touchdowns, and Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns.

No. 21 Iowa State 42, Troy State 12--Seneca Wallace passed for 295 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another and Todd Miller scored on a punt return for the second time this season as the Cyclones (4-1) won at Ames, Iowa. Playing as a ranked team for the first time in 21 years, Iowa State also scored off a blocked punt and dominated Troy State (1-3), which gave Nebraska trouble three weeks ago.

Oklahoma State 52, Southern Methodist 16--Seymore Shaw scored three touchdowns and Josh Fields threw three touchdown passes in a 45-point first half for the Cowboys (2-2) at Stillwater, Okla. The Cowboys (2-2) scored all seven times they had the ball in their most-productive half since scoring 45 points against Wyoming in the second half of the 1988 Holiday Bowl. SMU is 0-4

Bowling Green 39, Kansas 16--Josh Harris had 236 yards in total offense and scored three touchdowns and Joe Alls rushed for a career-high 161 yards as the Falcons (3-0) defeated the Jayhawks (1-3) at Lawrence, Kan. Linebacker Mitch Hewitt scored a defensive touchdown for the second consecutive game for Bowling Green.

Baylor 37, Tulsa 25--Aaron Karas threw for a touchdown and ran for another for the Bears (2-2) at Waco, Texas. Baylor drove 85 yards for a touchdown on its first possession. Tulsa (0-4) has the nation's longest active losing streak at 14.

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