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No. 8 Virginia Tech Defeats Texas A&M

September 19, 2003|From Times Wire Services

Bryan Randall ran 12 yards for an insurance touchdown in the fourth quarter Thursday night and No. 8 Virginia Tech defeated Texas A&M, 35-19, at Blacksburg, Va.

The game featured a series of unusual plays and freakish circumstances.

The Hokies (3-0) didn't get command until the end, when Randall capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with his run that made it 28-19 with 8:20 left.

The Aggies (2-1) mishandled the ensuing kickoff and the Hokies recovered. Kevin Jones' third touchdown, with 5:33 to play, secured Virginia Tech's 27th consecutive victory in games played before October.

But the Aggies, seeking their first road victory against a top-10 team since 1979, put more of a scare into the Hokies, whose lead dwindled to 21-19 with 14:24 left after Reggie McNeal's 15-yard touchdown pass to Tim Van Zant.

"They made the big plays when it was time for big plays to be made," McNeal said.

Jones finished with 188 yards in 30 carries. He had only 140 yards in the first two games.

"I was definitely listening and hearing [criticism], but it didn't really matter to me because I knew I could get the job done," he said.

"I was just waiting for myself to do it."

Although the game was played in wet and windy conditions from Hurricane Isabel, there were only four turnovers.

*

Comments made by former Auburn coach Terry Bowden that Tiger players were being paid when he took the job in 1993 were confirmed by three professors and former athletic director Mike Lude, according to a report in the Opelika-Auburn News.

Barry Burkhart, Larry Gerber and Gary Mullen said they were present at an April 2001 conversation in Loachapoka, Ala., where Bowden talked of the pay-for-play scheme involving boosters.

Lude, who retired in 1994, said Bowden told him of the illegalities in 1999 and 2001.

Bowden said he put a stop to the practice after he took the job.

At the time, Auburn already was on NCAA probation for improper payments to players. There is a four-year statute of limitations for NCAA violations, with an exception if the infraction is considered "blatant."

*

The son of former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes is the judge handling the case of suspended Buckeye tailback Maurice Clarett, charged with lying to police about items stolen from a car in April.

Franklin County Municipal Judge Steven B. Hayes will preside over the case and a pretrial hearing is set for Oct. 3. Cases are assigned to judges at random.

*

Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel will dress for Saturday's home game against Bowling Green, but whether he will play won't be determined until warmups. Krenzel has been held out of practice all week, and senior backup Scott McMullen is likely to start.

*

Southern Mississippi quarterback Micky D'Angelo, who suffered a concussion in the first half of Saturday's victory over Memphis, will be sidelined at least a month. He will be replaced by Dustin Almond.

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