Missouri falls for first time

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Texas A&M held on for a 25-19 victory over the Tigers.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione knew it was risky to tell his players they were going to beat No. 19 Missouri.

He did it anyway, and the Aggies did just what they were told.

Jorvorskie Lane ran for 127 yards and a touchdown, and Texas A&M handed Missouri its first loss of the season by beating the Tigers 25-19 on Saturday.

Missouri (6-1, 2-1), which entered the day as one of nine remaining unbeaten teams in Division I-A, was trying to go 7-0 for the first time in 46 years.

Stephen McGee was 19-for-23 for 183 yards and a touchdown for the Aggies. A&M beat a ranked opponent at home for the first time in six tries under Franchione, who told his team before the game he believed they would come out on top.

"I wanted them to know I was confident in them," Franchione said. "You know, you can't do that week in and week out. You've got to pick your times to convey that message when it matters the most.

"I just think they needed to hear that."

The Aggies (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) snapped a three-game losing streak to Big 12 opponents at Kyle Field. It was also a validating victory for Franchione, who was 16-19 in his first three seasons in College Station.

"This is certainly a good win for where we're going and what we're trying to accomplish," he said.

Chase Daniel completed 21 of 29 for 295 yards, including a 38-yard touchdown pass to Will Franklin in the second quarter, for the Tigers.

Missouri was allowing only 73 yards rushing per game, but the Aggies ran for 180 and dominated time of possession, 41:30 to 18:30.

"Any time you lose, it's frustrating," Daniel said. "The good thing about it is the only guys that really matter are the 80 guys in the locker room. They're not going to fry us up and eat us in the media."

Freshman Michael Goodson ran for 65 yards and a TD for A&M.

The Tigers fumbled four times in the opening half and the first one robbed them of a sure touchdown.

On the game's third play, Daniel found Franklin wide open behind the defense, but as Franklin trotted toward the end zone, freshman cornerback Jordan Peterson sneaked up and punched the ball loose. It bounced out of the end zone and after a replay review, officials gave the ball to the Aggies on a touchback.

Chad Schroeder, A&M's leading receiver and a former high school quarterback, threw a 40-yard pass to Kerry Franks to give the Aggies a first-and-goal. The Aggies settled for Layne Neumann's 23-yard field goal, putting the Tigers behind for the first time this season.

Missouri's Jared Perry caught a deflected pass for a 26-yard gain to set up Tony Temple's 5-yard TD run with 3:21 left in the first quarter.

Lane's 1-yard touchdown gave Texas A&M a 10-7 lead late in the first quarter.

The Tigers led 14-10 when Temple fumbled with 7:19 left in the half. McGee threw a short TD pass to fullback Chris Alexander 3 minutes later to put the Aggies back in front.

Jeff Wolfert kicked a 39-yard field goal just before halftime to make it 17-17.

A&M got the ball to start the second half, but McGee fumbled a snap and fell on it in the end zone for a Missouri safety that made the score 19-17.

McGee went 8-for-8 on A&M's next drive and Goodson scored on a 2-yard run. McGee dived for the 2-point conversion and the Aggies led 25-19.

The Tigers went three-and-out twice and had the ball for only 2:35 of the third quarter. Lane chewed up much of the time with short, punishing runs.

Missouri drove to the A&M 4 in the fourth quarter, but the Aggies tackled holder Brad Ekwereku on a fake field-goal try and took over.

Safety Devin Gregg, who was credited with stopping Ekwereku, said the Aggies recognized the Tigers' formation for the trick play and knew it was a fake before the snap.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel defended his decision to stick with the call.

"We thought we were in good position to go for it and it didn't work," Pinkel said. "It's a great decision if it works. We thought we could get it."

On the Tigers' last possession, Temple took a pitch from Daniel on fourth down, but was stopped a yard shy of a first down with 3:18 to go.

A&M had lost four straight games to ranked opponents, dating to a 36-20 win over then-No. 15 Oklahoma State in October 2004. The Aggies' last win over a ranked opponent at Kyle Field was a 30-26 win over then-top-ranked Oklahoma in November 2002.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: