Nebraska got the first possession of the
game, the Huskers starting the contest at their own 13 yard line, following a
holding on Major Culbert on the kick return.
Nebraska went three-and-out
to open the game, off of three Brandon Jackson carries, netting seven
Texas A&M takes over after a Titchener punt at their own 44
After getting a first down and getting into Nebraska territory,
the Aggies got stalled, setting up a fourth and four. Head Coach Dennis Franchione opted to go for it instead of trying the field goal, but was thwarted
as a pass over the middle was defended, Texas A&M turning it over on downs.
Nebraska made a statement early on in the game, putting up the first
points of the contest. A running game featuring Brandon Jackson, Marlon Lucky
and Cody Glenn, pushed the ball down the field. The drive was highlighted by a
reception by Maurice Purify, who hauled a Taylor pass in for a first down, which
kept the drive alive. On second and goal, Nebraska threw an exclamation point on
their run-heavy drive, Cody Glenn jumping over the line from the two for the
11 plays, 63 yards
Texas A&M answered, hitting a play
action pass on second down, which went for 40 yards, taking the Aggies down to
the Nebraska 31 yard line. (double move on Andre).
short pass, which went for nine yards, the Aggies' fab freshman Michael Goodson
ran it in for the touchdown from 22 yards on the option.
4 plays – 58
In what was sort of a shoot out, Nebraska moved the ball down the
field, Taylor engineering an eight play, 62 yard drive. Nebraska had first and
goal during that drive, the Huskers at the Aggie five yard line. But a dead ball
personal foul on wide receiver Dan Erickson moved the Huskers back to the 20
yard line with first and goal to go.
Taylor ended the quarter with a 13
yard completion to Purify, taking the Huskers back down to the original line of
scrimmage at the Aggie five, with third and goal.
The Huskers didn't wait long into the second quarter to
answer the Aggie score, Glenn powering his way in from the five yard line,
breaking two tackles as he got in for the touchdown.
9 plays – 61 yards
– Nebraska 14-7
Steve Octavien made his presence known early in the
second quarter, taking down Michael Goodson for a loss. That was followed up by
the first sack of the game, defensive end Barry Turner taking down McGee for the
loss, forcing an Aggie punt.
In Pac-10-like form, Nebraska went down the
field with one big play, Lucky taking a Taylor screen off the left side for a
gain of 42 yards, giving the Huskers first and goal at the Aggie four yard line.
It only took one play from that spot to cash in, Taylor hitting Todd Peterson for the touchdown off the right side. With 11:00 to go in the second
quarter, Nebraska has exploded with 21 points, 14 unanswered by the Aggies.
4 plays – 50 yards
Aggies go three and out, the key play coming
on a tackle for loss on Goodson on third and four, option to the left
The Huskers looked like they were on their way to throwing up
another easy drive for a score, highlighted by a 26 yard reception by Frantz Hardy.
The drive stalled, keyed by a well defended pass, Taylor to Nunn,
which set up a fourth and six. Nebraska went for it, but Taylor was sacked,
stalling the Nebraska surge.
Once again, however, the Aggies got
stalled, going three and out, Barry Turner getting his second sack of the game
on third and long, forcing the punt by the home team.
five minutes to go in the game, Nebraska had to start a drive deep in their own
territory. The drive didn't last long, stalled by an illegal motion penalty and
an incomplete pass to Purify on third and long.
The Aggies tried to take
advantage of decent field position and McGee looked the best he had all game,
the Aggie QB running and passing, leading his team into Nebraska territory. The
Husker defense rose to the occasion again, Bo Ruud deflecting a McGee pass on
third down, forcing the Aggies to settle for the field goal.
took a knee on its possession, the Huskers going into the locker room with a
21-10 lead on Texas A&M.
have had issues with keeping momentum going into the second half. So, with the
ball, the Aggies looked to try and add to the momentum from the first
They looked to be doing just that, the drive kept
alive on an electric play by McGee as he evaded three tackles in the backfield
to deliver a first down completion to Goods on on third and long.
Typical to how the early part of the game went, though, the Huskers
stiffened at the right time, forcing the Aggies into a fourth down situation.
The Aggies lined up as if they were going for it, but McGee hit a pooch
kick, which was very successful, pinning Nebraska with first down at their own
two yard line.
The Aggie-strategy ended up working, the Huskers going
three and out, Nebraska getting a questionable spot off a third down run, which
appeared to get first down yardage. It was ruled short, though, and Nebraska had
to give the ball back to the Aggies.
McGee tried to get something going
for the Aggies, hitting Martellus Bennett for a 25 yard pass into Husker
territory. The next three downs for the Aggies didn't go so well, running for a
loss, passing for a loss and an incompletion, forcing them to punt back to the
The big red got stifled themselves on the following drive,
Nebraska starting off with first and 15 following a J.B. Phillips penalty. That
didn't get better as Taylor got sacked for a loss, forcing the punt, giving the
Aggies another shot in the quarter to get back into the game.
Franchione has gotten grilled to an extent for some of his play calling in
crucial situations. Following a spectacular 52 yard run by Michael Goodson,
which gave the Aggies first and 10 at the Nebraska 11, Franchione was put in a
situation, where he made another interesting call.
With third and two at
Nebraska's three yard line, Franchione's team threw the ball into the end zone.
The pass went incomplete and the Aggie head coach opted for the field goal. That
put the Aggies within eight points, but the quarter ended with Texas A&M
possibly losing a lot of momentum from a huge play by the freshman running
With an eight-point lead and the
ball, Nebraska had the momentum, but five straight scoreless possessions meant
they had to get the offense back into gear. It didn't happen as Taylor had two
errant passes, forcing the Huskers once again to punt the ball way, giving the
Aggies yet another chance to get back into the contest.
This time the
Aggies took advantage
After putting Texas A&M into another long
yardage situation on third down, McGee kept the ball himself, slipped a Husker
blitz and ran 57 yards for the touchdown. Nebraska was able to dodge a bullet on
the two point conversion, McGee looking pass, but getting tackled behind the
line of scrimmage.
4 plays – 58 yards – two point conversion no
Nebraska 21 Texas A&M 19
At this point the questions
about Nebraska not finishing came back stronger than ever, the Huskers now on
the hot seat to get something done on a drive. They didn't, having to punt the
ball away for the fourth straight possession, giving the Aggies a chance to now
take the lead.
Javorskie Lane wasn't able to be much of a presence as a
runner, but put the momentum clearly in Texas A&M's back pocket, the running
back throwing a pass down to the Husker four yard line, giving the Aggies first
Lane got back to doing what he does best, pounding it in from
the two yard line, the Aggies taking the lead for the first time. A good two
point conversion put Texas A&M on top of the Huskers, 27-21.
– 84 yards
If the Huskers ever needed Zac Taylor to put the team on his
back, this was the time. The running game had been stifled, Taylor himself
wasn't looking the sharpest, and the Aggies had just taken the lead.
Huskers looked like they had something going early, but a Michael Bennett sack
(Lydon Murtha missed the block) followed by a costly holding penalty, put
Nebraska into second and 26 yards.
A disastrous situation turned into
disaster as Taylor threw an interception, the Aggies, with the lead, taking over
possession on the Nebraska 30 yard line.
The Aggies seemingly had the
game, but in a contest where drama was king, more drama was set up for the end
of the contest.
Unable to capitalize on the field position, the Aggies
tried a 43 yard field goal to seal the game. Sophomore DE Barry Turner had other
ideas, blocking the kick, giving Nebraska two minutes to come back and win the
Zac Taylor had seemingly sealed the fate of the Huskers, but after
breaking career records in just two years, Taylor had one more statement to
make. In a true two minute drive, Taylor drove the Huskers down the field, the
big red on the doorstep of the Aggies, 18 yards away from the end zone.
The Huskers would end up getting help from the most improbable source,
the Aggies, looking at a third and long for the Huskers, hit Zac Taylor late
after an incomplete pass, giving the Huskers first and goal from the nine yard
Nebraska then got help from a far more probable source, Taylor
lofting the ball up as Nebraska's go-to receiver, Maurice Purify, leapt for the
ball, pulling it down for the touchdown.
The Huskers hit the extra
point, and the Aggies got the ball back with a one-point deficit and only 20
seconds to go.
The Aggies got a good play over the middle with a big
gain by Michael Goodson, but that left the Aggies with a long field and only one
second to go in the game.
Adam Carriker made that irrelevant as he got
the sack on McGee, sealing the contest for the big red.
For just the
second time in the Callahan era, Nebraska gets a road win against a team from
the Southern Division of the Big 12, and in so doing, seals up the Big 12 North.
Also, for the first time in Callahan's tenure at Nebraska, the Huskers
will finish the year with a winning record on the road.
TEXAS A&M 27
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