Cowboys Fall to Aggies

STILLWATER – Oklahoma State will have to wait at least one more week to become bowl eligible. The 15th-ranked Cowboys suffered their first loss of the season on a night when almost nothing went right for them and nearly everything went the way of Texas A&M as the 23rd-ranked Aggies spoiled Homecoming festivities with a 36-20 victory at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday night.

OSU, now 5-1, will travel to Missouri to face the Tigers next Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

The bounces all went the way of the Aggies, who improved to 5-1 with the victory.

The Cowboys had not lost a single fumble through the first five games of the season, but Vernand Morency lost two in the first 12 minutes of the game. On the final play of the first half, A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal's "Hail Mary" pass was tipped into the hands of DeQawn Mobley for a 55-yard touchdown.

But that play wouldn't have been possible if the Aggies hadn't converted on a 3rd-and-15 play just seconds earlier, and that conversion was only possible when McNeal fumbled right into the hands of tight end Tayl Schuster who went 13 yards for the first down at the Texas A&M 45-yard line. The Aggies quickly called timeout with six seconds left in the half and threw the "Hail Mary" pass for a touchdown to take a 27-6 halftime lead.

The Aggies increased their lead to 36-6 in the third quarter before OSU scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to make the score look respectable.

Texas A&M took control from the opening kickoff. The Aggies drove 67 yards the first time they touched the ball with McNeal scoring on a 24-yard keeper to give A&M a 7-0 lead.

Morency fumbled on the Cowboys' next possession but the Aggies couldn't convert and were forced to punt. OSU took over on its own 11 and three plays later Morency again fumbled. A&M's Mike Montgomery recovered on the Cowboys' 20, and four plays later Keith Joseph scored on a 4-yard run to give the Aggies a 14-0 lead with 1:54 remaining in the first quarter.

Texas A&M then went 50 yards in eight plays with McNeal scoring on a 3-yard run on its next possession. The Cowboys blocked the extra-point kick but trailed 20-0.

OSU got on the scoreboard with just 33 seconds left in the first half when Donovan Woods scored on a 2-yard bootleg. Woods went head over heels over an A&M defender at the goal line to cap a 15-play, 80-yard drive. But the Cowboys trailed 20-6 when the extra-point kick was blocked.

The Cowboys were hoping to get a chance to score again before halftime when a personal foul penalty backed the Aggies up inside their own 15. But on 3rd-and-15 from the 15, McNeal kept up the middle and appeared to go down short of the first-down marker. But he fumbled the ball forward directly to Schuster who got the yardage for the first down. A&M immediately called timeout and threw the "Hail Mary" for the touchdown.

The Aggies went 80 yards in nine plays to open the second half and take a 33-6 lead, and added a Todd Pegram 25-yard field goal to take a commanding 36-6 advantage.

But the Cowboys didn't quit.

Morency, who entered the game as the nation's leading rusher (averaging 173.8 yards per game), scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter to cap a 15-play, 89-yard drive. Later in the fourth period, Donovan Woods threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Billy Bajema.

Morency would finish with 111 yards on 28 carries. He has now rushed for more than 100 yards in seven of his last eight games, and has 980 yards this season.

Texas A&M 36, OSU 20

Texas A&M.....14 13 9 0 -- 36
OSU............0 6 0 14 -- 20

A&M—Reggie McNeal 24 run (Todd Pegram kick)>br> A&M—Keith Joseph 2 run (Pegram kick)
A&M—McNeal 3 run (kick blocked)
OSU---Donovan Woods 2 run (kick blocked)
A&M—DeQawn Mobley 55 pass from McNeal (Pegram kick)
A&M—Terrence Murphy 25 pass from McNeal (kick failed)
A&M—Pegram 25 field goal
OSU---Vernand Morency 1 run (Jason Ricks kick)
OSU---Billy Bajema 4 pass from Donovan Woods (Ricks kick)

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