Sooners Win Final Big 12 Battle With A&M

NORMAN, Okla. — The Sooners handed their 16-year conference mate a nice parting present Saturday afternoon, as they defeated the SEC-bound Texas A&M Aggies 41-25 in front of an Oklahoma Memorial Stadium record crowd of 85,709.

"I'm proud of our players for the way they played throughout the game and came away with the win against Texas A&M," said OU head coach Bob Stoops.

And contrary to what the score may dictate, it wasn't always easy.

Texas A&M took the early 3-0 lead when place kicker Randy Bullock booted through an attempt from 43 yards out.

But OU came right back to take the lead courtesy of the "Bellcat" formation and never trailed again, although the first half was tight.

Backup quarterback Blake Bell scampered in two yards on third-and-goal from the 2 for that score, his first of two touchdowns on the day.

"He did a great job with the different ways we are using him in that formation," Stoops said. "It's really helped us in goal line and short-yardage."

Early in the second quarter, place kicker Michael Hunnicutt hit the first of two first half field goals when he hammered home a 29-yarder.

Later in the quarter, Hunnicutt pounded through a 39-yard attempt to give OU a 13-3 lead.

But Ryan Tannehill and the Texas A&M offense quickly came back with a touchdown of their own, a 79-yard pass from Tannehill to wide receiver Ryan Swope, and it was 13-10 at intermission.

Early in the second half, it was Jaz hands time.

Coming off a 14-yard Aggie punt, Sooner quarterback Landry Jones found wide receiver Jaz Reynolds deep along the right boundary for a 31-yard touchdown.

"I thought Jaz had a huge game," Stoops said. "It's been a huge plus, a huge factor [with him emerging]. We felt he was capable of these kinds of games and plays. I think he will keep growing from it and producing big plays."

The Sooners led 20-10 at that point, but it was about to get worse.

Defensive end Ronnell Lewis intercepted a Tannehill pass tipped by defensive end R.J. Washington, and a few plays later running back Roy Finch, who managed 99 yards on 26 carries on the day, capitalized on it with a 3-yard touchdown run that gave OU a 17-point advantage.

"I did not even know how many carries I had today," Finch said. "I just wanted to go out there and do the best that I could. If the coaches called my number five times, 10 times or 30 times, I just wanted to go out there and prove to my teammates that I could do it for them. I played well."

Then, it was time for more of the Bellcat when Bell punched in another Sooners drive with a 6-yard touchdown run.

Jones found wide receiver Kenny Stills after that for a 39-yard touchdown reception down the left sideline, and the rout was in full force at 41-10.

Texas A&M scored a couple of late, meaningless touchdowns.

First, Ben Malena cashed in a 12 play, 81-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown run to cut the OU lead to 41-17.

Tannehill then found running back Cyrus Gray for an 8-yard touchdown pass with just 2:37 remaining to cap off all the scoring.

The Sooners were actually out-gained 527-404 by the Aggies, and A&M had 28 first downs to OU's 20.

Jones finished 18-of-38 for 255 yards and two touchdowns, while his counterpart was 32-for-63 for 379 yards and two touchdowns, but one interception.

Broyles actually led the Sooners in receiving yards, with a pair of catches for 87 yards, while A&M's Swope led all receivers with eight catches for 149 yards and a touchdown.

Finch, as mentioned, managed 99 on the ground, while the Aggies' Christian Michael finished with 88.

The Sooners have an off week before heading to Waco for a contest against the Baylor Bears, while A&M travels to Kansas State next weekend.

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