A&M's 12th Man helps OU hold on to 17-16 win

Allen Patrick ran for 173 yards in No. 19 Oklahoma's 17-16 win over No. 21 A&M Saturday night in College Station. With the win, the Sooners improved to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in Big 12 play while the Aggies dropped to 8-2 and 4-2. Oklahoma is now 15-10 all-time against A&M and 3-1 at Kyle Field under Bob Stoops, who coached his 100th game (82-18) as a Sooner Saturday night. (AP Photo)

In College Station, Texas A&M's '12th Man' tradition is everything. But on Saturday night, it was the Aggies' '12th man' who actually helped the Sooners escape with a thrilling 17-16 win before the ninth-largest crowd (85,697) in Kyle Field history.

Facing a fourth and inches situation from their own 29-yard line with 1:29 to go, OU head coach Bob Stoops decided to go for the game-clinching first down rather than punt the ball back to the Aggies and give them a chance to win it in the end. However, A&M lined up with 12 men on defense following an Oklahoma timeout and was penalized 15 yards, giving the Sooners a first down and sealing their fourth consecutive win.

"There was a certain point early on when I thought we would just punt it, and then I started considering the wind," said Stoops. "The second I said punt it, I looked at all the offensive guys in their eyes, then I thought ‘I can't punt it.'

"The factors I was considering was that although their wasn't a lot of wind, there was enough to affect the punt 10 to 15 yards, which is enough to affect a field goal kick 10 or 15 yards. In college, you get a first down and the clock stops, so a 1:30 is an eternity. I just felt we would make an inch and that's it.

And make it they did as Paul Thompson's second effort on the quarterback sneak gave the Sooners the first down regardless of the penalty.

"Paul did a great job on that play," Stoops said. "He initially didn't have it, but he kept pushing and Paul's a strong guy and he kept driving."

The Sooners jumped out to a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter behind junior running back Allen Patrick, who ran for 101 yards in the opening 15 minutes as OU scored on their first two drives.

A&M then capitilized on a failed Oklahoma onsides kick attempt and two personal foul penalties helped an A&M drive that cut the lead to 14-10 with 11:24 to go in the second quarter when Javorski Lane scored on a 1-yard touchdown run.

Oklahoma's offense was anemic in the second half picking up just two first downs, but Marcus Walker's third quarter interception put OU in field goal range, and three plays later Garrett Hartley's 23-yard kick pushed the lead to 17-10 at the 7:31 mark of the third quarter.

The pick by Walker was only the second thrown this year by A&M quarterback Stephen McGee, who up until that point had thrown 142 consecutive passes without an interception.

Other than a sensational 78-yard Patrick touchdown run that was called back on a questionable holding call, the Oklahoma offense went conservative and put the game into the hands of the defense.

Twice in the second half, the Sooners' defense played with their backs against the wall after fumbles near mid-field by Patrick and Thompson, but they held strong.

Midway through the fourth, the Sooner defense held the Aggies to a field goal with 7:41 left to cut the lead to 17-13 after facing first and goal at seven.

And on A&M's next drive, the Oklahoma defense held tight again forcing the Aggies to kick another field goal after facing a first and ten situation at the 26-yard line. That field goal cut the lead to 17-16 with 3:28 to go, but the Sooners picked up the first down four plays later on the penalty and the rest is history.

Patrick reached the century mark for the third straight game finishing with a career-high 173 yards. Jacob Gutierrez was also impressive carrying the ball seven times for 52 yards

The Sooners gained 168 yards of total offense in the first quarter, but finished with just 98 yards in the final 45 minutes. And their 268 yards of total offense and 39 passing yards were both season-lows.

As for the defense, it was another impressive effort as they held the Aggies 20 points under their season average. A&M outgained Oklahoma 267-263 in total yardage, but once again OU's defense held them to 145 yards below their normal output, despite giving up a season-high 204 rushing yards.

With the win, which was OU's first 1-point victory since the 2001 seasn, the Sooners extended their win streak over A&M to four and improved to 3-1 in College Station under Stoops. The Sooners now lead the all-time series 15-10.

Complete Stats

Scoring Summary:
First Quarter

--10:09 OU - Patrick, Allen 1 yd run (Hartley, Garret kick) 13 plays, 80 yards, TOP 4:51, OU 7 - TA 0
--06:57 TA - Neumann, Layne 28 yd field goal, 6 plays, 60 yards, TOP 3:12, OU 7 - TA 3
--00:57 OU - Thompson, Paul 7 yd run (Hartley, Garret kick) -- 10 plays, 80 yards, TOP 6:00, OU 14 - TA 3

Second Quarter
11:24 TA - Lane, Jorvorskie 1 yd run (Neumann, Layne kick)-- 9 plays, 57 yards, TOP 4:33, OU 14 - TA 10

Third Quarter
07:31 OU - Hartley, Garret 23 yd field goal -- 4 plays, 0 yards, TOP 1:11, OU 17 - TA 10

Fouth Quarter
--07:41 TA - Neumann, Layne 19 yd field goal--8 plays, 59 yards, TOP 2:20, OU 17 - TA 13
--03:28 TA - Neumann, Layne 39 yd field goal--5 plays, 35 yards, TOP 2:42, OU 17 - TA 16

RUSHING: Oklahoma-Patrick, Allen 32-173; Gutierrez, Jaco 7-52; Thompson, Paul 3-6; TEAM 3-minus 7. Texas A&M-Goodson, Mike 10-127; Lane, Jorvorskie 13-62; McGee, Stephen 13-28; Lewis, Courtney 2-minus 1; Brown, Pierre 1-minus 4; Schroeder, Chad 1-minus 8.

PASSING: Oklahoma-Thompson, Paul 3-12-0-39. Texas A&M-McGee, Stephen 8-18-1-63; Brown, Pierre 0-0-0-0.

RECEIVING: Oklahoma-Iglesias, Juaquin 1-19; Johnson, Manuel 1-13; Kelly, Malcolm 1-7. Texas A&M-Schroeder, Chad 3-34; Goodson, Mike 3-15; Alexander, Chris 1-11; Bennett, Martellus 1-3.

INTERCEPTIONS: Oklahoma-Walker, Marcus 1-19. Texas A&M-None.

FUMBLES: Oklahoma-Patrick, Allen 2-1; Thompson, Paul 1-1. Texas A&M-None.

SACKS (UA-A): Oklahoma-Coleman, Steven 1-0; Walker, Marcus 0-1; Birdine, Larry 0-1. Texas A&M-Harrington, Chris 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): Oklahoma-Williams, Darien 4-5; Alexander, Rufus 3-6; Holmes, Lendy 3-5; Lofton, Curtis 2-5; Latimer, Zach 0-7; Granger, DeMarcus 1-4; Birdine, Larry 0-5; Harris, Nic 2-2; Ah You, C.J. 1-3; Bennett, Cory 0-4; Walker, Marcus 0-4; Smith, Reggie 0-3; Thibodeaux, Calvin 0-3; Coleman, Steven 1-1; Baker, Lewis 0-2; Wolfe, D.J. 1-0; Pendleton, Carl 0-1; Carter, Jason 0-1; Clayton, Keenan 0-1. Texas A&M-Bullitt, Melvin 0-9; Harrington, Chris 4-4; Tupe, Misi 1-5; Gregg, Devin 1-5; Gorrer, Danny 3-2; Warren, Justin 0-5; Dodge, Mark 1-3; Reed, Bryce 1-3; Newton, Brock 0-4; Bennett, Michael 2-1; Obiozor, Cyril 0-3; Peterson, Jordan 1-1; Smith, Henry 1-1; Thornton, Marques 0-2; Brown, Arkeith 0-2; Jack, Jason 1-0; Brown, Pierre 1-0; McGee, Stephen 1-0; Bryant, Red 1-0; Gibas, Corey 0-1; Taylor, Earvin 0-1; Featherston, Matt 0-1; Franks, Kerry 0-1.

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