Texas A&M survived four third quarter interceptions and scored 21 unanswered fourth quarter points to escape with a hard fought 27-20 win over Florida International on Saturday night.
Tied 6-all at halftime, Florida International took advantage of Aggie turnovers to take a surprising 20-6 third quarter lead before the Aggies came back big in the fourth quarter for the come from behind win.
Florida International University (FIU) received the opening kickoff and went 3-and-out. A short punt gave the Aggies the ball at the FIU 44-yard line. The Aggies picked up one first down before failing on a 4th down pass attempt and turning the ball over to FIU on downs.
After forcing FIU to punt, on the Aggies' second possession Jerrod Johnson was sacked by FIU's Anthony Gaitor, fumbled, and FIU's Jarvis Wilson recovered at the Aggie 21-yard line. The Aggie defense held and FIU kicked a 33-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 7:30 left in the first quarter.
After an exchange of punts, Texas A&M mounted a 12-play, 80-yard drive, but had to settle for a 23-yard Randy Bullock field goal to tie the game 3-all less than one minute into the second quarter.
Another exchange of punts gave FIU good field position at midfield. FIU drove to the Aggie 23-yard line before Jack Griffin kicked a 40-yard field goal to give FIU a 6-3 lead with 6:46 to go in the second quarter.
On the next FIU possession, a Wesley Carroll pass was intercepted by Aggie cornerback Lionel Smith and Smith returned the interception 13 yards to the FIU 35-yard line. The Aggies again had to settle for a Randy Bullock field goal, this one from 39 yards, to tie the game 6-6, and this would be the half time score.
Texas A&M had a horid third quarter with Aggie quarterback Jerrod Johnson throwing four third quarter interceptions. FIU returned one of these interceptions for a TD and converted one of the other three interceptions into a TD to take a 20-6 lead with 6:54 left in the third quarter.
An FIU punt with 2:42 to go in the third quarter left the Aggies starting from their 13-yard line, still trailing FIU 20-6.
The Aggies drove 87 yards in 8 plays, with Christine Michael scoring on a 37-yard run up the middle. Bullock's extra point cut the FIU lead to 20-13 at the 13:51 mark in the fourth quarter.
A series of punts gave the Aggies possession at their 41-yard line. After four straight Christine Michael rushes netted 31 yards, Jerrod Johnson threw a deep pass into double coverage and Terrence McCoy pulled the ball in for a 33-yard TD reception. Bullock's extra point tied the game 20-20 with 7:07 left on the clock.
On the Aggies next possession, Jerrod Johnson connected with Jeff Fuller for a 31-yard gain to the FIU 40-yard line. On the next play Cyrus Gray broke lose for a 40-yard TD run. Bullock's extra point gave the Aggies their first lead of the game, 27-20 with 4:29 to go in the game.
FIU drove from their 36-yard line to a first-and-goal at the Aggie 8-yard line. A one-yard run and two pass incompletions made it 4th-and-goal from the 7-yard line. Wesley Carroll completed a pass to T.Y. Hilton but Hilton was tackled on the 3-yard line.
Texas A&M ran out the clock to escape with a 27-20 win over Florda International.
The Aggie defense came up huge in this game, surviving 5 turnovers to limit FIU to 232 total yards, 13 first downs and just 20 points, 7 of those coming on an interception return for a TD. FIU converted just 3 of 18 third down into first downs.
The Aggie offence ended up with 20 first downs and 400 total yards, almost half of that coming in the fourth quarter.
Jerrod Johnson completed 11 of 31 passes for 194 yards and 1 TD with 4 interceptions. Christine Michael had his third straight hundred-yard rushing game, finishing up with 119 yards and 1 TD on 21 carries. Cyrus Gray rushed for 85 yards and 1 TD on 9 carries. Jeff Fuller caught 4 passes for 73 yards.
The Aggies now have an off week before opening up Big 12 play in two weeks time against Oklahoma State.