Aggies hold on for 45-40 win over Tech

No. 24 ranked Texas A&M mounted a 31-20 halftime lead, held a 12-point lead with under a minute to play, then held on for 45-40 win over previously unbeaten Texas Tech in Lubbock on Saturday night. Ryan Tannehill rushed for 2 TDs and passed for 1 TD while Cyrus Gray rushed for 115 yards and 1 TD to lead the Aggies.

For the fifth straight game, No. 24 ranked Texas A&M mounted a double-digit halftime lead. Unlike the last two weeks against top 10 teams Oklahoma St and Arkansas, this week the Aggies held on in the second half for a 45-50 win in Lubbock over previously unbeaten Texas Tech.

Ryan Tannehill rushed for 2 TDs and passed for 1 TD while Cyrus Gray rushed for 115 yards and 1 TD to lead the Aggies. Key to the win was an Aggie defense that gave up four field goals rather than touchdowns and that blocked another Tech field goal attempt and returned it for an A&M touchdown.

Texas A&M took the opening kickoff and quickly marched 83 yards in 7 plays. Big play was a 40-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill to Uzoma Nwachukwu before Tannehill scored on a 19-yard scramble. The extra point by Randy Bullock gave the Aggies an early 7-0 lead.

Texas Tech immediately responded. After a 42-yard kickoff return by Ben McRoy, Tech drove 58 yards in 13 plays with Seth Doege tossing a 2-yard touchdown pass to Adam James. Donnie Carona's extra point tied the game at 7 at the 9:31 mark in the first quarter.

After the Aggies went 3-and-out on their second possession, Tech drove to the A&M 38-yard line before facing 4th-and-6 punted into the endzone for a touchback. Texas A&M drove to the Tech 17-yard line before having to settle for a 45-yard Randy Bullock field goal to give the Aggies a 10-7 lead with 2:12 left in the first quarter.

Another big kickoff return by Ben McRoy, this one 63 yards, gave Tech the ball at the Aggie 46-yard line. Tech drove the the Aggie 32-yard line before Donnie Carona kicked a 49-yard field goal to tie the game 10-all less than a minute into the second quarter.

Texas A&M regained a lead that they would not surrender by dring 73 yards in 7 plays with Cyrus Gray scoring a touchdown on a 17-yard run. Bullock's extra point gave the Aggies a 17-10 lead with 11:54 left in the first half.

Texas Tech used a 35-yard completion from Doege to Alex Torres to move into Aggie territory and drove to the 10-yard line before again being forced to settle for a Donnie Carona field goal, this from 27 yards to cut the Aggie lead to 17-13 at the 9:21 mark in the second quarter.

On the ensuing A&M possession, facing 3rd-and-9 Ryan Tannehill connected with Uzoma Nwachukwu for a 35-yard completion to the Tech 24-yard line. After a 7-yard Tannehill scramble, Christine Michael scored on a 17-yard run. Bullock's extra point extended the Aggie lead to 24-13 with 7:16 left in the first half.

Texas Tech used 9 plays to drive 80 yards, scoring on a 4-yard run by Eric Stephens. Carona's extra point reduced the Aggie lead to four, 24-20, with 3:54 to go in the first half.

The Aggies used great clock management to drive 63 yards in 11 plans, with Tannehill scoring on a 10-yard run with 24 seconds left in the first half. Bullock's extra point restored an Aggie eleven-point lead, 31-20, which would be the halftime score.

At the half, A&M and Tech both had 16 first downs, while A&M led in total yards, 301 to 225.

For Texas A&M, Ryan Tannehill had completed 12 of 16 passes for 156 yards and had 55 yards and 2 TDs rushing. Cyrus Gray had 75 yards and 1 TD on 10 carries and Uzoma Nwachukwu had 4 catches for 76 yards.

For Texas Tech, Seth Doege had completed 20 of 27 passes for 160 yards and 1 TD while Eric Stephens had 67 yards and 1 TD on 16 carries.

Like every game this season, Texas A&M took a double-digit lead into the half. The question would the Aggies be able turn that halftime lead into a win unlike the last two weeks.

Texas Tech received the opening kickoff of the second half and drove to midfield but were forced to punt. After Texas A&M went 3-and-out on their forst possession of the second half, Tech drove to the Aggie 29-yard line and Donnie Carona kicked is second 49-yard field goal of the game to cut the Aggie lead to 31-23 with 9:10 left in the third quarter.

Texas A&M drove to the Tech 45-yard before facing 4th-and-1 the Aggies elected to go for it but a Ryan Tannehill sneak failed to pick up the first down and A&M turned the ball over on downs.

Texas Tech drove to the Aggie 28-yard line but facing 4th-and-4 elected to attempt a field goal. In the key play of the game, the Tech field goal attempt was blocked by Dustin Harris and Terrence Frederick returned the blocked kick 63 yards for an Aggie touchdown. Bullock's extra point gave A&M a more comfortable 38-23 lead with 4:33 left in the third quarter.

Tech responded by driving 80 yards in 14 plays and scored a touchdown on a 5-yard pass from Seth Doege to Eric Ward. Carona's extra point cut the Aggie lead back to eight, 38-30, with just over a minute left in the third quarter.

After Texas A&M went 3-and-out, Ryan Epperson booted a 68-yard punt that was downed at the Tech 6-yard line to end the third quarter. Tech could not pick up a first down and had to punt from their 15-yard line. The Tech punt was returned by Kenric McNeal to the Tech 35-yard line.

Taking advantage of great field position, Texas A&M used 6 plays drive the 35 yards with Michaelk Lamothe scoring on a 5-yard pass from Tannehill. Bullock's extra point gave the Aggies what looked to be a pretty safe 15-point lead, 45-30, with twelve minutes to go in the game.

A short A&M kickoff and a return to midfield gave Tech good field position. Tech drove to the Aggie 14-yard line before once again having to settle for a Carona field goal, this a 30-yarder that cut the Aggie lead to twelve, 45-33 with still 9:34 left in the game.

The Aggies picked up a couple of first downs while using up 4 minutes of clock before punting the ball back to Tech with 5:25 left in the game.

On the ensuing possession Tech went for it on 4th down but failed to convert, turning the ball over to A&M at the Tech 33-yard line with four minutes left in the game. The Aggies were unable to pick up a first down on 3 rushes with Tech using timeouts to preseerve clock. An Aggie punt gave gave Tech the ball at their 9-yard line with 2:55 left in the game.

With Texas A&M in a prevent defense, Tech drove 91 yards in 9 plays scoring a touchdown on a 20-yard pass from Seth Doege to Alex Torres. Carona's extra point pulled Tech to within five, 45-40, with 31 seconds left in the game.

Tech attempted an onside kick but Texas A&M recovered and ran out the clock to preserve the win.

A big win for the Aggies on the road in a hostile Lubbock environment.

Texas A&M won the game, but Tech led in forst downs, 34 to 22, and in total yards, 523 to 410.

For Texas A&M, Ryan Tannehill completed 16 of 26 passes for 189 yards and 1 TD and rushed for 55 yards and 2 TDs on 9 carries. Cyrus Gray rushed for 115 yards and 1 TD on 21 carries. Uzoma Nwachukwu led Aggie receivers with ther catches for 76 yards.

For Texas Tech, Seth Doege completed 46 of 66 passesz for 389 yards and 3 TDs. Eric Stephens rushed for 102 yards and 1 TD on 22 carries before injuring a knee. Alex Torres caught 8 passes for 111 yards and 1 TD while Eric Ward caught 10 passes for 74 yards and 1 TD.

Texas A&M improves to 3-2 for the year, 1-1 in the Big 12 conference. The Aggies will host top 25 Baylor next Saturday in a sold out Kyle Field.

Texas Tech suffers their first loss of the season, falling to 4-1 for the season, and 1-1 in the Big 12. Tech will host No. 20 Kansas State next Saturday night.

 


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