Ryan Tannehill passed for 329 yards, Jeff Fuller caught 7 passes for 119 yards, and Randy Bullock kicked 4 field goals to lead Texas A&M to a 33-22 win over Northwestern in the 2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas at Reliant Stadium onb Saturday afternoon.
After an exchange of punts to start the game, Texas A&M drove 46 yards to the Northwestern 7-yard line before having to settle for a 25-yard Randy Bullock field goal that gave the Aggies a 3-0 lead with 5:46 left in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter Northwestern mounted a 13-play, 77-yard drive, culminating in a 2-yard touchdown run by Venric Mark to give Northwestern a 7-3 lead at the 10:12 mark.
Texas A&M quickly responded, driving 60 yards in 6 plays, with Ryan Swope turning a short pass into a 37-yard gain and Ben Malena scoring on a 1-yard run to give the Aggies a 10-7 lead with 7:58 to go in the second quarter.
Texas A&M extended their lead to 17-7 on their next possession by driving 69 yards in 7 plays, with Ryan Tannehill connecting with Jeff Fuller for a 26-yard tounchdown pass with 1:31 left in the first half.
Northwestern tried to run down the clock but were forced to punt. Texas A&M's Dustin Harris returned the punt 35 yards to the Northwestern 40-yard line with 20 seconds left in the first half. A 12-yard run by Ryan Tannehill set up a 40-yard field goal by Randy Bullock on the last play of the first half to give the Aggies a 20-7 halftime lead.
At the half, Texas A&M led in total yards, 226 to 147, and in first downs, 14 to 13. Ryan Tannehill had completed 17 of 24 passes for 195 yards with Ryan Swope catching 7 of those passes for 95 yards.
Northwestern received the opening kickoff of the second half and got one first down courtesy of a pass interference before a Northwestern punt was fair caught by the Aggies at their 7-yard line.
On their first play from scrimmage Ryan Tannehill connected with Jeff Fuller for a 38-yard gain. Five plays later and Ben Malena took a handoff and ran up the middle for a 19-yard touchdown that gave the Aggies a 27-7 lead five minutes into the third quarter.
A 3-and-out and a short punt by Northwestern gave Texas A&M the ball at midfield. The Aggies drove to the Northwestern 30-yard line before Randy Bullock kicked a 47-yard field goal to extend the AM lead to 30-7 with six minutes to go in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, a Ryan Tannehill pass was intercepted by Northwestern safety Brian Peters at the Aggie 40-yard line. Northwestern took advantage of the Aggie turnover, with Kain Colter scoring on a 1-yard run. Northwestern converted a 2-point conversion to cut the Aggie lead to 30-15 with 11:15 to go in the fourth quarter.
On their next possession Northwestern drove 80 yards in 10 plays and Kain Colter scored a touhdown on a 2-yard run to make it a one-score game, 30-22, with 5:22 left in the game.
Dustin Harris fumbled the Northwestern kickoff at the Aggie 21-yard line but fortunately for the Aggies it went out-of-bounds at the 18-yard line. Texas A&M was keen to run down the clock and not give Northwestern a chance to tie the game. Twice the Aggies faced a third-and-long on the ensuing drive, but Ryan Tannehill completed passes to give the Aggies first downs. Facing a 3rd-and-13, Tannehill connected with Uzoma Nwachukwu for 21 yards to the A&M 49-yard line for a first down. Facing 3rd-and-6, Jeff Fuller made a great catch of a Tannehill pass for 29 yards to Northwestern 18-yard line for another Aggie First down. Three plays later and Randy Bullock kicked his fourth field goal of the game, this from 31 yards, to seal the Aggie 33-22 bowl win
Seniors Ryan Tannehill, Jeff Fuller, and Randy Bullock finished their Aggie careers in style. Tannehill completed 27 of 40 passes for 329 yards and 1 TD with 1 INT. Fuller caught 7 passes for 119 yards and 1 TD. Bullock kicked 4 field goals.
Junior Ryan Swope caught 8 passes for 105 yards, sophomore Ben Malena rushed for 77 yards and 2 TDs on 23 carries and caught 6 passes for 36 yards, and junior Uzoma Nwachukwu caught 5 passes for 67 yards.
Texas A&M completes a difficult season with a bowl win and a winning record.