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November 24, 2006

Game Notes: Sooners happy to see A&M upset

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Franchione finds some answers for critics

Texas A&M 12, Texas 7 | Box score

Austin, Texas The only team celebrating Texas A&M's 12-7 victory over Texas as much as the Aggies are the Oklahoma Sooners.

The loss dropped Texas (9-3, 6-2 in the Big 12) behind Oklahoma (9-2, 6-1) in the Big 12 South Division race. Oklahoma will win the Big 12 South Division with a victory over Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Saturday.

The South Division winner faces North champion Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game in Kansas City next Saturday.

If Oklahoma State pulls off an upset, Texas would advance to the championship game by virtue of its 28-10 victory over the Sooners on Oct. 7.

A special performance

Texas A&M defensive coordinator Gary Darnell admitted the victory over Texas had special significance.

Darnell was an assistant coach on John Mackovic's staff at Texas from 1992-96 and served as defensive coordinator in the last three seasons of that span. He was replaced after the '96 season.

"I'd be lying if I said this doesn't mean more," Darnell said. "It's extra special, but that (his previous tenure) wasn't the motivation. It's just seeing the guys grow. Early in the season we knew we had to grow and we were playing Football 101. Now, we're somewhere about 202."

McCoy status uncertain

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was injured and was taken off the playing field on a cart late in the fourth quarter.

McCoy was hurt after being hit by Texas A&M's Michael Bennett. McCoy was motionless for several minutes on the field before being placed on the cart.

However, he held up a No. 1 sign as he was being taken off the field.

Preliminary reports were he had feeling in all his extremities, but no more information was available.

Elementary mathematics

Eight is greater than one. At least, that was the case on Friday.

Texas A&M's rushing offense ranked eighth nationally and proved superior to the Texas run defense, which was ranked No. 1 in the country.

The Longhorns allowed an average of 42 yards per game and had not given up more than 124 rushing yards to an opponent this season.

The Aggies surpassed that by halftime and went on to rush for 244 yards on 51 carries. Quarterback Stephen McGee rushed for 95 yards, while freshman tailback Mike Goodson had 86 and Jorvorskie Lane had 60.

"They have fast defensive backs and big, strong defensive linemen," A&M guard Kirk Elder said. "We tried to run the option on them and get it out there as fast as we could."

The Longhorns were giving credit where credit was due.

"They have so many great weapons," defensive end Brian Robison said. "Stephen McGee is a guy that can run or pass and he has great size and speed. Jorvorskie Lane is the big bruiser and then Michael Goodson is the guy that can give you speed on the edges. There are so many things to try and prepare for and try to stop that it makes it tough on the defense."

Repeating history

Aggies hope Friday's victory will signal a change in the rivalry similar to another victory in Austin more than 20 years ago.

In 1984, the Aggies, who had lost three in a row to Texas, upset the No. 13 Longhorns 37-12 and then went on to win 10 of the next 11 in the series.

Texas had won the last six in the series, but both teams finished the regular season with identical 9-3 records.

"That leveled the playing field and it didn't take four or five years," Darnell said of the victory. "They were the national champions and now the playing field is level. They still have the recruiting advantage now, but that can work it self out."

The victory was also the biggest for the Aggies under coach Dennis Franchione, who is now 3-10 in games played in November. Franchione had been under criticism for the Aggies' previous failure to win in November.

Franchione said wins like this can lead to bigger victories in the future.

"They do," he said. "I know they do."

Upon further review

Texas receiver Quan Cosby was so sure he caught a pass ruled incomplete midway through the third quarter that he ran toward the sideline motioning for coach Mack Brown to challenge the play.

The play would've netted a first down on third-and-15, and the Texas fans at Royal Memorial Stadium reacted to a replay expecting the call to be overturned.

It wasn't.

Etc.

Texas guard Justin Blalock became the first player in school history to start 50 consecutive games. McCoy set a Texas record for total offense yards by a freshman with his 2,429 passing yards. He moved past Major Applewhite (2,390) and Shea Morenz (2,365). Texas A&M led 6-0 early, but had chances to have a larger lead. Two promising drives into Texas territory were nullified by penalties one on a late hit and another on a holding call.

For more coverage of Texas, visit Orangebloods.com; for more on Texas A&M, visit Websider.com.



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