Oklahoma holds off Big 12 rival Texas A&MNov 5, 2006 - 5:02 AM COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Ticker) -- The Texas A&M student body is described as the "12th Man" for its vocal support of the football team. Unfortunately for the faithful, their Aggies literally had a 12th man on the decisive play.
Trying to make a late defensive stand, the 21st-ranked Aggies committed a costly penalty for having too many men on the field and allowed No. 18 Oklahoma to hold on for a 17-16 Big 12 Conference victory.
Allen Patrick ran for 173 yards and a touchdown for the Sooners (7-2, 4-1 Big 12 South), who have won four straight games since a "Red River Rivalry" loss to Texas on October 7. Patrick has rushed for 440 yards in three games filling in for injured superstar Adrian Peterson, who is out for the season with a broken collarbone.
"I think we're coming together and we're ready to make things happen," Patrick said. "It was a hard game coming out and playing at a place like Texas A&M. It's a tough stadium to play in. We just came out, stuck together and fought it out. I think all the players had the mind-set of 'Let's go get it.' We got it and that's what we came out here to get."
After settling for a 19-yard field goal by Layne Neumann to pull within 17-13 with 7:41 to play, Texas A&M (8-2, 4-2 South) forced a three-and-out and again drove into Oklahoma territory. But the Aggies stalled at the 22 and Neumann's 39-yard kick made it 17-16 with 3:28 remaining.
Patrick was stopped for no gain on 3rd-and-1 at the Oklahoma 29 and the Aggies called a timeout with 1:29 to play. Sooners coach Bob Stoops elected to go for the first down, but somebody on his team called a timeout moments before quarterback Paul Thompson rushed for a first down.
However, the Aggies had too many men on the field after the timeout, giving the Sooners a first down and allowing them to run out the clock.
"We had some confusion and we got Chad (Schroeder) out there and a safety and that's our fault as coaches," Aggies coach Dennis Franchione said. "That shouldn't have happened, but they made it anyway.
"But that was ridiculous. You have somebody to catch it for it if they're going to punt so it doesn't roll for 15 or 20 yards. Chad's not going to make much difference on whether we stop them on the quarterback sneak. We just had a little breakdown in communication."
It would have been a moot point anyway, as Thompson had been able to rush for two yards on the play.
"I went through a range of what to do," Stoops said. "There was a certain point early on when I thought we would just punt it and then I started considering the wind. 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 there 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."
"Coach said he wanted to go for it and he wanted to go for it again," Thompson said. "That did it. That's what we wanted. Whenever we ran the play on third down, I knew we had fourth down in our pocket. We didn't want to give the ball back and allow them to score."
Thompson completed just 3-of-12 passes for 39 yards but did score on a seven-yard run to give Oklahoma a 14-3 first-quarter lead.
"The first two drives (of the game), we were rolling," Thompson said. "We felt really good about where we were at, and then we got a little bit sloppy from there on out. It's a big win but I don't think my play was close to par. There's a lot of things I could have done better. We came away with a big win on the road and in an environment like this."
The Aggies pulled within 14-10 on a one-yard run by the massive Jorvorskie Lane with 11:24 to play in the second period. The score remained unchanged until Garrett Hartley's 23-yard field goal with 7:31 left in the third.
"Well, they had a great first quarter, that's for sure," Franchione said. "But you know, after that we got settled in and did a pretty nice job."
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