Gray runs for 223 yards, Texas A&M beats Texas
Texas A&M heaped one final insult on Texas' miserable season.
Cyrus Gray rushed for 223 yards and had two long touchdowns, helping
No. 17 Texas A&M beat Texas 24-17 on Thursday night, sending the
Longhorns to their first losing season since 1997.
"We set out at the beginning of the season to do this," Texas A&M
senior center Matt Allen said. "Beat Texas and win in November."
Gray had touchdown runs of 84 yards in the second quarter and 48 yards
in the third. Von Miller intercepted a tipped pass at the Texas A&M
11 with 2:37 left to kill what looked like a drive for the tying
Jeff Fuller also caught a
touchdown pass and Randy Bullock kicked a 50-yard field goal for the
Aggies (9-3, 6-2 Big 12), who won their sixth game in a row.
Texas' fifth home loss of the season kept the Longhorns (5-7, 2-6) from
getting bowl eligible just one season after playing for the national
"From the first scrimmage of
the year, I didn't see what I wanted," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "I
learned I don't like losing. It's been 20 years since I haven't been to
The Aggies still have a chance to
win a share of the Big 12 South if Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State on
Saturday. The Aggies would still be a long shot for the Big 12
championship game because of a tiebreaker based on BCS standings.
"Our fans want to be relevant and we are this year," said third-year
Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman, who was 4-8 and 6-7 in his first two
seasons. The Aggies have a chance to get their first 10-win season
since 1998, when they won their only Big 12 championship.
Gray carried the Aggies to this victory. He is the first Texas A&M
running back to reach 200 yards since 1995 and has six consecutive
"He does things he has never done before each time he steps on the field," Sherman said.
Cody Johnson rushed for 107 yards for Texas. Garrett Gilbert was 20 of
37 passing for 219 yards and one touchdown for the Longhorns.
Texas A&M scored 17 points off three Texas turnovers and led 24-14
after Gray's second touchdown. Texas kicked a field goal after a
blocked punt and was driving toward a touchdown when Gilbert's pass was
tipped at the line of scrimmage. Miller, a defensive end who drifted
back into coverage, leaped high to grab it.
Texas A&M punted the ball back to Texas with about 10 seconds left
and Ken Wood had to pick the snap off the ground to get it away. Texas
tried to block it and freshman returner Adrian Phillips let the ball
bounce on the ground.
That let the final
seconds run out. The mistake was a fitting end to Texas miserable
season and several players threw up their hands in frustration.
Texas had never had a losing season under Brown but completely fell
apart after quarterback Colt McCoy and a host of other players ended
their careers. The Longhorns finished dead last in the Big 12 South and
Gilbert's seven losses this season are one less than McCoy's four-year
"At this point, it's tough to look
back on the entire year," Gilbert said. "No one in that locker room
wants to feel what we're feeling right now."
The losses have intensified speculation among fans that Brown will
replace one or more assistant coaches, including longtime offensive
coordinator Greg Davis.
Davis has said he doesn't plan to retire.
"There's a lot of evaluation that has to be done on players, on coaches
and staff," Brown said. "I've got a lot of work to do here."
Texas had a chance to win this one.
The Longhorns scored first on Gilbert's 31-yard touchdown pass to
Marquise Goodwin, the wide receiver's first TD of the season.
Gilbert seemed to be gaining confidence with his arm and feet with every play, then made a huge mistake.
Texas recovered a fumbled punt and moved to the Texas A&M 8 before
a botched handoff with Johnson caused a fumble. Two plays later, Gray
swept to his right, cut back left, and was in the clear for an 84-yard
Gilbert threw an
interception -- his 16th of the season -- on Texas' opening drive of
the third quarter. He threw well behind wide receiver James Kirkendoll
and Dustin Harris tipped the ball to himself on the Texas 38. The
Aggies went ahead 10-7 on a Bullock's field goal.
Fuller's touchdown catch made it 17-7 but the Aggies let Texas back in
the game with another fumbled punt. Gilbert scored on a 1-yard run to
pull Texas to 17-14 in the third.
Then Gray ripped off another big run.
And just like before, the Aggies got it right up the middle of the
Texas defense. Ryan Tannehill faked a quick pass then turned to hand
off to Gray, who took three steps and had open field to the end zone.
"We were so hungry all week," Gray said. "The guys wanted it more than anything else."