COLLEGE STATION - A bewildered Texas A&M; team blew a 17-point third quarter lead en route to a 38-31 defeat at the hands of Nebraska Saturday night at Kyle Field.
The Aggies had not allowed a hundred-yard rusher for nearly two years since Oklahoma State's Reggie White posted 112 yards 20-games ago.
Saturday night they allowed two.
Freshman I-back David Horne pounded the "Wrecking Crew" for 128 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Jamal Lord conjured up visions of last year's Heisman trophy winner, Eric Crouch, running the option to the tune of 159 yards on 30 carries.
Horne scored three of his touchdowns in the second half alone, accounting for the majority of the Cornhuskers 24 unanswered points that ended the game.
"Scoring four touchdowns on the Wrecking Crew, that's hard for anybody to do," said A&M; nose guard Marcus Jasmin.
Head coach Frank Solich and the Huskers first road win this season improved their record to 6-3. Coming off their third loss of the season, a 21-24 defeat at Oklahoma State, Nebraska was facing the prospect of not playing in a bowl game for the first time in 34 years.
"We are going to enjoy this one," Solich said. "We have come through some tough times and hung in there. Our ball club and our players have great character and heart."
After a Nebraska field goal increased the Husker lead to 7, A&M; got the ball back with six minutes remaining in the game. Sophomore quarterback Dustin Long led the Aggies from their own 32 yard line down to the Nebraska 9. On first and goal, Long was intercepted in the endzone by safety Phillip Bland sealing the victory for Nebraska.
"I looked right, and they weren't open so I turned back to my left, and I was just trying to throw it out of the back of the endzone," Long said.
Long completed 20 of 37 passes for 269 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The loss drops Texas A&M; to 5-3, with Oklahoma and Texas comprising two of their final four games of the regular season.
The remainign schedule will be a test for the Aggies and could put an end to any bowl hopes the team may have if they fail to come up with a win in either of the games.
The Aggies appeared to be in position to slam the door shut on Nebraska when Byron Jones returned a Lord fumble 66 yards to give A&M; a 31-14 lead with 7:43 left in the third quarter.
But the Huskers rushing attack proved to be too much for the Aggie defense. Horne scored on the next three Nebraska possessions to put the Huskers in front 35-31.
Nebraska carried the ball a total of 73 times for 421 yards.
Solich said he was proud of his team's ability to press the ball on the ground against a defsens that prides itself on contolling the rushing side of the ball.
"They say you can't run the ball on these guys but we had to make it work," Solich said of his team's success.
"It came down to getting key first downs and keeping the drives going."
Nebraska did just that.