Kansas convinces Texas A&M, 19-118-0 Jayhawks look for real in stuffing Aggies
01:09 AM CDT on Sunday, October 28, 2007
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M ran Nebraska out of Lincoln last week with the zone-read option. The Aggies learned Saturday night what happens when somebody can stop the best play in your thin playbook.
Kansas' defense simply overloaded A&M quarterback Stephen McGee and forced him to make bad decisions. The nation's fifth-best rushing attack managed just 74 yards, and the Jayhawks proved their stout defensive numbers are no fluke.
No. 12 Kansas bullied its way to a 19-11 victory in front of 85,341 fans at Kyle Field. McGee attempted two Hail Marys from 48 yards out in a last-ditch effort. Both deep balls fell incomplete, and KU improved to 8-0 for the first time since 1909.
Kansas' Brandon McAnderson rushed for 183 yards and scored twice. No A&M rusher had more than 33 yards. This came seven days after the Aggies ran for 359 yards against the Huskers.
"Anybody who has any doubts about them, I don't think should," A&M coach Dennis Franchione said.
There's no doubt about Kansas (4-0 Big 12) now. Coach Mark Mangino's club will head into November battling for a spot in the Allstate BCS national championship game.
"Their defense is the best we've played all year," A&M offensive guard Kirk Elder said. "I wouldn't be surprised if they finish out the year as North champions for sure. You might see them in the BCS game. There'll be big hoopla about that. They deserve it."
The Aggies (6-3, 3-2) knew their final four games would be tough. Now, the final three look like killers. A&M plays at No. 4 Oklahoma next week. It's doubtful OU coach Bob Stoops has forgotten about Franchione's summer joke about the Sooners' NCAA problems.
Franchione needs to spend the week fixing his running game, which did nothing in the third quarter. That's when the game was decided after a scoreless first half.
The Aggies opened the third by going three-and-out. Jorvorskie Lane (seven carries, 24 yards) got 1 yard on first down. Then two passes intended for Pierre Brown were incomplete.
Kansas took over at its 36, marched down and got a 31-yard field goal from Scott Webb for the game's first score.
Kerry Franks gave the Aggies good field position with a 44-yard kickoff return. McGee threw an incomplete pass on first down. Then he was hammered for a 2-yard loss. On third down, KU blitzed, and McGee was flagged for intentional grounding.
The Jayhawks took over again at their 46 after A&M punter Justin Brantly booted one off the side of his foot for just 20 yards. The Jayhawks drove for McAnderson's 6-yard touchdown run that gave KU a 10-0 lead.
A&M went three-and-out again, and Kansas took a 13-0 lead on Webb's 32-yard field goal.
In nine third-quarter plays, the Aggies had minus-9 total yards.
"Our defense came out and tried to force them to do things that they normally don't do," Mangino said. "I'm confident in our defense. We played the run extremely well."
McAnderson's 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter gave the Jayhawks a 19-point lead.
It appeared as if A&M was headed to its first home shutout since 1971. But Matt Szymanski hit a chip-shot field goal with 7:20 remaining, and McGee threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to freshman Roger Holland with 2:06 to go. Those scores were merely window dressing.