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Turnovers could have turned out worse for A&M

12:21 AM CDT on Sunday, October 5, 2008

By KATE HAIROPOULOS / The Dallas Morning News
khairopoulos@dallasnews.com

STILLWATER, Okla. – As bad as Texas A&M's five first-half turnovers were, the damage could've been worse.

Though the Aggies still entered halftime down 28-7, Oklahoma State turned only two of the turnovers into points. Those came on two interception returns for touchdowns. OSU didn't convert on three lost fumbles by A&M – one each by Jeff Fuller, Cyrus Gray and Jerrod Johnson.

The A&M defense saved the Aggies after Fuller's fumble, which was caused by OSU's Jacob Lacey (Garland Naaman Forest) on the first drive of the game. The Cowboys' Ugo Chinasa (Richardson Berkner) had scooped up the ball and chugged 35 yards to the Aggies' 21, but the A&M defense held, including Alton Dixon stuffing Kendall Hunter on fourth-and-goal from the 1.

Chinasa got his reward on the next drive when he returned an interception 6 yards for a TD. OSU punted after recovering Gray's fumble and missed a 50-yard field-goal attempt after Johnson's fumble.

"I talked at halftime that we had been shooting ourselves in the foot," A&M coach Mike Sherman said. "They made those plays and those points, but we certainly were participants in giving them those points."

OSU's D steals attention: OSU coach Mike Gundy said he's aware the Cowboys' offense gets most of the love outside the program, so he was pleased that it scored two touchdowns Saturday.

"They wonder if the defense can hold up," Gundy said. It "not only kept us in the game, but also kept the momentum from swinging in Texas A&M's favor."

Goodson a factor: A&M running back Mike Goodson suffered an elbow injury that kept him out part of the first half before he returned. He had two touchdowns, including an 80-yard scoring run in the first quarter, the longest of his career. Other A&M injuries on a growing list included linebacker Matt Featherston (knee) and defensive lineman Paul Freeney (knee).

Briefly: The Cowboys are 5-0 for the first time since 2004. ... A&M's five turnovers were the most since losing five against Tennessee in the 2005 Cotton Bowl. A&M had eight turnovers against Nebraska in 2003.

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