9:15 PM ET, September 16, 2006
Alamodome, SAN ANTONIO, TX
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Texas A&M needed a last-second goal-line stand on Saturday night to overcome its sloppiness and dodge an upset.
Jorvorskie Lane rushed for 101 yards and three touchdowns and Devin Gregg intercepted two passes as the Aggies beat Army 28-24 at the Alamodome.
Stephen McGee threw a touchdown pass and ran for 142 yards for the Aggies (3-0), who gained 262 of their 364 total yards on the ground.
Wesley McMahand had two touchdown runs for the Black Knights (1-2), who gave the mistake-plagued Aggies a surprising nail-biter before a crowd of 64,583, many of them dressed in military garb.
The Aggies didn't secure the win until linebacker Misi Tupe led a pack of defenders to stop running back Tony Moore from inside the 10-yard line on the game's last play.
"We attacked and had tremendous pursuit and that paid off," said A&M coach Dennis Franchione.
Army coach Bobby Ross called the play because it had worked earlier in the game.
"Hindsight is 20-20 and maybe we could've done something else," he said. "At the time, we thought we did what we had to do."
The nervous ending came after Army defensive end Cameron Craig stuffed Lane for a 4-yard loss on a fourth down from the Army 30.
Franchione opted not to punt and regretted the decision.
"I felt like if we make it, the game is pretty much in our hands," he said. "I wish I'd have punted now, I guess, but it all worked out."
A&M safety Melvin Bullitt was called for pass interference, giving the Black Knights a first-and-goal at the 2 with 13 seconds left. David Pevoto threw an incomplete pass before Moore, a freshman, got the ball on the decisive play. The Aggies were waiting and broke into a celebration as the final seconds ticked off.
"Our defense really rose up on that series," Franchione said. "I think we grew up a lot on that series."
The defensive stop salvaged a sloppy effort. The Aggies had three fumbles and committed seven penalties for 59 yards.
"We didn't have a lot of miscues," he said, "but every one of them we had was costly."
Lane scored six minutes into the game, but the Black Knights answered immediately, helped by two personal-foul penalties. Pevoto found Walter Hill on a quick slant to convert a third-and-10 and McMahand scored on a six-yard run.
McGee found Howard Morrow for a 20-yard gain late in opening quarter and Army was called for a late hit, giving A&M a first-and-goal. But the Aggies were penalized twice before Army defensive tackle Tony Fusco blocked Matt Szymanski's field-goal try.
A bad punt by A&M's Justin Brantly gave Army the ball at the Aggies' 43. On first down, receiver Corey Anderson took a pitch on a reverse, broke two tackles and carried a third A&M defender into the end zone.
McGee had two long runs on A&M's next possession and Lane had his second one-yard TD run with 7:12 left in the half.
Gregg intercepted Pevoto's first pass after the break at the Army 46. McGee then took a pitch from Lane on a flea flicker and threw a 46-yard touchdown strike to Chad Schroeder.
The Aggies' defense forced an Army punt, but Schroeder fumbled it at the A&M 37. McMahand cut across the field on a 21-yard touchdown run with 11:42 left in the third quarter.
The 6-foot, 274-pound Lane carried five times for 45 yards on A&M's ensuing 80-yard drive and he scored again with 6:29 left.
Aided by another personal-foul penalty, the Black Knights marched to the Aggies' 10 before Gregg intercepted a deflected pass at the 4-yard line.
Austin Miller kicked a 41-yard field goal to cut A&M's lead.
McGee fell a half-yard short of a first down on a third-down run with 2:58 left and A&M coach Dennis Franchione decided to go for it after losing an appeal of the spot.
Craig then made the play on Lane to set up the wild ending.
"I felt like our team, as a whole, played pretty well," Ross said. "We did a lot of nice things. I'm very proud of our team."
The game, technically an Army home game, had a patriotic feel, with uniformed cadets from both schools sprinkled among the mostly maroon-clad capacity crowd.
Each marching band paraded through downtown San Antonio on Saturday afternoon and the Army's Corps of Cadets performed its traditional pre-game march usually reserved for Michie Stadium.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-17||5-11|
|4th Down Conversions||2-2||1-2|
|TD||9:03||JORVORSKIE LANE 1 YD RUN (MATT SZYMANSKI KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||4:35||WESLEY MCMAHAND 6 YD RUN (AUSTIN MILLER KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 75 yards.
|TD||11:07||COREY ANDERSON 43 YD RUN (AUSTIN MILLER KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 43 yards.
|TD||7:11||JORVORSKIE LANE 1 YD RUN (LAYNE NEUMANN KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 79 yards.
|TD||14:08||CHAD SCHROEDER 46 YD PASS FROM STEPHEN MCGEE (LAYNE NEUMANN KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 46 yards.
|TD||11:42||WESLEY MCMAHAND 21 YD RUN (AUSTIN MILLER KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 37 yards.
|TD||6:29||JORVORSKIE LANE 4 YD RUN (LAYNE NEUMANN KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||4:37||AUSTIN MILLER 41 YD FG|
Drive info: 14 plays, 56 yards.