7:05 PM ET, October 28, 2006
Floyd Casey Stadium, WACO, TX
WACO, Texas (AP) -- Martellus Bennett was watching himself on the large video screen in the end zone ahead of him as he rumbled down the field. No, the Baylor defenders weren't going to stop the big tight end's impression of a Heisman Trophy winner.
That 75-yard touchdown was one of several big plays the 6-foot-7, 248-pound Bennett made for Texas A&M in a 31-21 victory over Baylor on Saturday night that broke a tie for second place in the Big 12 South.
"Great players make great plays in close games," coach Dennis Franchione said.
Bennett had five catches for 133 yards, including two touchdowns and a long third-down conversion on the drive when the Aggies (8-1, 4-1) went ahead to stay.
Layne Neumann's 22-yard field goal with 6:32 left put A&M up 24-21, ending a 14-play drive on which Bennett's 17-yard catch converted a third-and-13.
Bennett gave the Aggies a 21-14 halftime lead when he took a third-down dump pass from Stephen McGee, broke an initial tackle and rumbled 75 yards. The Bears didn't get another hand on him until Anthony Arline tripped Bennett, who saw the defender and had already decided to dive into the end zone.
"I was looking at the small TV screen up there. I saw the guy behind me," Bennett said. "I felt like Reggie Bush. I always wanted to dive into the end zone. It was a perfect situation to dive."
Jorvorskie Lane, the Aggies' bruising 274-yard runner, ran 13 times for 53 yards and his 17th TD, a 2-yard run.
Mike Goodson added a clinching 64-yard TD run with 2:15 left and Texas A&M finished with its largest margin in a Big 12 game. The previous four decided by six points or less. They've won four in a row since a 31-27 loss to Texas Tech.
"This was a typical Big 12 game between two teams that played extremely hard," Franchione said. "I'm so proud of the way the guys found a way to win."
The Battle of the Brazos -- named for the river that touches both college towns only about 90 miles apart -- had gone to overtime the past two years. Baylor (4-5, 3-2) won at home in 2004, its only victory in the series since 1985, when Dominique Zeigler caught a 2-point conversion.
Zeigler caught five passes for 180 yards Saturday, including a 79-yard TD in the first quarter that gave Baylor its only lead.
"We probably didn't run it enough," coach Guy Morriss said of the throws to Zeigler. "They haven't stopped it yet. We didn't run it enough."
Zeigler had four of his catches for 166 yards by halftime and that accounted for most of his team's 190 yards. He had as many catches as he did pass attempts after that -- one.
Baylor tied it at 21 on Paul Mosley's 1-yard TD run to cap the opening second-half drive, but didn't score again.
"We were out-athleted, out-whooped," Morriss said. "We just didn't get it done."
Braelon Davis blocked Neumann's 22-yard field goal attempt on the first play of the fourth quarter. But Baylor then went three-and-out, and Neumann made the second kick on the ensuing drive.
The Aggies had a third-and-4 when Goodson broke free. A replay showed the freshman may have dropped the ball just before crossing the goal line, but Baylor couldn't challenge since it had called its final timeout before the play.
With Baylor having a chance to get over .500 and within one victory of bowl eligibility for the first time since 1994, there was a record crowd of 51,385 on the Waco campus. Still, it was split roughly half-and-half with fans from both schools.
Texas A&M, one of only four teams averaging more than 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing, had more than 200 in both categories in the same game for only the second time. The Aggies had 507 total yards -- 292 rushing and 215 passing. McGee was 12-of-21 passing, and ran 17 times for 89 yards.
Shawn Bell had his school-record 11th straight 200-yard passing game for Baylor, hitting 14-of-20 for 260 yards and a touchdown. Bell sprained a ligament in his right knee in the fourth quarter and didn't play the final series. He will have an MRI exam on Sunday.
After Bennett's 3-yard TD in the first quarter, Neumann's extra-point attempt was wide left and Baylor needed only two plays to take the lead. Zeigler was wide open at midfield behind the secondary, and Ryan Havens' PAT made it 7-6.
Lane's TD capped a 13-play, 87-yard drive in the second quarter, and Mikail Baker returned the ensuring kickoff to the A&M 21. A penalty forced Baylor to instead start at its own 9, but Zeigler had catches of 49 and 29 yards before Brandon Whitaker's 3-yard TD made it 14-all.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... A&M running back Mike Goodson scored on a 64-yard TD run on third down with just over two minutes left in the game.
Gameball goes to... Stephen McGee. The A&M quarterback passed for 215 yards and two scores, and also ran for 89 yards on 17 carries.
Stat of the game... 200. A&M passed and rushed for over 200 yards for the second time this season. Also, Baylor QB Shawn Bell extended his school-record with his 11th straight 200-yard passing.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-14||2-9|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-0|
|TD||8:13||MARTELLUS BENNETT 3 YD PASS FROM STEPHEN MCGEE (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 56 yards.
|TD||6:55||DOMINIQUE ZEIGLER 79 YD PASS FROM SHAWN BELL (RYAN HAVENS KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||12:32||JORVORSKIE LANE 2 YD RUN (JOEY THOMAS 2PT PASS FROM STEPHEN MCGEE)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 87 yards.
|TD||9:27||BRANDON WHITAKER 3 YD RUN (RYAN HAVENS KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 91 yards.
|TD||7:12||MARTELLUS BENNETT 75 YD PASS FROM STEPHEN MCGEE (LAYNE NEUMANN KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||10:19||PAUL MOSLEY 1 YD RUN (RYAN HAVENS KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||6:32||LAYNE NEUMANN 22 YD FG|
Drive info: 14 plays, 61 yards.
|TD||2:15||MIKE GOODSON 64 YD RUN (LAYNE NEUMANN KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 80 yards.