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Thursday, November 24, 2011

UT ruins Aggies’ farewell

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— Texas spoiled Texas A&M;’s going away party.

Justin Tucker kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired to give the Longhorns a 27-25 victory over Texas A&M; on Thursday night in the likely end of a more than century-old rivalry.

Texas A&M;’s last Big 12 game and the 118th meeting between these bitter rivals before the Aggies depart for the Southeastern Conference next season was a thriller befitting one of college football’s oldest and most storied matchups.

The Aggies were down 24-19 before Ryan Tannehill found Jeff Fuller on a 16-yard touchdown pass with 1:48 remaining. But the 2-point conversion failed, leaving A&M; (6-6, 4-5 Big 12) ahead 25-24.

The Longhorns’ winning drive was helped by a 15-yard personal foul penalty and a 25-yard run by quarterback Case McCoy.

McCoy started Thursday after being benched after a loss to Oklahoma in favor of David Ash.

McCoy struggled to move the offense for much of the game, but he was able to do just enough to get the Longhorns in position for Tucker’s winner.

Texas players spilled onto the field as soon as the kick sailed through the uprights. At the same time, thousands of dejected Aggies fans streamed to the exits in the end of this holiday tradition in this football-crazy state.

Receiver Jaxon Shipley threw a touchdown pass on a trick play in the first half and the Longhorns took advantage of two interceptions in a 17-point third quarter to send the Aggies off with a loss.

Carrington Byndom’s interception return for a touchdown early in the third quarter cut Texas A&M;’s lead to 16-14.

The Longhorns (7-4, 4-4) took a 17-14 lead on a 23-yard field goal later in the third.

Tannehill’s third interception led to a 1-yard touchdown run by Cody Johnson to extend the Longhorns’ lead to 24-16

At times the end of this bitter rivalry felt like a goodbye between longtime friends. The Longhorn band spelled out ‘Thanks A&M;’ while playing “Thanks for the Memories.” Earl Campbell, who the Heisman Trophy at Texas in 1977, and Texas A&M;’s John David Crow, winner of the award in 1957, watched the game sitting side by side in golf cart in the corner of the stadium.

Texas A&M;’s collie mascot, Reveille, didn’t share in the goodwill. She showed her dislike for the Longhorns by chewing on a small stuffed version of Bevo, the Texas mascot during the game.

Texas A&M;’s official fight song bids adieu to the Longhorns with the line “so long to the orange and white.” But the Aggies didn’t really want to say goodbye.

They’d hoped to continue the game, which began in 1894 and has been played every year since 1915, but the Longhorns said their schedule is full through 2018.

Countless great players and games have populated this series. Former Texas A&M; coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s 1954 team, which survived his grueling camp in Junction, Texas, played the Longhorns. Crow, A&M;’s only Heisman winner, was a member of the first Aggie team to beat Texas at Memorial Stadium in 1956. It was against the Aggies in 1998 that the Longhorns’ Ricky Williams broke the Division I-A career rushing record in a 26-24 win.

Comments

Adam Evans 10 years, 6 months ago

Good. I'm glad A&M is leaving with a somewhat sour taste in their mouths. Let's hope we can give misery a similar sendoff this weekend.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 6 months ago

If only we can do the same with Missouri!

Hank Cross 10 years, 6 months ago

Why is everyone down on A&M? UT has been the source of these problems. That's why despite all they bring, the P12 and B10 wouldn't take Bevo. A willingness to leave an abusive situation doesn't mean your a "traitor," it means you're not a beoytch. If only KU had the option to leave to the B10 or P12.

Dan Pawlowski 10 years, 6 months ago

Abusive situation. Please. They just got tired of being the little brother. If they were that unhappy they should have "nutted up" during the first episode of this saga when their whiney ass counterpart Misery was also stomping around. Sure Texas definitely has a large responsibility in this mess but if you are going to sit at a table and negotiate you stay until your satisfied. Not be done and then whine about it in near future.

texashawk10 10 years, 6 months ago

After watching this game with a bunch Aggies and Longhorns, I will gladly suffer through TG's final 3 years for a lifetime of bragging rights over Missouri and to tell them we won the war once and for all and have the same satisfaction UT did last night.

Robert Brock 10 years, 6 months ago

I am delighted that UT beat those phony military clowns. I cannot condone pretend military. Real military is real and ROTC is real; the A&M "cadets" are a slap in the face of real military.

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