ESPN Network: | |  ABCSports |  EXPN |  INSIDER  |  FANTASY

Texas A&M 26, No. 8 Kansas State 10
Associated Press


COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M has developed a strong passing game this season. The Aggies can run, too. Ja'Mar Toombs made certain of it.

The 275-pound fullback plowed through Kansas State's defense for three touchdowns as the Aggies earned a 26-10 victory over the eighth-ranked Wildcats on Saturday.

"I talked to Ja'Mar walking off the field before the game and he told me he would get the job done," offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe said. "So I saddled him up and rode him off into the sunset."

Toombs had his biggest rushing day of the season, gaining 84 yards on 24 carries.

"I knew I'd have to step up this game," Toombs said. "After Jason Glenn intercepted the ball, I had a call against me the next play. That made me realize I had lost my concentration for a second. That forced me to be focused the rest of the ball game."

In the last game between the teams, the Aggies rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Kansas State 36-33 in overtime and knock the Wildcats out of a chance to play for the national championship.

This loss probably knocked the Wildcats out of Top 10 and also ended a string of 60 straight regular-season victories over unranked opponents.

"This is a big loss for us," Wildcats defensive end Monty Beisel said. "We need to bounce back and finish the season. We did a decent job on defense. We played well, but Toombs is a great running back. He ran over us today."

The Wildcats didn't make it interesting until the second half. Texas A&M (6-2, 4-1 Big 12) jumped to a 19-0 lead, marking the first time in four years the Wildcats (7-2, 3-2) had been held scoreless in the first half.

"The two turnovers and six penalties we had in the first half really hurt," Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. "We'd get a play here and there but we couldn't sustain it. A&M did a nice job with their offense and their defense.

"I'm not concerned about our confidence but we have to see how it plays out."

Toombs had touchdown runs of 2 and 8 yards and Terence Kitchens kicked field goals of 31 and 22 yards to give the Aggies their lead. Kansas State had not been shut out in the first half in 47 games, dating to a game at Colorado on Nov. 16, 1996.

"They played excellent football and they were aggressive and stuck with their blocks," linebacker Ben Leber said. "We are pretty frustrated right now. It's hard to take any kind of loss."

The Aggies tore into the Kansas State defense, ranked No. 6 in the nation in total defense. Toombs got his first touchdown as time expired in the first quarter, and scored again with 2:14 to go in the half.

Kansas State came into the game allowing 261 yards per game and the Aggies got 230 in the first half. After a slow third quarter, the Aggies finished with 326 total yards.

Kansas State's defense finally got control of the Aggies in the third quarter, holding them to no first downs for the period while Jonathan Beasley rallied the offense briefly with a 31-yard TD pass to Aaron Lockett with 11:20 to go in the quarter.

Jamie Rheem kicked a 22-yard field goal for the Wildcats with 5:29 to go in the third period, cutting A&M's lead to 19-10.

That's when the Texas A&M defense came on to save the day. Kansas State had third-and-2 at A&M's 35 late in the third quarter but the Wildcats were held to no gain on tackles by Brian Gamble on third down and Jason Glenn on fourth down.

Glenn also had a first-quarter interception to set up Kitchens' second field goal.

Early in the fourth quarter, linebacker Christian Rodriguez killed a Kansas State punt at the 1. With 11:55 left in the game, safety Wes Bautovich intercepted Beasley's pass at the Wildcats' 29.

That set up Toombs' third touchdown, an 8-yard run with 10:21 to play. Toombs finished with 89 yards on 24 carries.

Beasley completed 14 of 39 passes for 227 yards and two interceptions. Mark Farris was 12-of-20 for 155 yards for the Aggies.

"This game shows what we can do if we put our minds to it," Farris said. "I think we have the talent in our locker room to beat anyone in the nation. We talked all week about gaining respect. I think we did that today."

 Ja Mar Toombs rumbles 8 yards for the Aggie TD.
avi: 561 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Texas A&M's Ja Mar Toombs goes in the end zone on the 1-yard TD romp.
avi: 721 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Jason Glenn picks off Jonathan Beasley and returns it inside the 5.
avi: 1612 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1