COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Cedric Benson ran for 283 yards
and four touchdowns and No. 6 Texas strengthened its position for
the school's first Bowl Championship Series bid Friday with a 46-15
win over rival Texas A&M.
Benson rushed for 205 yards in the second half against the 95th
rated defense in the nation, helping the Longhorns (10-2, 7-1 Big
12) break open a game the Aggies (4-8, 2-6) kept close until the
third quarter with two short touchdown drives after Texas
Benson had 35 carries and scored on runs of 21, 4, 8 and 35
yards. He broke the record of the most rushing yards against the
traditionally tough Wrecking Crew defense, surpassing former
Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams' 259 yards in a Texas win in
Terrence Murphy led A&M with seven catches for 150 yards.
Texas posted its sixth straight win since a 65-13 loss to No. 1
Oklahoma back on Oct. 11 that knocked it out of the national title
chase. The Longhorns are ranked No. 6 in the BCS standings and most
likely within an Oklahoma victory of an at-large bid to the Fiesta
Bowl or Rose Bowl.
Texas needs the Sooners to beat Kansas State in the Big 12 title
game on Dec. 6 to get to the BCS. If K-State wins, the Wildcats and
Sooners will get the Big 12's two BCS bids, likely sending the
Longhorns tumbling all the way to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.
The Aggies' fourth straight loss in a series that dates back to
1894 was a bitter end to a disappointing first season under coach
A&M wanted a quick turnaround after last season's 6-6 finish but
stumbled badly down the stretch, losing its last three games to
finish with a losing record for the first time since 1982.
The Aggies had hoped to at least spoil their rivals' BCS plans.
A&M players gathered in a massive huddle at midfield during
pregame warmups and exchanged taunts with several Longhorns before
coaches from both teams broke it up. The crowd of 84,094 at Kyle
Field furiously waved their "12th Man Towels" after the Aggies'
second touchdown made it 20-15 in the third.
But every time A&M seized momentum, Texas took it right back by
forcing a turnover of its own.
Benson's second touchdown and Vince Young's 2-point conversion
run with 10:33 left in the third came after a muffed punt return
and put Texas ahead 28-15.
The Longhorns never looked back, adding two more touchdowns and
a field goal to blow it open.
The easy finish mirrored Texas' fast start. Young threw a
60-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Thomas on Texas' second
play from scrimmage.
Benson made it 14-0 when he capped a 95-yard, 13-play drive with
his 21-yard burst through the middle, breaking two tackles 5 yards
past the line of scrimmage.
After an A&M field goal, Young set up the Aggies' first
touchdown when he fumbled on the Texas 8. Reggie McNeal scored on
an option keeper three plays later that made it 14-9 when the extra
point was wide right.
Texas answered by forcing McNeal to fumble on a sack at the
Aggies 17. Young scored from the 1 to make it 20-9 at halftime.
Another Texas turnover kept the Aggies in it for a while. Selvin
Young fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and A&M
recovered on the Longhorns 22. Courtney Lewis finished the short
drive with a 16-yard TD scamper around the right end that made it
But any Aggies hopes died after Tim Van Zant's fumbled punt
return. Texas recovered at the A&M 26. Given a short field again,
the Longhorns turned the ball over the Benson, whose second TD gave
the Longhorns a 13-point lead.
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