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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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