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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M downs OSU 21-7

Check out the slide show of the game

View the Slideshow HERE
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) – Maybe Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum should get angry more often.
After a pair of lackluster victories to open the season, Slocum chastised his team, particularly the defense, for a lack of intensity as they prepared for Oklahoma State?s visit Saturday, saying they didn?t deserve the traditional A&M Wrecking Crew name.
It worked as the Aggie defense led them to a 21-7 victory over the Cowboys.
“Coach was pretty rough on us this week,” defensive end Rocky Bernard said. “Now instead of talking about it, we?ve actually seen it.”
“We?re going to have to learn to play when defenses put that kind of pressure on us,” said Oklahoma State quarterback Aso Pogi, who could complete only 13 of 27 attempts for 110 yards and was sacked six times.
“That?s the best I?ve ever seen our defense play,” A&M quarterback Mark Farris said.
The A&M defense had a hand in all three Aggie touchdowns, allowing Oklahoma State (1-2, 0-1 Big 12) to convert on only two of 16 third-down plays.
The key play was Eric Crutchfield?s recovery of a blocked punt in the Oklahoma State end zone with 1:45 to go in the third quarter. It was the second of two third-quarter touchdowns for A&M (3-0, 1-0) and broke open a 14-7 game.
The crowd of 82,601, fourth-largest in Texas A&M history, remembered the victims of the recent terrorist attacks by buying and wearing red, white and blue T-shirts that turned Kyle Field into a giant patriotic rainbow, the upper deck red, middle level white and lower deck blue.
More than $150,000 raised from the shirt sales was being donated to New York Fire Department charities.
“I think it was absolutely wonderful,” Oklahoma State coach Les Miles said of the patriotic demonstration. “This is exactly what we need to do as a country. I only wish we could have gotten a win.”
“I thought it was the most beautiful thing,” Slocum added. “It was a great patriotic picture.”
Aggie defensive back Wes Bautovich blocked a kick by Oklahoma State punter Scott Elder, who was standing in his end zone after Pogi had been sacked on a third-down play.
“I saw Wes block and ball and I just wanted to jump on it,” Crutchfield said.
“We gave them seven points and never seemed to bounce back,” Miles said.
Neither team showed a potent offense, but the Aggies grabbed the 14-7 lead early in the second half when Mark Farris connected with Jamaar Taylor with a pass on the left side and Taylor ran 19 yards down the sideline for the touchdown. It was the sixth straight game for Farris to throw a TD pass, equaling a 33-year-old A&M record.
The six-play scoring drive was set up after the A&M defense stopped Oklahoma State on 4th-and-1 at the Aggies? 26.
The Aggies had scored first, taking advantage of a failed fake punt late in the first quarter.
Elder, back to kick on fourth-and-14 from his own 25 after three plays gained a minus-4 yards, took off running but gained only 6 yards, giving the Aggies a first down at the Oklahoma State 31. Six plays later, Keith Joseph scored on a 2-yard run up the middle to put Texas A&M ahead 7-0.
“I looked up … and saw a gap there,” Elder said. “Our intent was to catch them by surprise, and we did that. Unfortunately, we had a ways to go.”
“We knew we were going to fake a punt,” Miles said. “I felt like it was wide open … but they were able to chase us down.”
The Cowboys defense set up Oklahoma State?s only score when Terrence Robinson intercepted a tipped pass from Farris and returned it 16 yards to the A&M 10. On the next play, Tatum Bell took a handoff and scooted down the left sideline untouched to pull the Cowboys even at 7 midway through the second period.

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