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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

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Austin assault

 
 

The 111th meeting between the Texas Longhorns and the Texas A&M Aggies will be remembered for its strange plays. There were missed extra points, blocked extra points, a one-point safety, a 98-yard momentum-changing fumble recovery and a myriad of calls by the officials that will leave fans on both sides scratching their heads until the teams meet to do it all again next year.
But with all of the odd occurrences going on, the 26-13 Texas victory came down to the Longhorns’ ability to run the ball and A&M’s inability to mount anything even resembling a running game. Led by senior running back Cedric Benson, the Longhorns gained 274 yards on the ground, while the Aggies managed just 31.
“(Benson is) a warrior,” said Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis. “He carries the ball 30 times, and he puts in a great effort.”
The Longhorns took an early 6-0 lead when sophomore quarterback Vince Young scored on a 3-yard option keeper to cap off a 14 play, 65-yard drive that included zero passing attempts. The score remained 6-0 after senior kicker Dusty Mangum missed the extra point attempt.
The Aggies responded quickly through the air, as junior quarterback Reggie McNeal hit junior receiver DeQawn Mobley down the middle for a 33-yard tying score. A blocked extra point kept the game tied at six.
The game remained tied until late in the first half when A&M was able to take the advantage and steal the momentum. Having driven to A&M’s one-yard line, Young tried to cap off the drive by stretching the ball over the goal line with one hand, but A&M sophomore linebacker Justin Warren knocked the ball loose just before it crossed into the end zone. A&M senior cornerback Jonte Buhl picked the loose ball up and ran 98 yards to give the Aggies a seven-point half-time advantage.
“I saw the ball drop, and it just bounced up into my hands,” Buhl said. “It was a big momentum builder. It gave us more confidence – not that we weren’t already confident – but it gave us more confidence. But we still knew our place and knew that we would have to come out ready in the second half.”
This momentum was quickly snapped in the second half, as the Aggies first drive ended with a blocked punt that was returned by Texas freshman Bobby Tatum for a touchdown. The Aggies never seemed to recover from this play, as the Longhorns took the momentum and literally ran with it. Texas kicked two field goals and sealed the victory with a 1-yard touchdown run by Benson while A&M failed to reach the end zone again.
“We came to their house and fought them right down to the end,” said A&M head coach Dennis Franchione. “We just have a little more work to do to get to where they are.”
Though it was the end of the regular season for the teams, the Longhorns and Aggies await their respective bowl bids. If all goes as expected, Texas is expected to receive a bid from the Cotton Bowl while A&M is expected to receive a bid from the Holiday Bowl.

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