(Saturday, November 20th)
Final Score: (18) Texas A&M 9, (9) Nebraska 6
College Station, TX (Sports Network) - Randy Bullock's 19-yard field goal with three minutes remaining provided the difference, and 18th-ranked Texas A&M remained unbeaten with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback with a 9-6 victory over ninth-ranked Nebraska.
Tannehill, who was installed as the signal-caller following a midseason three- game slump, helped the Aggies (8-3, 5-2 Big 12) to their fifth straight win after throwing for 172 yards on 19-of-29 efficiency. Cyrus Gray ran for 137 yards on 26 carries and added nine receptions for 65 yards in the victory.
"I love our team and the passion they played with," Tannehill said. "I was overcome with happiness and joy. That's why you come to A&M, to win those big games. We have faith in each other, and we were determined to win this game."
With the win, Texas A&M provided itself a chance to win the Big 12 South Division. If the Aggies beat Texas next week and Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, it would cause a three-way tie atop the division, with each team going 1-1 against the other two. In this scenario, the highest-ranked team in the BCS rankings would earn the berth into the Big 12 Championship Game.
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez left the game for a majority of the first half with an ankle injury but returned in the second half. He finished with 107 yards passing and an interception on 11-of-17 throws for the Huskers (9-2, 5-2), who squandered an opportunity to wrap up the Big 12 North and instead will have to win next week against Colorado or have Missouri lose to Kansas to do so.
In Martinez's absence, Cody Green threw for 57 yards on 6-of-11 throws and was intercepted once.
"It didn't happen for us tonight. We're moving on to Colorado," said Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini. "At the end, we still could have controlled what we wanted to do. I don't think (Martinez) played well. He did some things okay, but he missed some wide open receivers."
Both teams struggled on offense throughout the contest; Nebraska went 5-for-15 on third down conversions, while Texas A&M was 2-for-13. Additionally, penalties devastated the Cornhuskers' opportunities, as they were called for 16 infractions totaling 145 yards. Conversely, the Aggies were penalized just twice for 10 yards.
"I'm not talking about the penalties," Pelini added. "You all watched the game."
After Nebraska's Alex Henery tied the game, 6-6, on a 29-yard field goal with 8 1/2 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Texas A&M embarked on what proved to be the game-winning series.
Gray was the driving force in what led to Bullock's 19-yard field goal, amassing 43 rushing yards in the 68-yard set, which was aided by a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty when Texas A&M faced 3rd-and-11. Gray touched the ball on eight of the 12 plays, though he was unable to get into the end zone from the two-yard line.
Bullock sent a chip shot through the uprights on fourth down with just over three minutes to go for a 9-6 Aggies advantage.
Martinez looked to either tie the game or put the Cornhuskers ahead, but he was called for intentional grounding on 1st-and-10 from the Nebraska 34, producing a 2nd-and-15. After a six-yard completion to Brandon Kinnie, Martinez was sacked in the pocket by Von Miller for a five-yard loss.
On 4th-and-14 from the 30, Martinez's pass attempt fell incomplete to seal the outcome.
"I was pretty pumped up," Tannehill said of the final defensive stand. "When we kicked that field goal to go up 9-6, I have so much faith in the defense; I just knew they would go out and get the stop."
Henery booted a 48-yard field goal to cap a game-opening 12-play drive and put Nebraska on top, but the teams punted on the next eight possessions.
The Aggies finally tied the game with nine minutes left in the first half on Bullock's 29-yard field goal to finish a nine-play, 62-yard series.
The first half ended with the score tied, 3-3, and the Aggies went for it on 4th-and-3 from the Nebraska 41 on their first drive of the second half. Tannehill was sacked, giving the Cornhuskers solid field position near midfield.
Martinez, who was leading his first drive since suffering his injury, was unable to do anything with the field position, and Nebraska punted the ball away from the Aggies' 46.
Nebraska advanced to the Texas A&M 34 on its next series, but Martinez was intercepted by the Aggies' Trent Hunter inside the red zone to kill a scoring opportunity.
The hosts responded with a 79-yard drive to take the lead. Tannehill completed an 11-yard pass to Ryan Swope to convert a 3rd-and-9 from his own six-yard line, and Nebraska was later assessed a 15-yard pass interference penalty to give the Aggies another third down conversion.
From midfield, Tannehill hit Gray for a 15-yard play down to the Nebraska 35, and Gray ran for 23 yards combined on the next three plays. The drive stalled at the 11, and Bullock's 28-yard field goal provided a 6-3 cushion early in the fourth.
Nebraska had an answer, however, with Henery's 29-yarder to finish a 12-play, 83-yard drive with 8 1/2 minutes to go.
Both teams came into the game with a four-game win streak...Nebraska leads the all-time series, 10-4, but Texas A&M has won the last two meetings...Niles Paul led the Cornhuskers' receiving corps with four receptions for 53 yards.
11/21 00:54:56 ET