Jerrod Johnson tied a Texas A&M quarterback record with three rushing touchdowns and threw three TD passes to lead the Aggies to a 56-19 win over UAB on Saturday night.
Johnson completed 23 of 29 passes for 290 yards against the Blazers' 118th-ranked pass defense as the Aggies improved to 3-0 for the third time in four years. A total of nine Aggies caught passes a week after leading receiver Jeff Fuller broke his right leg.
Bradley Stephens and Cyrus Gray added touchdown runs for the Aggies, who converted 14 of 17 third downs and finished with 544 yards. A&M came in leading the nation in total offense (589.5 yards per game).
Joe Webb rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown for the Blazers (1-3), who mustered 303 yards and went 3 for 14 on third-down conversions.
The Aggies rolled to a 28-6 halftime lead after Josh Zahn kicked a 37-yard field goal two minutes into the game.
A&M then went 83 yards in 14 plays and Johnson scored on a goal-line sneak. A few minutes earlier, Johnson's 29-yard touchdown pass to freshman Uzoma Nwachukwu was negated by offsetting pass interference calls. Nwachukwu caught three TD passes in last week's win over Utah State.
A&M's Dustin Harris fumbled a punt late in the opening quarter, the Aggies' first lost fumble this season. Zahn kicked a 41-yard field goal to cut A&M's lead to 7-6.
The Aggies took control with three touchdown drives over the next nine minutes.
On the first, Johnson scrambled away from pressure to complete a 58-yard pass to Ryan Tannehill to the UAB 2, then threw a TD pass to junior tight end Don Bishop, who scored on his first career catch.
Howard Morrow caught a 34-yard pass from Johnson when A&M regained possession, and Johnson ran 18 yards up the middle and into the end zone with 8:26 left in the half.
A short UAB punt gave A&M the ball near midfield and Johnson went 3 for 3 on the drive before running six yards for another score. Johnson is the first A&M quarterback to rush for three touchdowns in a game since Bucky Richardson did it against Texas Tech on Oct. 5, 1991.
Johnson went 15 for 19 for 219 yards and rushed for 47 yards in the first half. The Aggies went 7 for 8 on third-down conversions and only punted once.
A&M's defense held UAB to 118 yards and five first downs in the half, but the Blazers opened the third quarter with a quick touchdown drive, capped by Webb's 10-yard run.
Johnson then led three more touchdown drives over the next eight minutes. Freshman Ryan Swope made his first touchdown catch, Stephens had a 16-yard touchdown run and Tannehill grabbed his second TD catch of the season to stretch the lead to 49-12.
Tannehill, also the backup quarterback, replaced Johnson in the fourth quarter. Gray raced 40 yards for a score with 8:45 left and UAB backup quarterback David Isabelle broke a 60-yard touchdown run less than two minutes later.