Jorvorskie Lane rushed for two of his four touchdowns in the
second and third overtimes as the 23rd-ranked Aggies beat the
feisty Bulldogs 47-45 in the first three-OT game in A&M history.
The 6-foot, 268-pound Lane barreled for his final touchdown from
3 yards out, then charged into the end zone again for the winning
2-point conversion on A&M's final possession.
"I knew what the situation was,'' said Lane, who rushed for 121
yards. "They couldn't stop us in the running game.''
The Aggies (2-0) rushed on 18 of their 19 plays in the three
overtimes. Ten of them were handoffs to Lane, who's heavier than
three of Fresno State's four starting defensive linemen.
"When they went to pound the big guy on us, I knew we were in
trouble,'' said Fresno State coach Pat Hill.
The temperature was 90 degrees at kickoff, and the humidity made
it feel even hotter. By the third overtime -- more than four hours
later -- players on both sides were on their knees, exhausted and
fighting off cramps.
But Lane, often chided for his weight, was still running over
tacklers at the end.
"People can say what they want to say,'' Lane said. "Put eight
or nine guys in the box, I'm going to still get my yards. You can't
The Bulldogs still had a chance to tie the game one more time
after Lane's final score.
Fresno State quarterback Tom Brandstater scrambled left and
found tight end Bear Pascoe in the end zone to cut the Aggies' lead
to 2. On the 2-point conversion try -- required starting in the
third overtime -- Brandstater overthrew receiver Marlon Moore in the
corner of the end zone, giving the Aggies their ninth consecutive
nonconference victory on their home field.
Brandstater finished 21-for-31 for 260 yards.
"We could have come out with a victory,'' Brandstater said.
"It's unfortunate, the way things turned out.''
Both teams missed out on chances to win on Fresno State's first
play of the first overtime.
After Matt Szymanski kicked a 27-yard field goal to give A&M a
32-29 lead, Moore caught a Brandstater pass and tried to stretch
the ball over the goal line with one hand. He fumbled into the end
zone as he stepped out of bounds, and the Aggies recovered. The
official on the spot ruled that Moore went out at the 1.
Officials reviewed replays and ruled that Moore had fumbled, but
A&M nose tackle Henry Smith was flagged for roughing the passer.
Fresno State (1-1) was given a first down inside the A&M 13. Clint
Stitser kicked a field goal to force another overtime.
Anthony Harding scored on Fresno's next chance, but Lane had a
1-yard TD run to force the third overtime.
"There were times when the odds didn't look good for us,'' said
A&M coach Dennis Franchione. "We just kept going.''
A&M's defense dominated in the first half, helping the Aggies
build a 19-0 lead. But Brandstater completed his first eight passes
in the second half and hit Pascoe with 5 seconds left in regulation
to force the extra periods.
The Bulldogs' offense mustered only 78 total yards and five
first downs in the first half.
The Aggies got the ball to start the third quarter, but
quarterback Stephen McGee was hit by Fresno linebacker Eric Brown
and fumbled at the A&M 32. On third-and-8 from the A&M 16,
Brandstater found Pascoe on a slant route for a touchdown.
Bulldogs tailback Clifton Smith fumbled at the Fresno 30 early
in the third quarter, but A&M could only muster a 32-yard field
goal by Szymanski to go up 22-7.
Fresno State answered with its best drive of the game, marching
80 yards on 12 plays. Brandstater found a wide-open Seyi Ajirotutu
for a 33-yard gain before Ryan Matthews scored on a 10-yard sweep
with 3:06 left in the third quarter.
While the Bulldogs offense hit its stride, the Aggies' offense
turned suddenly inept, gaining only 46 yards on its first four
possessions of the second half.
The Bulldogs were on the move again early in the fourth quarter.
Brandstater found Moore across the middle for 25 yards and Harding
barreled into the end zone from 2 yards out with 11:53 left in the
game to make it 22-20. Ajirotutu caught a pass in traffic on the
2-point conversion to tie the game and silence the raucous crowd at
The Aggies turned to their running game to retake the lead.
McGee rushed for 41 yards on A&M's final march of regulation and
Lane finished the drive with a touchdown with 1:52 left.
"We did whatever it took to win the game,'' said McGee, who
rushed for 124 yards. "We ran the ball every time and they did not
On third-and-8 from the Fresno 36, Brandstater found Devon Wylie
wide open over the middle for a 44-yard gain. The Bulldogs drove to
the 3 and Brandstater misfired on three passes before finding
Pascoe for the tying touchdown on fourth down.