3:30 PM ET, September 8, 2007
Kyle Field, COLLEGE STATION, TX
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 stop me.'' 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 Kyle Field.
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 stop it.''
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.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Javorskie Lane rushed for a 3-yard touchdown and the two-point conversion in the third overtime period to give the Aggies the lead.
Gameball goes to... Lane. Texas A&M's 263-pound running back kept the Aggies in it, scoring four touchdowns while accumulating 121 yards on 23 carries.
Stat of the game... 3.2 Fresno State held A&M to an average of 3.2 yards per pass play. A&M held Fresno to an average of 3.2 yards on the ground per play.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||9-18||11-20|
|4th Down Conversions||1-1||0-0|
|TD||08:08||Jorvorskie Lane 18 Yd Run (Matt Szymanski Kick)||0||7|
|FG||04:31||Matt Szymanski 43 Yd||0||10|
|TD||02:14||Mike Goodson 12 Yd Pass From Stephen Mcgee (Matt Szymanski Kick)||0||17|
|SF||01:03||Penalty On Tom Brandstater In End Zone||0||19|
|TD||11:37||Bear Pascoe 16 Yd Pass From Tom Brandstater (Clint Stitser Kick)||7||19|
|FG||07:19||Matt Szymanski 32 Yd||7||22|
|TD||03:06||Ryan Mathews 10 Yd Run (Clint Stitser Kick)||14||22|
|TD||11:53||Anthony Harding 2 Yd Run (Tom Brandstater Pass To Seyi Ajirotutu For Two-Point Conversion)||22||22|
|TD||01:52||Jorvorskie Lane 5 Yd Run (Matt Szymanski Kick)||22||29|
|TD||00:05||Bear Pascoe 3 Yd Pass From Tom Brandstater (Clint Stitser Kick)||29||29|
|FG||Matt Szymanski 27 Yd||29||32|
|FG||Clint Stitser 25 Yd||32||32|
|TD||Anthony Harding 1 Yd Run (Clint Stitser Kick)||39||32|
|TD||Jorvorskie Lane 2 Yd Run (Matt Szymanski Kick)||39||39|
|TD||Jorvorskie Lane 3 Yd Run (Jorvorskie Lane Run For Two-Point Conversion)||39||47|
|TD||Bear Pascoe 9 Yd Pass From Tom Brandstater (Two-Point Conversion Failed)||45||47|