Sun, Nov 28, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Texas bids for bowl game

AP , AUSTIN, TEXAS

Quarterback Vince Young of the University of Texas Longhorns scrambles out of the pocket against the Texas A&M University Aggies at Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas on Friday. The 26-13 win by the Longhorns may help the team get into a bowl game.

PHOTO: AFP

Cedric Benson ran for 165 yards and a touchdown to lead No. 6 Texas past No. 22 Texas A&M 26-13 on Friday, a victory sure to send the Bowl Championship Series arguments into high gear.

Vince Young added a touchdown run and 224 yards total for the Longhorns (10-1, 7-1 Big 12), who earned their fifth straight win over their fiercest in-state rival.

Reggie McNeal passed for 247 yards and a touchdown for A&M (7-4, 5-3), which rebounded from last season's 4-8 finish to become bowl eligible against the toughest schedule in the nation. Three of the Aggies' four losses have come against teams ranked in the top six.

The Texas victory kept alive the Longhorns' slim hopes of earning their first bid to the BCS -- if the win gives them a big enough boost in the standings to pass fourth-place California. Texas fans chanted "B-C-S!" after the game ended.

California, which only a week ago thought it had locked up a berth in the Rose Bowl, needs a win on Dec. 4 over Southern Mississippi to fight off the Longhorns, who are fifth in the standings.

And another team out West, Boise State, could ruin the party for both of them. If Boise State creeps into the top six in the BCS, they would join Utah in the two at-large berths, knocking Texas and California out of the mix.

Benson's 10th 100-yard game this season highlighted a stellar career in which he ranks sixth all-time among Division I-A rushers with 5,470 yards. He could move as high as fourth with a big performance in Texas' bowl game, wherever that may be.

No. 14 LSU 43, Arkansas 14

At Little Rock, Arkansas, Marcus Randall ran for two touchdowns and threw two more to Joseph Addai, leading No. 14 LSU over Arkansas.

Randall was 10-for-14 for 173 yards and had 79 yards rushing. Alley Broussard added 81 yards rushing for the Tigers (9-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference), who ended the game with 26 unanswered points.

The loss was Arkansas' first in 18 games at Little Rock under coach Houston Nutt and keeps the Razorbacks from qualifying for a seventh consecutive bowl game.

Matt Jones, hobbled by a hamstring injury, could not muster the flair that has often sparked the Razorback offense. The senior quarterback and the team's leading rusher was sacked three times and had minus-10 yards on the ground. Confined to the pocket, he was intercepted twice on 12-of-29 passing for 152 yards and two TD passes.

Peyton Hillis ran for 66 yards and Steven Harris had five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown for Arkansas (5-6, 3-5).

LSU never trailed and led 27-14 at the half.

Arizona 34, No. 18 Arizona St. 27

At Tucson, Arizona, redshirt freshman Richard Kovalcheck threw three touchdown passes -- two to Mike Jefferson -- and Arizona turned five takeaways into 24 points to stun 18th-ranked Arizona State.

Andrew Walter, the Sun Devils' record-breaking senior quarterback, left the game with an injury to his right shoulder with 7:30 remaining and his team trailing 34-20.

Mike Bell rushed for 139 yards in 21 carries for the Wildcats (3-8 overall, 2-6 Pac-10), who averaged 13 points per game going into the contest, last among 117 Division I-A teams. Arizona State (8-3, 5-3) lost four fumbles to help Arizona reach a season-high point total.

Arizona fans stormed the field after the first big victory for Wildcats first-year coach Mike Stoops.

Kovalcheck -- 17-of-31 for 239 yards with one interception -- had touchdown passes of 54, 2 and 47 yards. The 47-yarder to Jefferson down the right sidelines put the Wildcats up 34-20 with 9:32 to play.

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