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Saturday, November 27, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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College Football

Roundup: Texas foils A&M, makes bid for BCS

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas took care of its fiercest in-state rival and ensured at least one more week of bickering about the Bowl Championship Series.

Cedric Benson ran for 165 yards and a touchdown yesterday to lead No. 6 Texas to a 26-13 win over No. 22 Texas A&M, the Longhorns' fifth straight win over the Aggies.

Afterward, Texas coach Mack Brown made a passionate case for his team to win an at-large bid in the BCS.

"If you've got a vote, vote for us," Brown said, pleading to voters in The Associated Press writers poll. "I'm asking you to do that and I'm asking everyone across the nation.

"This team deserves to be in the BCS," he said. "They deserve to go more than some teams that are being talked about."

The AP poll is one of the factors used to determine the BCS standings.

The victory could get the Longhorns (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) their first BCS bid if they get a big enough boost in the standings to pass fourth-place California. Texas fans chanted "B-C-S!" after the game.

Cal, which only a week ago thought it had locked up a berth in the Rose Bowl, needs a win Dec. 4 at Southern Mississippi to fight off the Longhorns, 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.

As complicated as that sounds, the game itself was full of strange and rare plays that saw momentum swing back and forth during the first three quarters.

Quarterback Vince Young had 224 total yards and a touchdown run for the Longhorns. His counterpart, Reggie McNeal, passed for 247 yards and a touchdown for A&M (7-4, 5-3).

The Longhorns tied the game at 13 on a rare one-point safety after A&M recovered an extra-point kick attempt in the end zone.

"I'm a little embarrassed," Brown said. "I didn't know that was a rule."

Said A&M coach Dennis Franchione, "I don't know that I've ever seen a one-point safety. That was a unique call."

Texas took complete control in the fourth, harassing the elusive McNeal with a tenacious rush that collected eight sacks and dominated the line of scrimmage.

With Benson pounding out yards between the tackles and Young stretching the Aggies' defense with the option, the Longhorns drove 88 yards to the A&M 1. Benson slammed over the goal line to make it 26-13.

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.

Other Top 25 game

No. 14 LSU 43, at Arkansas 14

Marcus Randall ran for two touchdowns and threw two more to Joseph Addai as the Tigers dumped the Razorbacks.

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 consecutive points.

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

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

Notes

• Claims by more former Ohio State players that tutors wrote papers for them and fans arranged easy jobs don't indicate NCAA violations because the university didn't sanction or arrange the help, an athletic-department spokesman said. "I didn't see anything to worry about," athletic director Andy Geiger told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

• Twenty-eight Florida Atlantic players, including 14 starters, won't start against Edward Waters today after skipping a day of practice in what was described as an "ill-conceived practical joke."

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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