November 27, 2006

Aggie defense stuffs high-powered Horns

The Texas A&M defense finished off its remarkable transformation from NCAA doormat in 2006 to a respectable Top 40 defense in Friday's 12-7 win over Texas in Austin.

After holding the Longhorns to one touchdown and 70 yards on the ground, the once-maligned Aggie defense is on the verge of gaining its most revered and time honored moniker - the Wrecking Crew.

The game had a familiar beginning, as Texas took the opening kickoff and marched down the field methodically to the 10-yard line. But with a fourth and inches, the game took a dramatic turn. Instead of kicking a field goal to take the lead, Texas head coach Mack Brown wanted to make a statement and brought in his own designated short yardage specialist, running back Henry Melton, to insure the successful fourth down conversion.

But somebody forgot to tell A&M linebacker Mark Dodge and the A&M defense the script, as Dodge sliced through the line of scrimmage and buried Melton a yard short of the line leaving the DKR-Memorial Stadium crowd in silence.

At the time, it seemed like a moral victory early in the game. However, after A&M scored and continued to hold Texas scoreless in the first half, it was apparent the fourth down stop was a critical play of the game. Not only did it keep the Longhorns out of the end zone, but it also gave the A&M defense confidence and propelled them the rest of the way.

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