Texas A&M 59, Louisiana Tech 57

Roy Lang III, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


SHREVEPORT, La. -- Texas A&M scored the first 27 points against 23rd-ranked Louisiana Tech on Saturday night, but it nearly wasn't enough.
The 22nd-ranked Aggies needed to prevent a two-point conversion pass by the Bulldogs in the final minute to hold on for a 59-57 win at Independence Stadium.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns and added 181 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the ground to lead the Aggies (5-1) to a thrilling victory over the Bulldogs (5-1).
The Aggies' victory ends Louisiana Tech's NCAA-best 12-game regular-season win streak.
Louisiana Tech missed its second chance to tie the game in the final quarter when quarterback Colby Cameron overthrew R.P. Stuart in the corner of the end zone on a two-point conversion try with 38.1 seconds left. The Bulldogs also missed a two-pointer to tie with 11:59 left after defensive lineman Shakeil Lucas returned an interception 7 yards for a touchdown.
Cameron completed 44 of 58 passes for 450 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions.
The loss overshadowed Quinton Patton's impressive night. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Louisiana Tech senior hauled in school-record tying 21 catches for 233 yards and four touchdowns.
The Aggies host another ranked Louisiana opponent, No. 9 LSU on Saturday at Kyle Field. Louisiana Tech opens WAC play by hosting Idaho on the same day.
Texas A&M scored on all seven first-half possessions, rolled up 429 yards in the first half and built a 39-16 lead.
On Texas A&M's first drive, two plays after a 24-yard pass from Johnny Manziel to Uzoma Nwachukwu on third-and-4, running back Christine Michael split the middle of Louisiana Tech's defense for a 40-yard touchdown to give the Aggies a 7-0 lead.
The Aggies' second drive was extended when Louisiana Tech defensive back Craig Johnson was called for a personal foul after a hit on intended receiver Ryan Swope.
The Aggies took full advantage of the opportunity when Manziel found LeKendrick Williams for a 20-yard touchdown to give Texas A&M a 14-0 lead.
Manziel scampered into the end zone from 15 yards out on third-and-5 to give the Aggies a 21-0 advantage with 2:17 left in the first quarter.
After seven straight third-down conversions to start the game, the Aggies began to misfire on third down in the second quarter. However, many of the Bulldogs' stops came deep in their own territory.
A&M added three field goals (from 26, 54 and 28 yards) from Taylor Bertolet in the second quarter.
Louisiana Tech ended A&M's run of points with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Colby Cameron to Quinton Patton as the Bulldogs climbed within 27-7 of the Aggies with 5:32 left in the half.
However, the Aggies answered on the ensuing play with a 75-yard strike from Manziel to Mike Evans.
Although Tech struck again with a 6-yard touchdown by Kenneth Dixon, A&M blocked the extra point and Dustin Harris returned the loose ball for two points. The teams traded field goals in the final minute of the half.
NOTES: Manziel enjoyed a perfect first quarter. He completed all eight passes for 102 yards. ... Saturday marked only the second time that had Shreveport hosted a matchup of Top 25 teams. The 1993 Independence Bowl, the city's annual postseason game, featured a 45-20 victory by No. 22 Virginia Tech over No. 21 Indiana. ... Louisiana Tech's No. 23 ranking was the highest in school history. The Bulldogs were ranked (No. 25) for one week prior to their 1999 season finale at USC. They lost 45-19 and hadn't been ranked since.

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