By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
Before 68,412 fans, the fourth largest crowd in Texas Bowl history, the Kansas State Wildcats (9-4) held off a fourth quarter rally to beat the Texas A&M Aggies, 33-28.
The Aggies had a chance to win the game after getting the ball back on a Wildcat punt at their own 14 yard line with 6:37 to go in the game. They moved from their own 14 yard line to the Kansas State 19, but an incomplete pass on an out route on fourth and eight, gave the ball back to the Wildcats.
“We had one-on-one coverage because they blitzed, and we just didn’t make the play,” Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said.
“The receiver was open, but I just didn’t make the throw,” Aggie quarterback Trevor Knight said. “That’s one that will haunt me forever. We just didn’t execute.”
The Wildcats then ran out the final 2:11 to preserve their victory.
The Aggies scored first on Keith Ford’s 7-yard run, but Kansas State tied the game with 4:52 to go in the first quarter on a 79-yard touchdown pass from Jessie Ertz to Byron Pringle.
In the second quarter, the Wildcats took a 13-7 lead on Ertz’ 5-yard run. Ricky Seals-Jones gave the Aggies a 14-13 lead on a 3-yard scoring pass from Trevor Knight, but the rest of the quarter was all Kansas State as Ian Peterson kicked a 40-yard field goal and Dominique Heath scored on a 52-yard run, making the halftime 23-14 in favor of the Wildcats.
The Aggies started strong in the third quarter, as Josh Reynolds scored on a 4-yard pass from Knight, making the score 23-21 Wildcats. But another Peterson field goal, and an Ertz 1-yard touchdown run expanded the Wildcats’ lead to 33-21.
A 15-yard touchdown pass from Knight to Josh Reynolds with 7:50 to go in the fourth quarter made the score 33-28.
The Wildcats out-rushed the Aggies, 218 yards to 144, with the Aggies have the passing advantage with 310 yards to 195 yards.
Ertz led the Wildcats, going 14 of 20 for 195 passing yards, and he rushed for 67 yards on 24 carries. Pringle had three receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Knight was 30 of 48 with 310 passing yards and three touchdowns. Ford had 10 carries for 86 yards and one touchdown, and Reynolds had 12 receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
“Josh is a heck of a player,” Sumlin said. “He has had a great career here.”
Aggie cornerback Nick Harvey of Travis High School had two tackles for the Aggies.
The Aggies finished with an 8-5 record.
“We are disappointed with the season,” Sumlin said. “We wanted to send our seniors out with a win, but we didn’t accomplish that.”