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Big 12 Reduced to Big 2, as Nebraska and Texas Win

From Associated Press

After opening the season 3-4 and making a habit of losing fourth-quarter leads, the Texas Longhorns are finishing strong.

The Longhorns wrapped up the regular season with a 51-15 victory over rival Texas A&M; on Friday for their fourth win in a row. The victory also gave Texas the Big 12 South title and a berth in the Big 12 championship game next Saturday at St. Louis.

The Longhorns, 7-4 overall and 6-2 in the Big 12, will face Nebraska, the North Division winner.

James Brown passed for four touchdowns, two to Mike Adams, as the Longhorns made it two in a row over the Aggies (6-6, 4-4), who were eliminated from bowl contention and endured their first non-winning season since going 5-5-1 in 1983.

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It was the most lopsided victory by either team in the 103-game series since Texas beat A&M;, 53-16, in 1982.

“It’s been a frustrating year for everyone connected with A&M; football,” Coach R.C. Slocum said. “We have some rebuilding to do.”

Texas, which rolled up 594 yards, took control early in the third quarter after stopping a fake punt by Texas A&M; at the Aggies’ 39 and scoring eight plays later on a two-yard pass from Brown to Derrick Scott for a 24-9 lead.

“That was a big play because that would have given them some momentum and maybe an opportunity to strike,” Texas Coach John Mackovic said. “From there, we began rolling.”

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Adams caught touchdown passes on plays of 14 and 36 yards to put Texas ahead, 37-9, with 2:42 left in the third quarter. Adams, who finished with six receptions for 153 yards, set a school record for touchdown catches in a career with 16, passing Lovell Pinkney, who had 15 from 1992-94.

Brown, 18 for 30 for 336 yards, connected with running back Wane McGarity on a 53-yard touchdown pass play in the second quarter.

Ricky Williams, a sophomore from San Diego, had 145 yards in 22 carries and scored on a 55-yard run in the fourth quarter for Texas. Priest Holmes ran for two scores.


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