Trevor Knight’s gutsy 4th and goal touchdown run in overtime seals 31-24 win for Texas A&M over No. 16 UCLA.
COLLEGE STATION, TX- After being shut out in the 4th quarter then facing 4th & goal on its first possession in overtime, Texas A&M new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone refused to play it safe and kick a field goal. Instead he kept the offense on the field with a majority of the 100,443 fans in attendance assuming that Mazzone would call a power run play. Instead, quarterback Trevor Knight decided to take matters into his own hands. Faking a handoff to the running back, Knight scored from 1 yard out, in what proved to be the game winning touchdown.
This is exactly the sort of win that Kevin Sumlin needed and envisioned when he poached Mazzone from UCLA after last season.
While the final stat line shows that UCLA outgained Texas A&M 468 yards to 442 yards of total offense under new OC Kennedy Polamalu. Josh Rosen and UCLA’s offense failed to get into any kind of rhythm. The Bruins led 3-0 after the first quarter, but only managed a total of three JJ Molsen field goals. They trailed Texas A&M 10-9 at the half and 24-9 after three quarters.
UCLA managed to score 15 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to force overtime, but the Bruins failed to convert on 4th and 5 to force a second overtime period. Quarterback Josh Rosen’s pass intended for wide receiver Austin Roberts fell incomplete. After the game Josh Rosen admitted that, “If I connected on some of those balls, we would be on the positive side of the score board.”
Indeed, UCLA’s inability to get into a rhythm and find the end zone early proved costly. Rosen went 26-43 for 343 yards, but threw 3 interceptions. Sophomore running back Soso Jamabo – taking over for Paul Perkins who is now in the NFL with the New York Giants – carried 23 times for 91 yards and freshman wide receiver Kenneth Walker hauled in 6 catches for 115 yards and a touchdown. The Bruins offense, however, only managed to go 5-18 on crucial third downs and 1-2 on fourth down.
Texas A&M’s defense also looks to be the real deal. Led by Nick Harvey, the Aggies defense registered 5 sacks on the day, broke up several passes and generally kept UCLA’s offense out of end zone when it mattered most. Junior Defensive End Myles Garrett summed it up best, saying, “We were forcing throws and that was our game plan.” “We did our job” and the defense was “pretty stout” against the run. The Aggies will certainly hope to use today’s upset win as a blueprint going forward once it begins SEC play later on this month.
UCLA on the other hand will attempt to rebound next week, when it hosts UNLV at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, September 10, 2016.