Johnson, Tannehill lead Aggies by Kansas 45-10

October 23, 2010 9:09:28 PM PDT
All Texas A&M needed to cure itself of the turnover bug was a big dose of Kansas.

Jerrod Johnson broke the career record for total offense, his backup, Ryan Tannehill, threw three touchdown passes and the Aggies did not commit a turnover while rolling past the hapless Jayhawks 45-10 Saturday night.

The Aggies came to town on a three-game losing streak and with a whopping 18 turnovers in just six games.

Johnson, who had been particularly prone to interceptions, started the game and scored on a 3-yard TD run for a 14-3 lead in the first quarter. With 139 yards passing and 28 rushing, he raised his career total to 8,888 yards, snapping the school record of 8,876 Reggie McNeal compiled from 2002-05.

Tannehill, who has played mostly wide receiver his first three years at A&M and had thrown only 13 passes, led the Aggies (4-3, 1-2 Big 12) on two quick scoring drives for a 31-10 halftime lead. He also scored on a 6-yard run in the fourth quarter.

The two-quarterback attack was coach Mike Sherman's plan.

"I made the decision after the last ball game," he said. "We just lacked consistency, and I thought shaking it up a little bit and getting some competition at the position would be a good thing. They both did very well. I think we've got two good quarterbacks."

The Jayhawks (2-5, 0-3) have been outscored in their last three games 159-24 and lost 10 Big 12 contests in a row. After the game, coach Turner Gill announced that starting quarterback Jordan Webb had a shoulder injury and his backup, Kale Pick, a concussion.

"We'll have to talk with our medical people and see what their status will be as we move along," Gill said.

The Aggies, 6-1 against Kansas since the formation of the Big 12, scored 10 points off turnovers.

Cyrus Gray rushed for 117 yards and one touchdown, and Jeff Fuller caught five passes for 121 yards, including touchdown strikes from Tannehill of 39 and 27 yards. Fuller also extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 27, two short of the school record.

"We still have a lot of things to fix on offense," said Tannehill. "We made a lot of mistakes. When I first got in there, I was missing a lot of throws that I make every day in practice."

The Aggies overcame 130 yards in penalties. Twice in the second quarter, Kansas seemed poised to seize the momentum, but mistakes ruined each opportunity.

Webb hit tight end Tim Biere with a 32-yard pass and followed that with a 16-yard TD strike, bringing the Jayhawks to within 17-10. Then, with the crowd back in the game and momentum shifting, they appeared to have the Aggies stopped on third down.

But a roughing-the-passer penalty on Jake Laptad kept the Texas A&M drive alive, and five plays later, Fuller got wide open in the end zone and hauled in Tannehill's 27-yard touchdown pass.

"I just tried to get my hands up and deflect the pass," said Laptad. "I ended up hitting him with my hands up and hit his helmet, I guess. They called hands to helmet. That was a tough one for us."

On their next possession, the Jayhawks drove to a third-and-6 from the 7, but Dustin Harris, with one foot on the goal line, intercepted Webb's pass and sailed 83 yards before Daymond Patterson made a touchdown-saving tackle. Harris fumbled as he was brought down, but Von Miller recovered for the Aggies, and three plays later, Tannehill tossed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Swope.

"It seems like something just always happens," said Biere. "A little thing here or there, and it kills drives and scoring opportunities. That has been hurting us all season."

Johnson was 12 for 20 for 139 yards, and Tannehill was 12 for 16 for 155.

Webb was 9 for 18 for Kansas for 90 yards and one TD. He was replaced by Kale Pick, who was 7 for 12 for 40 yards.

"It's been a tough three weeks," Biere said. "But there are better days ahead."

Johnson said he was not much concerned with the record.

"I really don't think too much about the stats. I've had some games here and there with stats or whatever, but for me, the win was the most important," he said.


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