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Reynolds Has Record Night, Aggies Fall Just Short in Texas Bowl

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

(Source: Texas A&M Athletics)

HOUSTON (AP) — Jesse Ertz threw for 195 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores in Kansas State’s 33-28 victory over Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl on Wednesday night.

Ertz had a 79-yard touchdown pass and scoring runs of 1 and 5 yards to help give Kansas State its fourth straight win and first bowl victory since the 2013 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

The Wildcats (9-4) led by five when Ertz bulled into the end zone on a 1-yard run that made it 33-21 with nine minutes left. Ertz set up the score with a 20-yard run two plays earlier.

The Aggies (8-5) cut it to 33-28 on Josh Reynolds‘ 15-yard TD reception about a minute later.

Texas A&M attempted to convert a fourth-and-8 with about two minutes left, but Trevor Knight‘s pass was short, to give Kansas State the ball back and allow the Wildcats to run out the clock.

Reynolds had a Texas A&M bowl-record 12 receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns and Knight threw for 310 yards with three touchdowns and one interception as A&M dropped its second straight bowl game.

Kansas State did a good job of neutralizing Texas A&M star defensive end Myles Garrett. The junior, who is expected to declare for the draft and many believe could be the top overall pick in April, blocked an extra point in the second quarter. But he was unable to do much else while facing near-constant double teams and he finished with one tackle.

Texas A&M got to 23-21 when Reynolds made a 4-yard touchdown catch with about seven minutes left in the third quarter. A 25-yard field goal by Ian Patterson extended Kansas State’s lead to 26-21 with about three minutes remaining in the quarter. A highlight of that drive came on a 36-yard run John Silmon.

The Aggies took a 7-0 lead when Keith Ford scored on a 7-yard run on their first possession.

Kansas State tied it when Ertz connected with Byron Pringle and he dashed down the field for a 79-yard touchdown run later in the first quarter.

The Wildcats took the lead when Ertz stiff-armed Justin Evans on a 5-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. But Garrett blocked the extra point to make it 13-7.

A 3-yard reception by Ricky Seals-Jones put A&M back on top 14-13 soon after that. But Kansas State regained the lead with a 40-yard field goal before pushing the lead to 23-14 on a 52-yard run by Dominique Heath just before halftime.


ABOUT THE GAME…
Texas A&M dropped a 33-28 decision to the Kansas State Wildcats and finished with an 8-5 record in 2016.
•   It was the eighth straight season in a bowl for the Aggies, and the fifth straight season that Texas A&M has won eight or more games.

REYNOLDS CLOSES CAREER ON 8-GAME TD STREAK, BOWL RECORD…
Senior WR Josh Reynolds closed out his record-setting career by extending his touchdown catch streak to eight games with a pair of TD grabs against KSU.
He also finished the game with 12 catches, which broke his own bowl record of 11 from last season’s Music City Bowl.
•   On the night, Reynolds reeled in 12 catches for 154 yards (both season-highs) and two touchdowns. He now has the top two bowl receiving yards efforts in school history (he had 177 in the 2015 Music City Bowl).
•   He increased his season TD catches to 12, which is tied for No. 2 in school history. He set the school record with 13 TD catches in 2014. He is the only Aggie with multiple seasons with 10 or more TD catches.
•   The SEC active leader in TD catches, Reynolds’ TDs were the 29th and 30th of his three-year Aggie career. He transferred to A&M after one season at Tyler Junior College.
•   He joined Jeff Fuller as the only Aggies with 30 or more career TD catches. Fuller set the school record with 34 TD grabs from 2008-11.
•   Reynolds also became the school’s career bowl receptions and receiving yards leader with 28 for 411 in three bowls, surpassing the old standards of 25 by Ryan Swope (4 games, 2009-12) and 304 by Fuller (3 games, 2009-11).

KNIGHT AIRS IT OUT…
Graduate transfer QB Trevor Knight completed 30-of-48 pass attempts (both season highs) and 310 yards with three touchdowns (matches season high).
•   Knight’s 30 completions matched Johnny Manziel’s A&M bowl record from the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl. His 48 pass attempts tied for the second-most by an Aggie QB in a bowl.

KIRK IS THE FIRST…
Sophomore WR Christian Kirk became the first Aggie with multiple 80-catch seasons after making six receptions for 86 yards against KSU.
•   Kirk finished the 2016 season with 83 catches for 928 yards after making 80 catches for 1,009 yards as a freshman in 2015.

FLIRTING WITH THE NCAA PUNT RETURN RECORD…
As a team, Texas A&M finished 2016 with a 26.1 punt return average on 14 returns, which is ahead of the NCAA standard of 25.2 set by the 1952 Arizona State Sun Devils. However, Texas A&M doesn’t have the requisite 15 returns to qualify for the NCAA record.

GAME CAPTAINS, 12TH MAN
•   Game captains for the Aggies were graduate transfer QB Trevor Knight, junior WR Ricky Seals-Jones, senior LB Shaan Washington and senior DB Alex Sezer Jr. Kansas State won the toss and deferred their choice to the second half.
•   The Aggies’ 12th Man representative was sophomore LB Cullen Gillaspia (Katy, Texas) in his 13th straight start. A former walk-on, Gillaspia was awarded a scholarship at the end of fall camp.

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Posted by on Dec 29 2016. Filed under Sports.

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