COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M blew a 19-point lead, had a game-winning play negated by a penalty, then needed Jorvorskie Lane's power and one last defensive stand to finally put away Fresno State on Saturday.
Lane rushed for two of his four touchdowns in the second and third extra periods as the 23rd-ranked Aggies beat the feisty Bulldogs 47-45 in three overtimes.
The 6-foot, 268-pound Lane barreled for his final touchdown from 3 yards out, then charged into the end zone again on the 2-point conversion on A&M's third overtime possession.
Fresno State quarterback Tom Brandstater, who went 21-for-31 for 260 yards, then scrambled left and found tight end Bear Pascoe in the end zone to cut the Aggies' lead to 2. On the 2-point conversion try -- required starting in the third overtime -- Brandstater overthrew receiver Marlon Moore in the corner of the end zone, giving the Aggies their ninth consecutive nonconference victory on their home field.
The Aggies (2-0) could have locked this one up on Fresno State's first play of the first overtime.
After Matt Szymanski kicked a 27-yard field goal to give A&M a 32-29 lead, Moore caught a Brandstater pass and tried to stretch the ball over the goal line with one hand. He fumbled into the end zone as he stepped out of bounds, and the Aggies recovered the loose ball. The official on the spot ruled that Moore went out at the 1.
Officials reviewed replays and ruled that Moore had fumbled, but A&M nose tackle Henry Smith was flagged for roughing the passer on the play and Fresno State (1-1) was given a first down inside the A&M 13. Clint Stitser kicked a field goal to force another overtime.
Anthony Harding scored on Fresno's next chance, but Lane had a 1-yard TD run to force the third overtime.
A&M's defense dominated in the first half, helping the Aggies build a 19-0 lead. But Brandstater completed his first eight passes in the second half and hit Pascoe with 5 seconds left in regulation to force the extra periods.
The Bulldogs' offense mustered only 78 total yards and five first downs in the first half.
The Aggies got the ball to start the third quarter, but quarterback Stephen McGee was hit by Fresno linebacker Eric Brown and fumbled at the A&M 32. On third-and-8 from the A&M 16, Brandstater found Pascoe on a slant route for a touchdown.
Bulldogs tailback Clifton Smith fumbled for the second time in the game with 10 minutes left in the third quarter, this time at the Fresno 30. But A&M could only muster a 32-yard field goal by Szymanski to go up 22-7.
Fresno State answered with its best drive of the game, marching 80 yards in 12 plays. Brandstater found a wide-open Seyi Ajirotutu for a 33-yard gain before Ryan Matthews scored on a 10-yard sweep with 3:06 left in the third quarter. Matthews rushed for 40 yards on the drive.
While the Bulldogs offense hit its stride, the Aggies' offense turned suddenly inept, gaining only 46 yards on its first four possessions of the second half.
The Bulldogs were on the move again early in the fourth quarter. Brandstater found Moore across the middle for 25 yards and Harding barreled into the end zone from 2 yards out with 11:53 left in the game to make it 22-20. Ajirotutu caught a pass in traffic on the 2-point conversion to tie the game and silence the raucous crowd at Kyle Field.
The Aggies turned to their powerful running game to retake the lead. McGee rushed for 41 yards on A&M's final march of regulation and Lane finished the drive with a touchdown with 1:52 left.
On third-and-8 from the Fresno 36, Brandstater found Devon Wylie wide open over the middle for a 44-yard gain. The Bulldogs drove to the 3 and Brandstater misfired on three passes before finding Pascoe for the tying touchdown on fourth down.
After the sluggish start, Fresno State ended up outgaining A&M 399-397.
McGee rushed for 124 yards, mostly on called option plays.
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