COLLEGE STATION, Texas (Ticker) -- Todd Pegram kicked four
field goals and freshman Courtney Lewis ran for two touchdowns
as Texas A&M won its first game under coach Dennis Franchione
with a 26-11 victory over Arkansas State.
Taking over for long-time Aggies mentor R.C. Slocum, Franchione
is with his seventh program in 22 years as a head coach and won
his debut for the fifth time.
Four of the last five Aggies' coaches have won their opener.
Pegram opened the scoring with a 42-yard field goal five seconds
into the second quarter and gave Texas A&M the lead for good,
6-3, on a 32-yarder with 5:40 left in the first half.
The Aggies had a 9-3 halftime advantage after Pegram kicked a
35-yarder with 45 seconds to go.
Lewis followed a 77-yard kickoff return by Terrence Murphy with
a four-yard touchdown run early in the second half and, after
Pegram booted a 20-yarder, capped the scoring with a 42-yard
dash with just over three minutes left in the game.
Lewis finished with 74 yards on 13 carries for the Aggies, who
had 131 of their 257 yards on the ground.
Reggie McNeal and Dustin Long shared the quarterback spot for
Texas A&M, but neither was impressive. McNeal completed 7-of-13
passes for 82 yards and Long connected on 5-of-7 attempts for 44