(6) Texas 46

(10-2, 5-0 away)

Texas A&M 15

(4-8, 4-3 home)

Coverage: ABC Regional coverage

3:30 PM ET, November 28, 2003

Kyle Field, College Station, TX

1 2 3 4 T
#6TEX 14 6 16 1046
TA&M 0 9 6 015

Benson's career night leads Longhorns

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Cedric Benson ran for 283 yards and four touchdowns and No. 6 Texas strengthened its position for the school's first Bowl Championship Series bid Friday with a 46-15 win over rival Texas A&M.

Benson rushed for 205 yards in the second half against the 95th rated defense in the nation, helping the Longhorns (10-2, 7-1 Big 12) break open a game the Aggies (4-8, 2-6) kept close until the third quarter with two short touchdown drives after Texas turnovers.

Benson had 35 carries and scored on runs of 21, 4, 8 and 35 yards. He broke the record of the most rushing yards against the traditionally tough Wrecking Crew defense, surpassing former Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams' 259 yards in a Texas win in 1998.

Terrence Murphy led A&M with seven catches for 150 yards.

Texas posted its sixth straight win since a 65-13 loss to No. 1 Oklahoma back on Oct. 11 that knocked it out of the national title chase. The Longhorns are ranked No. 6 in the BCS standings and most likely within an Oklahoma victory of an at-large bid to the Fiesta Bowl or Rose Bowl.

Texas needs the Sooners to beat Kansas State in the Big 12 title game on Dec. 6 to get to the BCS. If K-State wins, the Wildcats and Sooners will get the Big 12's two BCS bids, likely sending the Longhorns tumbling all the way to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.

The Aggies' fourth straight loss in a series that dates back to 1894 was a bitter end to a disappointing first season under coach Dennis Franchione.

A&M wanted a quick turnaround after last season's 6-6 finish but stumbled badly down the stretch, losing its last three games to finish with a losing record for the first time since 1982.

The Aggies had hoped to at least spoil their rivals' BCS plans.

A&M players gathered in a massive huddle at midfield during pregame warmups and exchanged taunts with several Longhorns before coaches from both teams broke it up. The crowd of 84,094 at Kyle Field furiously waved their "12th Man Towels" after the Aggies' second touchdown made it 20-15 in the third.

But every time A&M seized momentum, Texas took it right back by forcing a turnover of its own.

Benson's second touchdown and Vince Young's 2-point conversion run with 10:33 left in the third came after a muffed punt return and put Texas ahead 28-15.

The Longhorns never looked back, adding two more touchdowns and a field goal to blow it open.

The easy finish mirrored Texas' fast start. Young threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Thomas on Texas' second play from scrimmage.

Benson made it 14-0 when he capped a 95-yard, 13-play drive with his 21-yard burst through the middle, breaking two tackles 5 yards past the line of scrimmage.

After an A&M field goal, Young set up the Aggies' first touchdown when he fumbled on the Texas 8. Reggie McNeal scored on an option keeper three plays later that made it 14-9 when the extra point was wide right.

Texas answered by forcing McNeal to fumble on a sack at the Aggies 17. Young scored from the 1 to make it 20-9 at halftime.

Another Texas turnover kept the Aggies in it for a while. Selvin Young fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and A&M recovered on the Longhorns 22. Courtney Lewis finished the short drive with a 16-yard TD scamper around the right end that made it 20-15.

But any Aggies hopes died after Tim Van Zant's fumbled punt return. Texas recovered at the A&M 26. Given a short field again, the Longhorns turned the ball over the Benson, whose second TD gave the Longhorns a 13-point lead.