Texas A&M 28, Louisiana State 16

By RICHARD LUNA, UPI Sports Writer

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Larry Horton returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown and Robert Wilson ran for 121 yards and a score Saturday, leading Texas A&M to a 28-16 upset of No. 9 Louisiana State.

Darren Lewis added a 31-yard scoring pass to Mike Jones and Kevin Smith returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown as the Aggies won their season opener under Coach R.C. Slocum, who took over when Jackie Sherrill resigned under pressure after last season.


It was A&M's first win in a season opener since 1984 and snapped a three-game losing skid to LSU.

The Tigers scored on a 9-yard pass from Tommy Hodson to Willie Williams, a 25-yard field goal by David Browndyke and a 27-yard pass from Hodson to Ronnie Haliburton with 1:21 remaining.

The game was billed as a showcase for two potential Heisman Trophy candidates in Lewis and Hodson, but Wilson took the spotlight by topping 100 yards and bulling for a 21-yard touchdown with 2:58 left.


Lewis, who trailed only Heisman winner Barry Sanders of Oklahoma State in rushing last year with 1,692 yards, ran for 55 yards, ending a streak of 10 straight games over 100 yards, and threw the third TD pass of his career. Hodson completed 17 of 32 passes for 168 yards with one interception.

The game also featured the return of LSU running back Harvey Williams, who gained 1,701 yards in 1986-87 but missed all of last season following knee surgery. He had 32 yards on 13 carries.

Horton received the opening kickoff from Pedro Suarez at the 8,broke through the right side and followed a key block by Cornelius Patterson on Suarez for a 92-yard touchdown run. Layne Talbot's extra point gave A&M a 7-0 lead 13 seconds into the game.

The Aggies won despite poor field position. Six of their 10 possessions started inside their own 16, and four were inside their own 6.

Their best start was at the LSU 21 following a sack of Hodson by linebacker Aaron Wallace. Hodson fumbled and Jeroy Robinson recovered with 3:14 left, leading to Wilson's score.

Smith intercepted a Hodson pass on the next series and returned it 40 yards for a score with 2:43 left. Hodson ended the scoring with his TD pass to Haliburton.


Both teams were 0 for 9 on third-down conversions at one point. LSU's best start came at the Aggies 44 and resulted in Browndyke's field goal.

The Aggies moved ahead 14-3 late in the third quarter on a 95-yard drive. Wilson broke for a 43-yard gain and A&M moved to the LSU 34 before Pavlas was sacked for a 16-yard loss. But a pass interference penalty against Corey Raymond on the next play kept the drive going.

Six plays later, Pavlas handed off to Lewis, who ran left and threw to Jones behind Tommy Fabacher. Talbot added the extra point with 3:44 left in the half.

LSU came back with its best drive of the game, aided by a penalty on the kickoff and a personal foul penalty to the A&M 36. Williams accounted for LSU's next 27 yards to the 9, where Hodson fired over the middle to Williams with 23 seconds left in the third period.

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