Penn State Gets Past Texas A M
by Mike Mitchell
December 30, 2007
Penn State downed Texas A&M 24-17 in the Alamo Bowl as the Nittany Lions continued their mastery of the postseason in 81-year-old head coach Joe Paterno's 500th game.
Paterno is the all-time leader in bowl appearances (34th) and bowl victories (23-10-1 record). His 69.1 bowl winning percentage is third-best all-time among coaches with at least 12 bowl appearances.
Penn State is first nationally in bowl winning percentage (67.5, 26-12-2) among schools with at least ten bowl wins.
This one, however, was far from easy.
The Aggies, under interim head coach Gary Darnell, staked out an early 14-0 lead on two Mike Goodson touchdown runs 12 seconds apart. After Goodson scored on a 1-yard run, Penn State fumbled the ensuing kick-off and Goodson scored from 16 yards out on the next play.
However, opportunities to score were few and far between for Texas A&M after that. The Aggies had their best chance with about 8 minutes left when they reached the Nittany Lion 2-yard line, but QB Stephen McGee slipped and fell for a 4-yard loss on a fourth-down option play to kill the threat.
A 30-yard touchdown pass on 4th down in the second quarter turned the momentum in Penn State's favor. The play from Anthony Morelli to Deon Butler went to review before being upheld.
Goodson fumbled on Texas A&M's next possession and the Nittany Lion's tied the game one play later on Daryll Clark's 11-yard run. Kevin Kelly added a 25-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in the first half to give Penn State its first lead of the game at 17-14.
After Texas A&M re-tied the game at 17-apiece on Matt Szymanski's 38-yard field goal, Penn State needed just seven plays to drive 84 yards and take the lead for good on Evan Royster's 38-yard touchdown run with 19 seconds left in the third quarter.
Penn State finished the season 9-4 while winning its ninth bowl game in its last eleven tries.
Texas A&M finished 7-6 with its tenth loss in its last twelve bowl appearances.
Former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman will take over the program after the completion of the NFL season. Sherman is concluding his second season with the Houston Texans where he is the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.