Texas A&M 34, SW Louisiana 7
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) _ Cornerback Kevin Smith of Texas A&M had three key defensive plays Saturday night and injured quarterback Bucky Richardson returned to spark the Aggies offense with two touchdown passes in a 34-7 victory over winless Southwestern Louisiana.
A&M (2-1) had a Richardson touchdown pass erased by penalty and led only 3-0 when a Smith tackle forced a fumble that stopped a drive by Southwestern Louisiana (0-5) at the A&M 16.
Richardson, who had been out with a sprained foot for two weeks, led Texas A&M on an 84-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Greg Hill with 10:24 left in the half.
On the next kickoff, Smith prevented a possible touchdown with a solid tackle at the A&M 49 after Greg Laxey had broken through the defensive wave on a 42-yard return.
On first down, Isaac Benefield of Southwestern Louisiana ran for 12 yards, but Smith - the Southwest Conference career leader in pass interceptions with 19 - stripped the ball and ran 63 yards for a touchdown with 9:59 to go in the second period.
Laxey’s fumble at the Southwestern Louisiana 11 set up Richardson’s first- down scoring pass to Tony Harrison.
Texas A&M also got field goals of 43 and 44 yards from Terry Venetoulias, the first coming after Harrison’s end zone reception was wiped out by a motion penalty and the second coming with four seconds remaining in the half.
Richardson, known primarily as a runner, threw his second touchdown to Harrison for 21 yards with 8:23 left in the third quarter. That concluded a 70-yard drive, and the 221-pound senior rested with 180 yards total offense - 152 passing, with two interceptions, and 28 rushing.
Smith also had a fumble recovery at midfield in the third period, which was the fifth bobble for Southwestern Louisiana, and freshman Jeff Granger relieved Richardson at quarterback.
Southwestern Louisiana avoided a shutout on quarterback Tyjuan Hayes’ 14- yard run after a pass interference call on Smith, his only mistake.
The contest had special emotional overtones for A&M players. They wore No. 30 on their helmets in memory of walk-on freshman kicker James Glenn, who collapsed and died prior to Wednesday’s practice.