NORMAN, Okla. -- With or without a double-digit lead, the second half continues to torment Texas A&M.
In Saturday's 41-25 loss to No. 6 Oklahoma, the Aggies proved they can dissolve after intermission while trailing, too.
Oklahoma took full advantage, rolling for 28 third-quarter points -- the most surrendered in any quarter this season by the Aggies' defense -- to post a victory that kept the Sooners (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) in the Big 12 hunt.
But the victory came at a high price: OU receiver Ryan Broyles, the NCAA record-holder for career receptions (349), tore the ACL in his left knee and is out for the season, said coach Bob Stoops.
"We're all disappointed for Ryan," Stoops said. "For that to happen is just deflating for him and for all of us. Other guys will step up and have to play."
Plenty of Sooners stepped up Saturday. But Oklahoma had the game under control when Broyles injured his knee while making a 30-yard catch in the third quarter.
Broyles' grab set up the third of four Oklahoma touchdowns that occurred on consecutive third-quarter drives, turning a 13-10 squeaker into a 41-10 laugher that extended the Aggies' seasonlong theme of second-half swoons.
The difference Saturday: A&M (5-4, 3-3), for the first time all season, trailed at the half. Previously, the Aggies squandered double-digit halftime leads in losses to No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 7 Arkansas and Missouri.
But the contest remained in question, at 13-10, when Aggies punter Ryan Epperson unleashed a 14-yarder into a 35 mph wind. Oklahoma's Landry Jones followed on the next snap with a 31-yard TD strike to Jaz Reynolds, who made a one-handed grab, to extend the Sooners' lead to 20-10.
That triggered a four-possession stretch during which Oklahoma ran 15 plays, gained 167 yards, scored four touchdowns and needed only 4:35 of possession time to make it happen. A&M answered with two interceptions and two punts during the same stretch.
"We got punched in the mouth in the third quarter, and we didn't respond as well as we needed to," Aggies defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter said. "That was disappointing."
In A&M's four losses, it has been outscored by a combined margin of 101-34 after halftime.
The Aggies fell short Saturday, in large part, because quarterback Ryan Tannehill matched his career high with three interceptions and the Aggies, despite a 527-404 edge in total offense, could not produce enough points to offset a 4-1 shortfall in turnovers. For the season, A&M is minus-10 in turnover margin, the worst mark in the Big 12.
"That's on my shoulders," Tannehill said of Saturday's interceptions, two of which set up touchdowns for OU.
A&M coach Mike Sherman also cited an inconsistent rushing attack, which ground out only 148 yards, 76.5 below the Aggies' season average of 224.5. But the biggest concern, Sherman said, is the recurring turnovers.
"You can't play football without the football," Sherman said. "Take no credit away from Oklahoma, but we gave them 14 points there in the third quarter. ...You can't turn the ball over like that and expect to win."