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Kyle Allen leads Texas A&M past West Virginia in Liberty Bowl

Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen (10) celebrates with

Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen (10) celebrates with Conner McQueen (14) after scoring against West Virginia in the first half of the Liberty Bowl on Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. Photo Credit: AP / Mark Humphrey

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Kyle Allen threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score Monday, and Texas A&M erased an early 10-point deficit to defeat West Virginia 45-37 in the Liberty Bowl

Allen went 22 of 35 for 294 yards, and Malcome Kennedy caught two of the scores. Allen's 14-yard rushing TD in the final minute of the first half put Texas A&M (8-5) ahead for good.

Allen, a true freshman making his fifth career start, also threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Tra Carson rushed for a career-high 133 yards on 25 carries, and Trey Williams scored two touchdowns.

Texas A&M has won bowl games in four straight seasons for the first time in school history. The Aggies won the Chick-fil-A Bowl last year, the Cotton Bowl two seasons ago and the Texas Bowl in 2011.

West Virginia's Skyler Howard went 20 of 45 for 346 yards and three touchdowns while making his second career start in place of Clint Trickett, who announced Friday he was giving up football because of multiple concussions.

Kevin White had seven catches for 129 yards and a touchdown for West Virginia (7-6).

The game lived up to its billing as a shootout between two fast-paced offenses that had scored over 30 points per game while allowing more than 25 this season. This wound up as the second-highest scoring day in the Liberty Bowl's 56-game history, trailing only Louisville's 44-40 victory over Boise State in 2004.

The first quarter alone featured 34 combined points, with West Virginia leading 20-14. The most notable hits of the first half came out of bounds: Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin ordered Michael Richardson off the sideline for the second half after videos showed the student assistant striking West Virginia players in two separate incidents.

Texas A&M pulled ahead 21-20 early in the second quarter on Allen's 11-yard touchdown pass to Kennedy. Just 39 seconds later, West Virginia went back in front 27-21 on Howard's 49-yard touchdown pass to White.

Texas A&M took over from there.

The Aggies pulled ahead 28-27 with 53 seconds left in the first half as Allen ran to his right and saw a defender converging, then headed to his left and ran down the sideline for a touchdown. Texas A&M then scored 17 points on its first three series of the third quarter to pad its lead to 45-30.

West Virginia cut the lead to 45-37 on Howard's 4-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Wellman with 2:32 remaining, but the Mountaineers' offense wouldn't touch the ball again.

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