We wanna play the whole Nole

#5 Florida State vs. #9 Texas A&M

Texas A&M entered the Cotton Bowl in 1992 as the 1991 Southwest Conference
Champion.  A disastrous 35-34 defeat to Tulsa had motivated our defense to
play above and beyond the level they had been playing at.  And they were
the number one defense in the country going into that showdown in Dallas.
Since that game we had won 8 straight to finish 10-1.  And now we were
facing off against the Florida State Seminoles.  They had been number one
until falling to Miami on a kick that was wide right.  Then they fell to
the Florida Gators in the aftermath.  So they were 10-2.  And the two
teams were going to be at each others throats that day.

The Aggies were led by Kevin Smith, who went on to become a premiere defensive back for the Dallas Cowboys, and Quentin Coryatt, the #2 pick in the draft by Indianapolis, where he still plays linebacker. Bucky Richardson, perhaps the most beloved A&M quaterback in recent memory, and Greg Hill, freshman sensation running back, were the stars on offense. The Noles had Terrel Buckley on Defense, and Casey Weldon at QB. Their Running back was Amp Lee. These were the skill position players that were going to make a difference. I tell you why Coryatt was the #2 pick in the draft. It was because of "The Hit". It was a Thursday night game in Fort Worth vs. TCU. The Horned Frogs were losing badly, and trying to get back into the game. On a certain crossing slant pass over the middle, the TCU QB led his flanker too much, and threw the football high. The receiver tried to leap and catch the ball, but Coryatt, middle linebacker, was waiting. Quentin tried to tag the receiver in the chest, but misjudged his height since he was in the air, and nailed him square on the chin instead. The resulting impact broke the receiver's jaw in three places, knocked out six teeth, and threw him violently to the ground where he lay unconscious for five minutes. The most amazing thing is that that TCU receiver came back and played football the following year. Talk about guts.

Back to the Cotton Bowl, it was the first quarter that was the most tragic for the Aggies. They had at least two golden opportunities to score, and were unable to do so. The most obvious mishap was on a 47 yard run by Greg Hill that was one yard from being a touchdown when the db hit him at an angle, and forced him to fumble through the endzone, giving the ball to Florida State at the 2 yard line. This resulted in a safety for the Aggies and the only two points we scored that day. The Seminoles got a TD in the second quarter, and led 7-2. It was the only points they would need, but the added a field goal in the fourth to seal the win 10-2. I remember at the half when it was raining and the scoreboard said 88% humidity. We all knew that it was 100% since we were being rained on. And it was a cursed rain. A&M had not played in the rain all year, and it showed. 6 fumbles that day, and 2 interceptions. Casey Weldon had thrown 4 Interceptions himself, and FSU fumbled 1 time. All that added up to a Cotton Bowl record 13 turnovers, which was more than the number of points that were scored in the game. Unbelievable. The Aggies could have won that game. They handed the game to FSU, and blew the early opportunities they had to score. All in all, it was a disheartening day, and a dismal end to an otherwise grand season.

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Copyright © Richard Hay 1998