A&M vs. BYU

What an up and down year we had.  The heights of joy at winning 8 games
in the regular season, but a dismal tie with Baylor, a crushing defeat
in Death Valley to LSU, a sorry collapse in the Astrodome (where, after
leading in the second quarter 24-7, we had 8 turnovers and lost 36-31),
and a brutal one point defeat at Texas because we went for two instead 
of the tie (glad we went for the win).  So, at 8-3-1, we were off to 
the Holiday Bowl to face #9 BYU.  Now BYU had defeated the colossus that
was the Miami Hurricanes that year, and had the Heisman Trophy winning
quarterback, Ty Detmer,  at the helm.  We were unranked as the team
with the 26th most votes....knocking us out of the top 25.  And BYU was
complaining bitterly about having to face such an inferior opponent.
By far, this trip to San Diego was the best bowl trip in memory. It
rocked.  We were in the plush Omni Hotel in downtown.  We visited the
naval base out on Coronado Island and set up the staple "Block-T" of
the Aggie Band on the Flight Deck of the U.S.S. Independence.  
We went on excursions down to Tiajiana, and enjoyed the city immensely.
Sea  World was the sponsor so we performed and got free tickets there.  

We were in a short parade downtown with the BYU band.  I recall how the
members of their band came over and were impressed with our Military 
bearing and uniforms.  "Very cool", they said, "You guys are class acts.
We had our hearts set on playing a real team though".  Were these guys
kidding????  So we responded, "Be careful what you wish for..., you may
get it".  

And they got it.  To the tune of 65-14.  We ran at will on 
their defense.  And our pass plays worked 80-90% of the time because the
defense was so jumpy at even the hint of a run.  Play action was never 
more effective.   And the play of our offense let our defense pin their 
ears back.  Staple Ty Detmer to the turf.  That was the goal.  And they
did.  A merciless blitz hounded him and separated his left shoulder in 
the second quarter.  A courageous fellow that Ty.  He wanted to play.
He had to lead his team in a comeback.  And he did.  Until his right
shoulder got separated in the third quarter.  I have never witnessed
a more dominating display by the Aggies.  To this day, it is the most
points ever scored in any bowl game by one team.  We crucified them.  
It was a great trip, an awesome game if you were us, and the only bowl
game we actually won while I was at A&M.  Que Sera.  Boy was it sweet.
And we got to watch Texas lose the Cotton Bowl by the biggest margin in
Cotton Bowl history, 46-3, to the University of Miami.  Go Canes...

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I am reachable at rhay@tamos.net
Copyright © Richard Hay 1998