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. And 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...

Back to Sophomore Tales
I am reachable at rhay@tamos.net
Copyright © Richard Hay 1998