Staff Reflects on A&M Rivalry

Joe, John and Josh reflect on what was the Texas A&M vs. Texas Tech rivalry.

Joe Yeager: Timmy Smith Shredding Aggies in ‘84


Rather than hold rancor for the Texas A&M football Aggies, they themselves hold a special fondness in my heart. No other football program in America has provided me with more blissful moments than the blue chip Billy Earls from College Station as they succumbed to my beloved Red Raiders again and again. Selecting a favorite memory, therefore, is a difficult task. So rather than choose one of the more obvious highlights, I'll select an afternoon from Tech's Dark Ages.

Yes, it was early October of 1984 and the Red Raiders ventured to College Station to take on a heavily favored Jackie Sherrill-coached club. But it was the humble, base-born Red Raiders who stole the show in front of a regional television audience. And not only did Tech defeat the Aggies that day, they dismantled them to the tune of 30-12.

For me the greatest pleasure was watching sophomore I-back Timmy Smith, probably one of no more than three Red Raiders who was recruited by A&M, shred the Aggie defense.

Much of the game was played in a downpour, and the only back who could negotiate the morass was Smith. While everybody else was splashing and hydroplaning hopelessly, Smith, from the desiccated wastes of southeastern New Mexico no less, glided for 139 yards on 19 carries, and set up Tech touchdowns with magnificent runs of 52 and 43 yards. To this day I've never seen a better performance by a Red Raider running back.




John Baucum: Lost Spanish Book - Missed A&M Game?


My favorite Texas A&M memory should come with this disclaimer: **I apologize to the seasoned veterans of Tech football fandom. You have seen many more teams grow and develop than I. It is somewhat of a disservice to you for me to give my thoughts on this rivalry since I've been alive for only a fraction of the games between the teams.**
            With that said, my favorite memory of a Texas Tech-A&M game happened in 1999 and I was not even in the stadium. I believe A&M came in as the #5 team in the country. Texas A&M was playing excellent defense and allowing somewhere south of 40 yards rushing to that point in the season. At that time, Tech's bread and butter was its running game. On the season, Texas Tech had lost to Arizona State on the road, trounced Louisiana Lafayette, and then suffered a humiliating 14-7 loss to the powerhouse that is North Texas. Optimism on campus was not high.
            The fall of 1999 was my freshman year at Tech and in the week leading up to the game, I made a terrible mistake: I left my Spanish book and my backpack unattended for less than three minutes while I used the facilities in the Spanish building. I came back to find my book bag and notebooks untouched, but my book had been pilfered.
            At that time, actual paper tickets were issued to students. Being broke and unwilling to ask my parents for the $75 to replace my Spanish book, I made the agonizing decision to sell my ticket to the Texas A&M game in order to replace my book. I watched the game at my parents' house in Lubbock.
            The game turned out to be excellent. Texas Tech had lost Ricky Williams to a season- ending knee injury. So, Spike Dykes was forced to insert mercurial senior Sammy Morris at Tailback. To that point, the senior ad only managed 32 carries on the season and had missed both his sophomore and junior seasons due to academic ineligibility. (It was later discovered that the majority of this problem was due to an incorrect interpretation of eligibility rules). That night, Sammy Morris ran 33 times for 170 yards and a touchdown. The vaunted wrecking crew defense was battered and bruised that fine October evening.
            A&M raced out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter but Texas Tech scored 21 points in the second quarter to take a 21-10 lead into the half. A&M managed two field goals in the third quarter and one in the fourth. QB Randy McCown was intercepted on the final play of the game and the Red Raiders beat #5 Texas A&M 21-19. I experienced a great game and learned a valuable lesson in the process. Against all odds, the Red Raiders found a way to win that game. Spike Dykes' game management was masterful and just maybe, we experienced a little Jones Stadium magic that night.



Joshua Koch:  Limited Time to see Aggies vs. Tech


            So I am only a junior at Texas Tech University, and the two times we have played the Aggies since I have been on campus have not been the best memories to have of the historic series.

            When I really started following Texas Tech sports was when I was in high school and beginning to look at different colleges to attend. My cousin attended Tech, and I wanted to be a Red Raider as well.

            My only Aggie game comes from not the prospective of a student, but a Saddle Tramp. I was in the organization for my first two years of college before getting out last spring.

            The A&M rivalry takes on a whole new meaning as a member of the Saddle Tramps as a part of your weekend is spent guarding the multiple statues all across campus so that no Aggie fans get a crazy idea to do something to them.

            Getting to do this was pretty cool, I just wish that Jerod Johnson hadn't ran up and down the field on our defense in 2009.

            Well hopefully in this final showdown between the Aggies and Red Raiders it will be a good memory I take away from it.


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