A Look Back.....1965 and Texas A&M

RaiderPower.com takes a look back to 1965, where JT King was head coach of the Texas Tech. The Red Raiders, led by All-American Donny Anderson, were coming off a respectable 6-3-1 1964 campaign, but were looking for much more in '65. Come read this story about and relive a piece of Texas Tech history.

JT King's 1965 Red Raider squad was returning to the gridiron, led by All American Donny Anderson and coming off a respectable 6-3-1 1964 campaign that ended with a showdown at the Sun Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs. In a tough fought game that saw Tech rally close in the 4th quarter, Georgia defeated Texas Tech 7-0.

The '65 season began with drama as the Kansas Jayhawks came to Lubbock to kick things off. Tech defeated Kansas that day to the tune of 26-7, but Mother Nature was the dominant one that night in the Hub City. With 56 seconds elapsed in the 4th quarter, driving rain made the field of play almost invisible and tornado sirens sounded. Game officials called the game. For the first time in the Southwest Conference's 50 year history, a game had been shortened by bad weather. The Kansas coach, Jack Mitchell had asked for the game to be called, which JT King agreed…only on the condition it would go down as a victory for the Red & Black.

Following a 33-7 defeat at the hands of the Texas Longhorns, the 1-1 Red Raiders would take on the Texas A&M Aggies. In a game that would be remembered by Tech fans for years to come, and help keep Donny Anderson a household name on the South Plains and around the state, the Aggies had the upper hand through most of the game. Trailing 16-13 late in the 4th quarter, JT King sent in a pass play that was to go to the sideline. Quarterback Tom Wilson was to hook up with Jerry Shipley and get out of bounds to stop the clock. Upon breaking the huddle, Anderson told Shipley to look for him on a pitch and he'd be there. That unplanned trick play that began 51 yards from the goal line paid off as Shipley caught the ball on a hook, and pitched it to the Golden Palomino, who took it the remaining 37 yards untouched. Bedlam ensued in the stands as Donny Anderson wept on the turf. Bob Bearden added the conversion and the Aggies walked off the field in disbelief.

The Red Raiders would continue through the season with victories against TCU (28-24), Oklahoma State (17-14), SMU (26-24), Rice (27-0), New Mexico St. (48-9), and Baylor (34-22). The stretch of four close victories in games three through six had the Lubbock media dubbing the '65 squad, the "Kardiac Kids." Texas Tech would close out the season in a fight for the Southwest Conference title in Arkansas against a strong Razorback team that was riding a 21 game win streak. Arkansas would get their 22nd in a row to the tune of 42-24. 2nd place in the SWC had gotten Tech an invitation to the Gator Bowl to play Georgia Tech and were defeated 31-21.

The 1965 season ended 8-3, led by the Golden Palomino from Stinnett, TX, Donny Anderson. He was named All-American following the season. Anderson had re-written the record books at Tech in all categories: Special teams, Offense and Defense. Following the great season, he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. The Packers believed they were getting a great player, as Mr. Anderson would sign the largest contract for a college player in history at $600,000. He was traded after several years with the Packers to St. Louis and then on to Miami where he finished his football career.

The Golden Palomino is still one of the greatest players to wear the Red & Black. Fans watched intently his every move. When he touched the ball, there was a chance for greatness with one of his lightning quick moves, acrobatic one handed catches, or booming punts that people would swear could bring down the West Texas rain.

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