Texas A&M Football: A Journey Through Aggie Bowl History

BY Fansided and Matthew Bartlett/FanSided via Gig Em Gazette • December 25, 2016

Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M has a long history of bowl game appearances. With an overall record of 17-20 there have been more than a few losses. But the Aggies are trending up, having only lost one bowl game since joining the Southeastern Conference. In fact, Kevin Sumlin won four consecutive bowl games to begin his coaching tenure in College Station.

This year’s Texas Bowl will feature two 8-4 teams, Texas A&M and Kansas State. Each team features a key players on the defensive side of the ball. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Jordan Willis was a big part of K-State having the best run defense in their conference. Impressive considering the high tempo offenses across the Big 12.

On the other side, Myles Garrett will lead the Maroon and White defense for what might be the last time. As things currently stand, all signs point to the All American defensive end declaring for the NFL draft after the bowl game.

My Prediction: Texas A&M wins 27-16. Without further adieu, let’s take a trip through history. Gig’Em.

Nov 28, 2015; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Trevor Knight (9) before the start of a college football game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Sugar Bowl

While Texas A&M did not play in the 2014 Sugar Bowl, this was Senior QB Trevor Knight’s biggest game before transferring to A&M.

This Top 10 match-up between No. 3 Alabama and No. 10 Oklahoma featured two high profile quarterbacks. Trevor Knight led the Sooners to a 10-2 record (only conference loss was to t.u.), including a victory over Oklahoma State. Heisman finalist, A.J. McCarron quaterbacked the Crimson Tide. Alabama’s only blemish, a loss to Auburn on the infamous “Kick-Six”.

Trevor Knight was named MVP, completing 32 of 44 passes with 1 INT and 4 TDs. The 45-31 victory by Oklahoma marked the biggest upset against the spread in BCS history. Bob Stoops’ Sooners were 17½ point underdogs to Nick Saban’s team.

Knight went on to led the Sooners for two more season before transferring A&M. Leading up to October’s game against Alabama all the talk was surrounding Oklahoma’s Sugar Bowl appearance. Knight was the only player on the roster for the Aggies who had defeated Alabama. Being able to look back on Trevor’s past against the Tide helped boost confidence going into the big game. A&M took an L in Tuscaloosa but the Tide come to Kyle Field next season and the Aggies never quit.

And let’s never forget this moment:

Next: 1922 Dixie Classic

1922 Dixie Classic

There is no tradition in college sports more hallowed than the 12th Man. This is where it all started.

Every true college football fan in the country has heard of the 12th Man. While other sports team, i.e. Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts, refer to their fans as the 12th Man, only Texas A&M fans have lived the meaning behind the nickname.

Texas A&M faced Centre College in the 1922 Dixie Classic in Dallas. By half time the Aggie’s team had been depleted by injuries and few players stood able to continue playing. Coach Dana X. Bible called on spectator E. King Gill to put on the uniform of an injured player and stand on the sideline in case the team needed him.

Gill had left the team shortly before the bowl game to play basketball. Gill never played in the game that day, even though by the end of the game he was on the only reserve player remaining.

The Aggies defeated the Centre College 22-14 handing the Praying Colonels their first loss of the season. More importantly, the legend of the 12th Man was born. To honor Gill and to mimic his readiness to help the team, all students stand for the duration of football games at Kyle Field.

1939 Sugar Bowl

Aggies win the National Championship.

On New Year’s Day 1940, the top ranked Texas A&M Aggies faced off against the 5th ranked Tulane Green Waves for the National Championship. This matchup of undefeated teams was played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana.

John Kimbrough led Texas A&M in rushing scoring both touchdowns for the Aggies, rushing for 159 yards on 25 carries. A blocked point after following a Tulane touchdown would prove to be the difference as the Aggies erased a 13-7 4th quarter deficit to win 14-13.

They finished the season as the top ranked team in the nation. This was Texas A&M’s only National Championship in the AP Poll era.

Texas A&M also claims the 1927 and 1919 national championships as well. The 1927 team went 8-0-1 with their only non-victory a tie against TCU in Fort Worth. The 1919 team finished a perfect 10-0 and was not scored upon. Not too shabby, but it would be nice to take home a title in this century too.

1968 Cotton Bowl

Texas A&M and Alabama met at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas on New Year’s Day.

The Aggies had defeated t.u. earlier in the 1967 season by a score of 10-7 and were Southwest Conference Champions.

Alabama was led on the field by an old friend of Texas A&M, Paul “Bear” Bryant. Bryant coached for the Aggies from 1954-1957 before headed home to his alma-mater, the University of Alabama.

Texas A&M was led by Gene Stallings ’57. Stallings was one of the “Junction Boys” under Coach Bryant and led the team to their first Southwest Conference title since 1939. After a successful playing career in College Station, Stallings followed his coach to Tuscaloosa where he served as a Defensive Assistant Coach from 1958-1964. He helped Alabama win two National Championships but then packed up headed back to his home, Texas A&M.

Edd Hargett led the Aggies throughout the close match-up throwing two touchdown passes in the first half. The Crimson Tide held Texas A&M scoreless in the second half but it wasn’t enough. Aggies won 20-16.

The student beat the teacher, and the teacher could not have been prouder. Coach Bryant is said to have carried Coach Stallings off the field to celebrate his former students first bowl victory.

 2012 Cotton Bowl

The AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic played on January 4, 2013 against Oklahoma at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, was the cherry on top of Johnny Manziel‘s Heisman season.

Landry Jones had led the Sooners to an impressive 10-2 record, ending the 2012 season as Co-Champions of the Big 12. Both No. 12 Texas A&M and No. 10 Oklahoma had tremendous offensive production during the season but sub-par defenses.

Despite the expectations of a high scoring game, the score remained close and low throughout the first half. At half time the teams were nearly even with the Aggies leading 14-13. But the Aggies soon pulled ahead, shutting out the Sooners with 27 unanswered points in the second half to finish the game 41-13.

After rushing for a 23 yard touchdown on the first drive of the game, Johnny Football kept the momentum going all night. Manziel tallied 516 yards of total offense that evening, 229 on the ground and 287 through the air.

A packed crowd of 87,025 were privileged to watch the Heisman trophy winner topple an old conference foe in stunning fashion. Texas A&M’s victory marked the fifth consecutive Cotton Bowl win for the SEC.

2013 Chic-fil-A Bowl

Formerly known as the Peach Bowl, 2013’s Chick-fil-A Bowl capped the end of one of the most exciting careers for a player in college football history.

Johnny Manziel defeated Alabama in Tuscaloosa and won the Heisman Trophy all during his freshman year at Texas A&M. While his sophomore year was less historic, he ended the 2013 season in a huge way.

The Aggies and the Duke Blue Devils met at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for what was Manziel last game as a college football player. The game was filled with high powered offense, a total of 100 points were scored between both teams.

Texas A&M’s slow start seemed too troublesome for even the magic of Manziel to overcome. The Aggies trailed at half time 38-17 and many fans had switched off the TVs and headed out to do New Year’s Eve fireworks. They missed a show for the ages.

In the second half the Aggies scored five touchdowns, thanks to a re-energized offense led by Manziel. Surprisingly though, it was Texas A&M’s defense that won the Aggies the game. Late in the fourth quarter, Toney Hurd Jr. intercepted a pass from Anthony Boone and returned it for a touchdown, putting Texas A&M over Duke 52-48.

*** Stats: NCAA, 12thman.com ***

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