With opening day only 77 days away against the hated Texas A&M Kingsville Javelinas, I wanted to share my experiences against them from 1988 to 1992. 1989 won’t be discussed as I was out with an ACL injury that year and did not travel to their place to see the game.
THE UPSET! My first match up in 88 showed me right off the bat that this was a bigger game than usual. It was the first big signature win as the heavily favored piggies left Commerce with a 42-35 loss. We hadn’t beat them in a few years and I loved the pride showed by the seniors as they finally got that monkey off their backs with a huge win. The rivalry was on once again. The win helped catapult us to a #2 ranking before injuries and inexperience caught up with us at the end but we still had that big win…it was the biggest win for the 88 squad that year.
STATEMENT MADE! The 1990 season was filled with several signature wins including the piggies visit. They came in as favorites again but this day belonged strictly to us. We dominated all three phases of the game in a 26-6 blowout win in front of a big crowd. They didn’t have a chance this day as most teams would find out during those times. We were establishing ourselves as a tougher than usual opponent in the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium. We would win 10 games that year and this was our announcement win to the LSC that we had arrived.
THE SILENCER! The 91 game was my first and only trip to Kingsville. I have had no desire to ever return. It had been a decade since we had a win at their place and once again even after dominating them the year before, most thought we would lose. This pack of Lions had other plans. It was close throughout the first half and most of the game but we felt in control the whole night. Leading 17-16 we drove deep into their territory. Their sold out crowd was trying to get behind them and pump their defense up to get a stop. On a broken play were I saw my man Bobby Bounds sprinting back around to the back side with piggies on his tail he slung me a perfect pass in the endzone for a touch down. The silence was deafening. You could hear the pigs squealing all the way back in Commerce as we let all the air out of the stadium. They would score a late td but the defense stopped their 2-point conversion for the tie and we grounded out the clock inside their 10 yard line with the 24-22 win. Everyone on that team will always remember the roll call in their locker room and the party in Corpus Christi when we got back to the hotel. Another signature win in the books!
THE LET DOWN! 1992 was my most dissappointing loss. The only loss I suffered at Memorial Stadium came my senior season at the feet of the piggies 17-10. It would be the last loss of my collegiate career as we would end on a 5 game winning streak. I was not disappointed with our effort though as we were heavy underdogs this time around as we had lost 8 offensive starters and several other key contributors from the year before while they had only added to their team. It was also the inaugural Chennault Cup game as we played for a trophy the first time. We showed a lot of fight and heart that night and if given a chance in the playoffs might could have wrote a different story about the 92 squad but we will never know…
The A&I game now a days isn’t played with the same intensity we had prior to the turn of the century but for us old timers, we still love making the little piggies squeal. It would be so nice to have ESPN pick up the game and hand them an old fashioned spanking on national television. That would be a great way to start the season for our defending national champs. I know where I will be on August 30, 2018 if I can help it…what about you? #seeyouatthehawk