Keith McAfee, Texas A&M; running back, dashed toward the Brigham Young sideline Saturday night after the Holiday Bowl, laughing and waving his arms, imploring the Cougar players to stay around for the award ceremony.
“Come on, ya’ll, where are you going?” he said. “Stay around for your trophy. Don’t be like that.”
The BYU players just glared at him and the rest of the Aggie players and kept on walking to the locker room. Only a few bothered to stop and offer congratulations, but when they did, a Cougar assistant yelled at them, “Hey, (bleep) those guys. Don’t shake hands. Get in here.”
So while the Holiday Bowl officials smiled, handing out trophies, the Cougars were in the locker room, steaming.
When you get beat 65-14, suffering the worst defeat in school history, watching the Aggies throwing passes and pulling out trick plays late in the fourth quarter, you tend to get a little irritated.
Even Brigham Young Coach LaVell Edwards, normally a gracious man in victories as well as defeats, wasn’t quite in the congratulatory mood either. He never shook hands with R.C. Slocum, Texas A&M; coach, and instead spoke only with Bob Toledo, offensive coordinator.
Just what exactly did he say?
“Let’s just say he didn’t have a very good Mormon word for me,” Toledo said. “Even if I told you the word, it wouldn’t get in your newspaper anyway.”
It’s one thing to get beat; it’s another to be embarrassed.
And the Aggies, humiliating BYU in every phase of the game, weren’t going to win friends by trying to score every time they touched the ball. If they had another 15 minutes, there’s little doubt Texas A&M; would have tried to score 100.
So, did the Aggies deliberately try to run up the score?
You better believe it.
“The only thing we heard about when we got here was how good BYU was, and how we were lucky to be here,” said Aggie linebacker William Thomas, the defensive MVP of the game. “Well, we wanted to prove that a team like BYU doesn’t belong on the same field as Texas A&M.;
“And I think we proved that, don’t you?”
Oh yeah, no one among the crowd of 61,441 at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium will ever dispute that. The Aggies compiled 680 yards compared to the Cougars’ 185. They had 356 yards rushing and the Cougars had minus-12. And Texas A&M; even had more passing yards, 324-197?
“That’s all we heard about was Ty Detmer this, Ty Detmer that,” Thomas said. “I don’t know about everybody else, but I got pretty sick hearing about that guy.
“So we decided to do something about it.”
In the second quarter, Thomas separated Detmer’s left shoulder with a devastating hit.
In the third quarter, linebacker Anthony Williams took care of the other shoulder. Not even Ty Detmer can do much with two separated shoulders.
Detmer wound up completing just 11 passes in 23 attempts for 120 yards. It was his lowest yardage total since his freshman year, when he passed for 45 yards in 1988 against San Diego State.
“I don’t think he would have done anything if he stayed in the game,” Toledo said. “We had him running for his life as it was.”
Said Chris Crooms, Texas A&M; defensive back, who had the responsibility of covering Cougar All-America tight end Chris Smith: “He didn’t show me anything. All the receivers in our conference are faster than these guys. It was pretty easy. No surprises.”
Said Kevin Smith, Croom’s sidekick: “Really, once we got on the field, they were easy.”
Diplomatic, the Aggies ain’t. But if BYU was upset about their manners, Toledo explained, the the Cougars should have kept their own mouths shut.
“We read in the newspapers how they said they wanted to play a more formidable opponent than us,” Toledo said. “They said they wish they were playing one that was ranked.
“That was a mistake. That was a big mistake.
“R.C. reminded them about that every chance he could. You might say we were motivated.”
Said Slocum: “There was a lot of talk about us not being good enough to be in this bowl game. The Holiday Bowl showed a lot of confidence in us by inviting us. Well, we didn’t want any doubt.”
And for those that were critical of the Aggies’ rout, Slocum began reciting some of BYU’s blowouts this season and took a rip at the Cougars’ tactics in helping Detmer pad his stats during his Heisman Trophy campaign.
“I’ve watched games with Ty Detmer,” Slocum said, “and there’s been a bunch of stats that Ty Detmer got in games that, in my opinion, were out of hand.”
Said Edwards: “I’m not going to get into all that, but we got our butts kicked. No one’s ever going to argue that.”