It was a quarterback-by-committee situation with Kevin Murray and Craig Stump. A road game in Birmingham against No. 20 Alabama was billed as a litmus test for the up-and-coming Aggies. But the Crimson Tide won it, 23-10. Still, the Aggies won four straight behind Murray and Stump, along with strong running from backs Roger Vick and Anthony Toney. In the next four weeks, Murray settled into the starting role, and the Aggies went 3-1, including a huge upset over No. 9 Arkansas that eliminated the Razorbacks from SWC contention.
When Baylor lost to Texas the following week and A&M blew out TCU, it set up a showdown for the conference crown between the Aggies and the Horns. It was a sold-out Kyle Field, and it was Sherrill’s 42nd birthday. Fittingly, the Aggies blitzed Texas 42-10, giving the team its first Cotton Bowl berth since 1967. Sherrill was carried off the field on his team’s shoulders.
A&M football was back. In the Cotton Bowl, the Aggies were faced with the unenviable task of stopping Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson and Auburn. A&M famously stuffed Jackson twice on fourth-and-shorts. Murray threw for a Cotton Bowl record 292 yards, and the Aggies ran away with it, winning 36-16. A&M finished with a 10-2 record and ranked No. 6.