Craig Stump stepped in at quarterback for the departed Kevin Murray, who moved on to the NFL. And in his first start, Stump faced off with a top-10 LSU team at Kyle Field. The Tigers' defense dominated and LSU won the showdown 17-3. After a loss to Texas Tech in Lubbock, A&M sat at 2-2, but won its next four contests behind a tough defense and All-American linebacker John Roper. The Aggies went into a showdown with Arkansas that would go far in deciding the conference. Rod Harris returned a punt for A&M's first score. Stump found Gary Oliver for his first touchdown pass of the season to extend the Aggies' lead. A&M won 14-0 and Jackie Sherrill carried Stump off the field on his shoulders. The Aggies and Horns squared off at Kyle Field with the conference championship at stake. If the Aggies lost or tied, they would head to the Bluebonnet Bowl. A win meant Cotton. A touchdown from running back Keith Woodside gave A&M an early lead, but Texas responded. The teams were tied at 13 in the fourth when Stump went down. In came freshman Bucky Richardson, who led the Aggies down the field and sprinted in from 7 yards out to give A&M a 20-13 win and its third consecutive SWC Championship. In the Cotton Bowl, A&M bottled up Notre Dame and frustrated Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown. 12th Man Kickoff Team member Warren Barhorst famously stole Brown's towel after a tackle. Brown raced after him and dragged him to the ground, which earned a penalty. The Aggies cruised to a 35-10 victory, finishing the year 10-2 and with its second Cotton Bowl win in three seasons and ranked No. 10. A&M's Wrecking Crew defense deserved most of the credit, giving up only 14 points per game on the season.

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