A&M lost 10 defensive starters, however, they returned a backfield of George Woodard, Curtis Dickey and David Walker to a team that began the year ranked No. 9. The Aggies began the season 3-0, which set up a showdown with No. 3 Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines walloped No. 5 Texas A&M, 41-3. Defensive linemen Phil Bennett and Jacob Green anchored a defensive unit that improved over its next five games. The Aggies went 4-1 with the only loss being a heartbreaker to Arkansas. With a one-point lead and 1:41 left in the fourth quarter, the Aggies gave up a 58-yard playaction touchdown pass to Arkansas receiver Robert Farrell, which gave the Razorbacks a 26-20 victory. "Our cornerback just took the fake," Emory Bellard told The Eagle. "And that was all of it." Freshman Mike Mosley replaced Walker at quarterback, and the Aggies took on No. 1 Texas for a berth in the Cotton Bowl. Earl Campbell ran wild at Kyle Field, going for 222 yards in an easy Texas win. "There has to be a point when you've got to stop them," Bellard told The Eagle. "We didn’t stop them." Woodard passed Bubba Bean as the school's all time leading rusher, with 2,863 career yards, in a win over Houston. A&M accepted a bid to the Bluebonnet Bowl but was beaten handily, 47-28, by USC.