1993 Texas A&M Aggies: Champions of the Southwest Conference -
In the early 1990s, the Texas A&M Aggies were a dominant football team, champions of the Southwest Conference (SWC) in 1993. They won the SWC title the previous two seasons, with a 22–1 overall record and 15–0 in conference play over that stretch.
A Wrecking Crew
The Aggies were led by head coach R.C. Slocum. And, even though they ranked 9th in scoring offense at 35 points per game, the defense was the most talked-about unit. The Wrecking Crew, as they were called, was a Top 5 defense in several categories (stats provided by sports-reference.com):
- #1 in Pass Defense= opponents completion percentage of 39.73% and recording 13 INTs.
- #3 in Total Defense= allowed 247 yards/game
- #2 in Scoring Defense= allowed just 11 points per game.
- Tied for 4th in turnover margin at +1.18.
The schedule wasn’t a gauntlet, as Texas A&M faced only two Top 20 opponents. LSU was the opponent to open the season and the Wrecking Crew pitched a shutout for the 24–0 win.
But in week 2, on the road at #17 Oklahoma, the Aggies suffered a 44–14 defeat. From that point forward, they reeled off nine straight victories:
73–0 win over Missouri. The Aggie defense forced 6 turnovers. RB Rodney Thomas and RB Leeland McElroy each rushed for 3 touchdowns.
31–6 win @Texas Tech
34–10 win vs. Houston
34–17 win @ Baylor
38–10 win @ Rice
37–13 win vs. SMU
42–7 win over #20 Louisville: DB Aaron Glenn returned an INT 40-yards for a touchdown. The Wrecking Crew held the Cardinals to just 189 total yards and intercepted 3 Louisville passes. Prior to this game, the Aggies outscored their previous six opponents by an average score of 41–9.
59–3 win @ TCU 18–9 win over Texas
The Aggies accepted an invitation to the Cotton Bowl to play against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish won that game 24–21. Texas A&M finished the 1993 season at 10–2 and a #9 ranking in the final AP Poll.
Top Players-1993 Texas A&M Aggies
RB Rodney Thomas, RB Greg Hill, and Leeland McElroy combined for 2316 rushing yards and 26 TDs. McElroy led the nation with an 8.5 yard average per rushing attempt and also returned three kickoffs for a touchdown, averaging 39 yards per kickoff return.
Thomas was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 1995 NFL Draft. He rushed for 3064 career yards and 41 touchdowns for the Aggies.
McElroy was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
Hill was drafted in the first round (25th overall) by the Kansas City Chiefs. For his college career, Hill rushed for 3262 yards and 33 TDs.
DB Aaron Glenn recorded three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. He also returned two punt returns for a touchdown, averaging almost 20 yards per punt return. Glenn was drafted in the first round (12th overall) by the New York Jets in the 1994 NFL Draft.
DL Sam Adams racked up 78 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 10.5 sacks. He was named National Defensive Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated; selected as a Consensus All-American, and was named the SWC Defensive Player of the Year. Adams was selected in the 1st round (8th overall) by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1994 NFL Draft.
QB Corey Pulig passed for 1732 yards, 17 TDs, and 10 INTs. He completed 59% of his passes.
The next season, the Aggies went 10–0–1 (6–0–1) in SWC play but suffered NCAA sanctions once again. From 1991–1994, their overall record was 42–5–1 overall, 28–0–1 in conference play.
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Material for this article sourced from sports-reference.com, wikipedia.org, story “Game of the Year of the Day, 1993: Texas A&M 42, Louisville 7, by Bill Connelly, www.footballstudyhall.com, June 5, 2017.
Originally published at https://thegridironnews.com on April 16, 2021.