It is admittedly difficult for me to come up with my favorite sports highlight. The easy answer for a lot of us is 2008 beating Texas with QB Graham Harrell to WR Michael Crabtree. But that's too easy, and I was squarely on my brother-in-law's couch and despite our celebrating, I wasn't there. Historically, that was as an important game as there ever was for Texas Tech, but I wasn't there.
The moment that helped define my fandom is because I was there and living in that moment that fateful afternoon on October 14, 1995 when Zach Thomas stepped in front of Texas A&M’s Corey Pullig’s pass to win the game in the last minute of play. Within the past year or so, there’s been a bit more written about that game when I last wrote about it in 2007. Looking back at the box score, it was incredibly simplistic. Only three scores the entire game, an early 8 yard run from TAMU’s Leland McElroy in the first quarter and a Zebbie Lethridge pass to Donnie Hart in the second quarter. And then this:
I could watch that play over and over, just like the Harrell to Crabtree play.
As many of you know, former head coach Spike Dykes and Dave Boling wrote a book about Spike's time at Texas Tech, Tales from the Texas Tech Sideline, and he described that game as follows (via Google Books):
Beating the Texas A&M Aggies 14-7 in 1995 on Zach Thomas's interception return was so huge for our program. That was A&M's first conference loss in the 1990s after having won 29 straight.
It was an over-capacity crowd and such an exciting turn of events, with Zach intercepting Corey Pullig's pass and returning it for a touchdown to win it in the final minute. I was a third and six, and Zach faked a blitz only to drop back into coverage. Pullig didn't read it and Zach made the pick and ran 23 yards for one of the biggest scores in Tech history.
Zebbie Lethridge, our quarterback, threw for more than 200 yards and the other touchdown we had in the game was a pass to Donnie Hart.
The fans went ballistic, tearing down the goal posts. It was fabulous, beating a top-10 team at home.
Whenever I get together with a bunch of alums, or show up at any kind of football gathering, people still want to talk about that game.
Maybe the reason why what was such a huge game was the implication that Texas A&M had not lost a conference game in five years. That was a period of absolute dominance for Texas A&M and that game was magical in much of the same ways that 2008 was magical. Obviously, one had more national implications, but the 1995 game had more personal implications.
Here's where we open the floor up to you all. Tell me your favorite Texas Tech highlight, whether it be football, basketball, baseball or some other sport.