This game was sold out before we were even announced as playing in it but thanks to one of the best gifts ever (from my father-in-law), Sean and I were able to attend. We both took a vacation day on Friday and drove up to Dallas to meet up with my in-laws and drive to the game together.
Parking at Jerry's World is always crazy but its always interesting walking through the tailgaters as we're trying to figure out which gate we are standing in front of and which gate we need to enter through (because no matter what, they're never the same).
This was a weird bowl game for me. When we played Mizzou back in November I thought we were invincible and were going to roll whoever they match up against us but over the time off my old pessimistic self crept back into my head. After watching LSU and Florida lose their bowl games, I started to buy into the thought that the 3 point Vegas line on the game was actually right.
I know a lot of Ags were slightly concerned about whether Johnny would show up focused after his Heisman ceremony and the celebrity tour he has been on. He did Letterman, Leno, sat courtside for a Mavs/Heat game & chilled with Lebron after the game, pulled suites at a Cowboys game, was spotted in an Oklahoma casino, sat courtside at a Rockets game - and then chilled in lockerroom, went golfing with the Jonas Bros, etc.).
This, of course, was a pre-game topic of conversation but my father-in-law nailed it.....this is Sumlin's team with Sumlin's attitude. He was right.
We went into half-time clinging to a 14-13 lead.....and then pulled away in the second half to finish with a 41-13 vitctory.
- Cotton Bowl MVP
- Individually, he had 516 yards of offense (229 rushing/287 passing) with 4 TDs (2/2) - his yardage broke the Cotton Bowl record by over 100 yards
- Johnny ran for the 4th most yards in Cotton Bowl history
- He set the NCAA Bowl Record for rushing yards in a game by a QB
- Missed throwing for 300 and rushing for 200 by 13 passing yards - that has been accomplished once in NCAA history (he did become the the first A&M and SEC player to go 200/200)
- Became 4th QB in NCAA history to have 20 rushing and 20 passing TDs in a season
- The 633 yards of offense by team was Cotton Bowl record
- The offense averaged 9.6 ypp (Cotton Bowl record)
On the flip side, the defense was STOUT. We held the #11 scoring offense in the country to one (1) touchdown on the evening.
Ryan Swope, who broke the school record for career receptions earlier in the season, took the record for career yards in the season finale as well - he ended his brilliant career with a total of 252 catches for 3,117 yards and 24 TDs (2nd in school history). He had 104 yards and a TD on 8 receptions against the Sooners.
Mike Evans and EZ both added 80+ yards and EZ had an emotional final TD to put the exclamation point on the ballgame.
This game instantly jumps into my Top 3 All-Time Games I've Been To along with the '02 OU game and the '10 Nebraska game. I'm not exactly sure where it falls - they're all a blur in my mind at this point - but there is no doubt I haven't had as much fun at a game in a long time.
One of the moments that I will take away was when the War Hymn was played at the end of the third quarter. It was a rare moment when there was nothing else going on in the stadium - no advertisements or announcements or introduction or baton tossing - just the FTAB and 50,000 Ags in full voice celebrating not only a great game but a great season. It echoed in my ears long after we walked out of the stadium.
We also got our first real opportunity for the "SEC! SEC! SEC!" chant. I'll be honest, it was a poor first effort - out of sync, differing speeds. It'll get better, I have no doubt about that.
After the game we found an IHOP and had a surprisingly wonderful meal as we rehashed every exciting moment of the game. When we got back to the house I'm not sure anyone had anything left in the tank - I know I was asleep within minutes.
Simply a wonderful game to cap off a wonderful season.
I cannot wait until the M&W game.