Senior Paul Mergenhagen blocked a quick-kick which led to Baylor's game winning touchdown
Sept. 28, 2007
By Luke Blount
On October 20, 1984, the Baylor Bears fought through rain and wind gusts up to 30 mph to defeat the Texas A&M Aggies 20-16 in College Station. The Bears only managed 141 total offensive yards, but five Aggie turnovers and a blocked quick-kick led Baylor to a victory.
The effects of the weather were apparent from the start of the game as Texas A&M fumbled the kickoff giving the Bears the ball at the Aggie 20 yard-line. However, Baylor couldn't capitalize as kicker Marty Jimmerson missed a 38-yard field goal. Later in the quarter Baylor returned the favor as quarterback Tom Muecke fumbled on the Baylor 30 yard-line, and the Aggies missed a 31-yard field goal.
"Mistakes are intensified in this kind of weather," said Baylor coach Grant Teaff. "But the teams decided the outcome, not the elements."
After another fumble by Aggie quarterback Craig Stump to open the second quarter, the Bears swiftly marched down to the Aggie 1 yard-line. Baylor failed on three consecutive attempts to run the ball into the end zone before junior Ralph Stockemer ran in for what looked to be a touchdown on fourth down, but the play was called back on a Baylor penalty. Jimmerson then made a 22-yard field goal to take the lead 3-0.
The Aggies then scored on consecutive possessions to take a 9-3 lead heading into halftime. But the Bears responded, scoring 10 points in the third quarter.
On their second possession, the Aggies attempted a punt, but the snap sailed over Todd Tschantz's head down to the Aggie 2 yard-line. Sophomore running back Derrick McAdoo then ran in the Baylor touchdown to take a 10-9 lead.
"When you make mistakes in the kicking game as we did today, you're not going to win," said Texas A&M head coach Jackie Sherrill. "Baylor scored all of their points when they didn't have to go very far."
Baylor again took advantage of a short field when Aggie backup quarterback John Mazur fumbled on the Texas A&M 30 yard-line. Jimmerson then made a 42-yard field goal to extend the lead to 13-9.
The Aggies countered in the final quarter when Stump passed to Jimmy Teal for a 15-yard touchdown, retaking the lead 16-13. After a Buzzy Sawyer 50-yard punt that pinned the Aggies inside their own 10 yard-line, coach Sherrill called for a quick-kick on third down, and defensive tackle Paul Mergenhagen broke through the line for the block. Linebacker and team captain Kevin Hancock picked up the blocked kick and returned it 6 yards to the Aggie 16 yard-line.
"That was definitely a big play," said Teaff. "We were expecting a pass, so we just rushed the passer to put pressure on him."
After consecutive runs by McAdoo and fullback Broderick Sargent, Muecke scrambled for an 8-yard touchdown. The 20-16 lead would prove to be the final score, but the Aggies made it interesting.
After the Baylor kickoff, Texas A&M strung together a 10-play 61-yard drive to the Baylor 1 yard-line, but Baylor's Hancock stopped the option play for a 4-yard loss with less than three minutes remaining. The Aggies regained the ball with under a minute on the clock and reached the Baylor 15 yard-line before Baylor's Robert Watters came up with an interception to seal the victory.
"We had problems with our secondary," Teaff said. "They had been maligned, abused, whacked, cracked, and cussed, but today they came through."
The Bears managed to win the game despite achieving only six first downs and losing two fumbles. The 1984 Bears would finish the season 5-6. Defensive ends Ervin Randle and Derek Turner, linebacker Kevin Hancock, and punter Buzzy Sawyer were all named All-SWC performers for the season. Randle played 8 seasons in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Baylor plays Texas A&M this Saturday, September 28 in College Station. The 1984 victory was the last for the Bears at Kyle Field. In 1990, Baylor tied Texas A&M 20-20 on the road.