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Archive for Saturday, October 5, 2002

Aggies eager for rematch of ‘brawl game’

October 5, 2002

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— No. 23 Texas A&M seems to be moving from one controversy to another.

A week ago, coach R.C. Slocum stripped offensive coordinator Dino Babers of his play-calling duties. Saturday, the Aggies play Texas Tech, whose fans brawled with the Aggies after the Red Raiders upset A&M 12-0 last year in Lubbock, Texas.

Tech fans tore down the goal posts at Jones Stadium and rammed it into a crowd of Aggies fans, setting off the melee that resulted in Mike McKinney, Gov. Rick Perry's chief of staff, receiving a cut on his forehead.

Now it's the Aggies' turn to host the series that started in 1927. And some feelings are still seething.

"I didn't appreciate it," Aggie safety Jaxson Appel said. "I'm just glad we don't have fans like that. There's no one we could beat to make our fans act like that. I think our defense is going to be more successful against them than last year. I talked to some of the older guys, and they really took offense to that."

The Red Raiders and record-setting quarterback Kliff Kingsbury will battle the Aggies' Wrecking Crew defense, ranked No. 3 nationally in total defense and 20th against the pass.

The ruckus last year took place after both teams had left the field. Some Red Raiders players would like to forget the incident. They don't want the Aggies more riled up than they already are.

"We surely can't forget it. That was kind of a fiasco that happened," Tech linebacker Lawrence Flugence said. "The players wish to God it never happened. This is something we have to live with and we just have to move on. This is a new year, a new game."

The incident was magnified when the current Aggies media guide's description of the 2001 game, in which Tech fans were called "even uglier than the barren stretch of dirt some West Texans call a city." The guide said Tech fans "even in victory looked like classless clowns."

It also said "No school in America better deserves Bobby Knight than Texas Tech," referring to the Red Raiders' volatile basketball coach.

The comments didn't make the Red Raider bulletin board this week.

"No, that's just one of their deals," Flugence said. "Everybody has their opinions. Some people have the same opinion (of Lubbock) around here, but they put it in their media guide. That's quite all right. Not everybody likes Lubbock who lives here."

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