This 1986 50th Cotton Bowl Classic between the Texas A & M Aggies against the Auburn University Tigers / War Eagles (as they couldn’t ever really decide which they were) in a game that featured one of the greatest collegiate and professional running backs in football history in Bo Jackson…..who just might have been the greatest athlete, if not, for sure at the top of the heap of the greatest natural athletes of all time…..as evidenced by watching this video below…..cuz BO KNOWS FOOTBALL.
Auburn’s RB Bo Jackson started the scoring after a fumble recovery with a touchdown run early in the game….only to have the Aggies respond with their own touchdown on a run by Harry Johnson….then A & M scored just three minutes later….but the score was only 12 – 6 due to a missed extra point and a failed 2 point conversion attempt by the Aggies. Jackson struck again for Auburn by catching a 73 yard touchdown pass from Pat Washington to give Auburn the lead again….to which they missed their conversion attempt also….but Scott Slater kicked a 26 yard field goal to give A & M the lead again at halftime by a score of 15 – 13.
Aggie’s RB Anthony Toney increased their lead with a 2 yard touchdown run early in the 3rd quarter….but another failed conversion attempt meant it was still a one possession lead at 21 – 13…..for to say that converting extra points in this game was an anomaly would be an understatement….then Auburn converted on a field goal by Chris Johnson to make the score 21 – 16 entering the 4th quarter….as the Tigers were certainly still in the game at this point.. Auburn then drove to the A & M 6 yard line on their 1st possession of the fourth quarter began….but they were stuffed four times…..as the Aggies took over on downs. Auburn was given another chance when A & M punted….but the Aggie defense again held and Bo Jackson was stuffed at the A & M 27 yard line. From that point on, A&M took control…..and with 2:22 to go, Aggie WR Keith Woodside caught a touchdown pass….then A & M finally successed in gaining the 2 point conversion….then after an Aggie interception by Domingo Bryant just seconds later….RB Anthony Toney added on with his second rushing touchdown of the day to make it 36–16 as time expired.
Texas A&M went on to play in the next two Cotton Bowls….while losing in 1987 against the Ohio State Buckeyes….then winning in 1988 over the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Auburn would go on to five more consecutive bowl games under Coach Pat Dye before he resigned after the 1992 season.
Auburn’s: Bo Jackson would go home with the Offensive MVP award after rushing for 129 yards on 31 carries along with 2 catches for 73 yards and scoring 2 TD’s….while Texas A&M: LB Domingo Bryant would win Defensive MVP after intercepting two passes….as the Texas Aggies would compile 478 total yards to Auburn’s 352 total yards….and any way you cut the pie….this was a really hard fought contest which featured one of college football’s best of all time.