On October 7th, 1995, Texas A&M visited Lubbock as the eighth-ranked team in the country and on a five-game winning streak in the series. Not only had they owned the matchup against Tech in recent years, they hadn’t lost a Southwest Conference game in nearly five. They had won 29 straight, dating back to December 1, 1990. By all accounts, Texas Tech was next on the chopping block for the Aggies as they looked to continue their reign in the SWC after beginning the season ranked third in the nation.
One of the most prominent members of the 1995 Texas Tech team was eventual NFL star linebacker, Zach Thomas. In search of his first and only career victory against Texas A&M, not only would he do just that, but he would also go on to make one of the most memorable plays in Red Raider history. With just 37 seconds remaining in the game, the Aggies were on their own 17-yard line with the game tied 7-7. As their quarterback, Corey Pullig, dropped back to pass, Thomas dropped into coverage. Seeing that Pullig’s eyes focused on a receiver coming across the middle, he broke to the ball about the time it came out of Pullig’s hands. The ball fell right into Zach Thomas’ lap & he had a clear shot to the end zone from 25 yards out, sealing a 14-7 victory.
The win would not only snap the five-year losing streak to the Aggies but would go on to spark the team winning eight of their final nine games including the Copper Bowl against Air Force to end the year. The interception left a lasting image for Tech fans of a player who left a lasting mark on the program, and eventually the NFL. Thomas would go on to play 14 seasons in the NFL with the Dolphins and Cowboys, during which he would earn seven Pro Bowl selections.
He was inducted into the Texas Tech Ring of Honor in 2016 & has been an NFL Hall of Fame Finalist in both 2020 and 2021.