Start with the game itself. Beating Houston, 34-10, a team that had knocked off two highly ranked teams already this year, slots this game well up the ladder with no other factors.
Add to that the fact that we started off slowly, trailing 10-0 before the first quarter ended, then came back to totally dominate them the rest of the way. Two numbers seem obvious factors: 7 sacks and 4 interceptions!
Then look at the historic numbers! DJ Pumphrey ran for 115 yards to up his career total to 6,405 to become the all-time rushing leader in NCAA history.
Along with that, Rashaad Penny went over the 1,000-yard mark for this season, so we became the first team ever to have a 2,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard rusher. I had to laugh, late in the game when Juwan Washington did some impressive running himself, I heard an Aztec fan yell, “Yeah, that’s our third stringer!”
Another thing that made this game special was the large turnout of Aztec fans. Of all our bowl games I’ve been to on the road, I can’t remember seeing that many before. Adding to the good feeling was the number of Aztec for Life players who showed up. I couldn’t see or identify them all, but I know I saw guys from the ‘60s, ‘70s and more recent. Lots of old Letterman’s jackets.
I may be overlooking some other key points, but after ticking off this list I am tempted to say this one was without equal. All of which makes me shout out, “Way to go, Rocky!” After all he is the architect of this special Aztec era.
DJ Pumphrey: NCAA all-time leading rusher (Ernie Anderson)