Jones Stadium: A house of horrors for ranked visitors

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Sep 13, 2014; Lubbock, TX, USA; The Texas Tech Red Raiders masked rider on the field before the game with the Arkansas Razorbacks at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M – 1996

On an eerie October day in 1995, the No. 8 Texas A&M Aggies entered Jones Stadium at a time when they owned one of the most feared defenses in college football.

The strange cult-like following of maroon-clad brainwashed side show freaks dressed in overalls and carrying sheep tried to perform their evil rituals inside the home of the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

At the time, their leader, R.C. Slocum led the Southwest Conference in winning percentage at over 91%. But little did they know that a killer dressed in red and black, known for the number 35 he wore on his back was lurking inside Jones Stadium.

Lulled into a false sense of security by a 7-7 score, the Aggies made the mistake one can never make in a house of horrors; they succumbed to their pride. Too arrogant to settle for leaving Jones Stadium with a tie (in the era before college football overtime was implemented) the Aggies took a wrong turn down a dark hallway from which they would not emerge.

With under a minute to play in the game and the ball deep in their own end of the field, Texas A&M thought it best to try to throw the ball and escape Jones Stadium with their lives. But the killer lay silent, ready to strike.

On third down and long, from their own 22 the Aggies took one more stab at Texas Tech. When, from out of nowhere, No. 35, Zach Thomas emerged to intercept a pass and return it for the game-winning touchdown ripping the heart out of Texas A&M.

To this day, on quiet nights in Lubbock when the wind dies down, you can still hear the barbaric cries of No. 35 dancing in the wind as he streaks down the east sideline of Jones Stadium where on that fateful day in 1995, he butchered the 12th man with nothing but his own two hands.

Next: Texas 2002