Football 1957: Texas A&M

This was by far the biggest, most exciting and best game of the season. After last week’s win over well-regarded Arkansas, confidence was growing in the locker room, on campus and in Houston. That confidence proved to be well placed. Rice’s 7-6 defeat of the number one football team in the nation in a hard-fought contest was an emotional high point in the college careers of the players and many of their fellow students. This article by one of those students, Jim Greenwood, ’58, appeared in the Rice Historical Society’s magazine, The Cornerstone, in 2007. He tells the story of this game far better than I could:


Interestingly, the files on this game contain much more scouting material than is typical for other games. (Not, I suspect, because A&M was more heavily scouted but rather because they hung on to the reports in the aftermath of the game.) Here’s a short list summing up key points, which must have been passed out to the players:

The next day the Houston newspapers were jammed full of stories and photographs. Here are some of my favorites:

Bonus: There’s so much activity on campus right now I’m struggling to keep up, but here’s my single favorite landscaping improvement: the replacement of the Anderson Hall Mud Pit with some groundcover that will thrive in the shade. Whoever thought of this is clearly a genius.

Extra bonus: I’ve never seen these doors at the Brochstein Pavilion open before.

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10 Responses to Football 1957: Texas A&M

  1. Tiki Owl says:

    Still my all time favorite Rice football game that I have witnessed. I have the same clippings that you show here, my favorite being the one of Jess and Dorothy Neely after the game.

  2. mjthannisch says:

    Wow, great article!

  3. mjthannisch says:

    Now we need an article on that infamous game when the opposition (was it an Aggie?) couldn’t stand to see our guy making so much progress and tackled him from the sideline.

    • Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

      “Aggie” !
      Good grief, MJT.
      Alabama, Cotton Bowl, Tommy Lewis, Dick Moegle/Maegle/ or however he wants it spelled nowadays. (Dickie’s name should have been on the “Spelling List”.)
      However, I recall that it was the former Aggie coach, then coaching Bama, that our Jess Neely ‘cussed out’, “Bear, that was not a nice thing to do”, or other heated words to that effect.

      Alabama was NOT much in the game.
      Moegle/Maegle’s yardage for that game remained the Cotton Bowl record — although I remember his sitting out a considerable part of the 4th quarter — until a few years ago. Some fellow got more yards playing the full game.

      Of course, all that is from my memory, and is “under review”.

      • mjthannisch says:

        Thank you for the correction. Sadly, all I have heard were second hand accounts, as I was either not born yet or still wearing diaper, and its been over thirty years since I heard those accounts.

  4. john wolda "56 says:

    Hey Gene , To refresh your memory, Harold “Red” Drew was the ‘Bama coach in the ’54 Cotton Bowl. “Bear” coached there from ’58 to ’82. Bear coached Kentucky in ’53, they beat us 19-13 for one of our only 2 losses that year. I was football manager that year. I was standing next to Coach Neely when Dickey was tackled. I will not repeat what he said,but he wasn’t happy.

    In the ’57 game against the Aggies, my “roomie” Matt Gorges, made the great 12 yard loss tackle on Jimmy Wright to put the Aggies out of field goal range. Matt had been heavily recruited by the “Bear”.

  5. mjthannisch says:

    And thanks, you gave me enough information that I could look up the details.

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