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The 1987 Cotton Bowl Classic was the 51st such held. It matched the Texas A&M Aggies and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

1987 Cotton Bowl Classic
1234 Total
Ohio State 07147 28
Texas A&M 3306 12
DateJanuary 1, 1987
StadiumCotton Bowl
LocationDallas, Texas
MVPLB Chris Spielman (Ohio State)
FB Roger Vick (Texas A&M)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersVerne Lundquist, Ara Parseghian, and Pat Haden
Cotton Bowl Classic
 < 1986  1988


This was the first Cotton Bowl appearance by a team from the Big Ten Conference. Ohio State was co-champion of the Big Ten, sharing it with Michigan, to whom they lost 26–24 on November 22. Ohio State hadn't played a SWC team since 1982. Texas A&M won their second consecutive Southwest Conference championship under Sherrill. A&M hoped to be only the second team to win consecutive Cotton Bowl Classics (the first being Texas in 1969 and 1970).

Game SummaryEdit

It was a close first half that had Ohio State leading 7-6. Scott Slater kicked two field goals for the Aggies contrasted with Jim Karsatos's touchdown run. But the second half is where Ohio State and their defense shone, as on the third play of the half, Chris Spielman intercepted a Kevin Murray pass and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown. When the Aggies tried to drive again, Sonny Gordon intercepted the ball. Vince Workman cultivated Ohio State's drive with his 8-yard run midway through the 3rd quarter. Roger Vick narrowed the lead down with his touchdown run, but the conversion missed, making it only 21-12 with nine minutes to go. When A&M tried to drive with three minutes to go, Michael Kee intercepted the ball and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown. Despite having less first downs, three passes picked off, and more penalties than A&M, it was Ohio State's defense that won the game for them, for they had five interceptions on the day, two of which that were returned for touchdowns, and one that led to a touchdown.[1]


A&M would go to the Cotton Bowl the following year, and win in Sherill's second-to-last year as coach. Ohio State would go 6-4-1 the following year and fire Bruce. This would be the last time Texas A&M and Ohio State would meet until the 1999 Sugar Bowl, which Ohio State won 24-14. This would be the last Cotton Bowl game to feature a Big Ten team until Michigan State appeared in the 2015 Cotton Bowl against Baylor. In that game, Michigan State trailed 41-21 in the fourth quarter, but scored 21 unanswered points to pull off a stunning comeback, winning 42-41. It is the largest comeback in Cotton Bowl history. In 2017, Ohio State was voted to the Cotton Bowl, where they defeated USC 24-7.


Statistics Texas A&M Ohio State
First Downs 18 16
Yards Rushing 160 85
Yards Passing 136 218
Total Yards 296 303
Punts-Average 6-42.2 6-35.2
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0
Interceptions 5 3
Penalties-Yards 3-15 11-70