The Throwback takes us back to 1992, a magical year for many reason not the least of which is the intersectional matchup between two very different shades of orange. Texas traveled north of the Wall to the friendly confines of the Carrier Dome, to try and deal with Qadry Ismail and Syracuse.
Get me some Carrier Bullets!
- Syracuse was coached by the great Paul Pasqualoni who replaced the great Dick MacPherson in 1991. Pasqualoni went 20-4 in his first two seasons in charge at Syracuse including bowl wins over Ohio State and Colorado.
- Pasqualoni won 64% of his games at the 'Cuse (it's like I'm a local or something) including going 6-3 in bowl games. He later took the head job at UConn which didn't go well. Taking a job at UConn never goes well. He was fired four games into his third year.
- Ismail known as "the Missile," not to be confused with his brother "the rocket" or his mother "the launching pad," was as a game breaker just not at the level of his older brother Rocket. He went onto an eight career in the league with Minnesota, Baltimore and Indy.
- Syracuse lost two games in 1992, a week after the Texas game they hosted Ohio State and got beat up. Then, in the regular season finale, the #8 Orange lost to #1 Miami at home.
- The Orangemen beat Colorado in the Fiesta bowl and finished the #6 team in the country.
- Texas was in the first year of the John Mackovic era. Mackovic replaced David McWilliams. McWilliams was fired one year after his great "Shock the Nation" team of the 1990. His encore was a 5-6 season and a pink slip.
- Note the Mackovic is wearing a sport coat on the sideline. For me Mackovic never really got past the insurance salesman persona. I always felt like he was a few seconds away from offering me a great deal on term life.
- Texas had a pretty good three year run under Mackovic from 1994 to 1996. The Horns went to the Sugar Bowl twice and the Fiesta in a stretch where they were 26-11-1. They won the last SWC title in 1995 and the first Big 12 title in '96.
- Plucky little Peter Gardere was in his last season at Texas and threw for over 7,000 yards in his UT career. That's good enough for 4th all-time in Texas history.
- Texas also introduced three freshman who played prominent roles in Texas' future fortunes: Priest Holmes, Mike Adams, and Lovell Pinkney. Holmes went on to a stellar career at Texas and the NFL while Adams was as dynamic a playmaker at the SWC had seen since Eric Metcalf. Adams sits 3rd in Texas all-time receiving yardage. Pinkney was an athletic freak, tall, big, and fluid. The type of wide receiver you didn't see often in the early 90s.
- Texas opened with two straight losses to Mississippi State and Syracuse. They won five straight and were a top 20 team before a loss to a two win TCU derailed their season.
Enjoy the splendor the Carrier dome!