Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 11/30/11
In an ideal world newly signed Texans quarterback Jake Delhomme won't play a down for the team while rookie T.J. Yates guides the club to a Super Bowl victory. Since the world is hardly perfect, the chances of both happening are small. But if and when Delhomme does get into action it won't be like he has never played in a big spot before. He has played ten years in the NFL. He guided the Carolina Panthers into Super Bowl XXXVIII (38). While approaching 37 years old, he has only been out of the league since 2010 when he served as a backup to a young Colt McCoy in Cleveland. So, he also has the experience of helping mentor a young quarterback. Delhomme fits the qualifications for a veteran backup to a "T". However, besides his heroics during his starting days in Carolina and Super Bowl appearance, he has a game on his record even bigger than appearing in a Super Bowl. He once led his college team to a huge upset victory over the 25th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies. The game between the University of Southern Louisiana (USL) and the Aggies was played on September 14, 1996 in Lafayette, Louisiana's Cajun Field. A record-setting crowd of 38,783 was on hand. The Aggies were heavily favored. They were not only ranked and unbeaten, but the Ragin' Cajuns had lost badly to even higher ranked Florida two weeks earlier 55-21. In that game, four Delhomme interceptions led to the rout. This time, however, things would turn out differently. It would be nice to say it was Jake Delhomme's passing wizardry that did in the Aggies, but it was really the Aggies that did in the Aggies. They turned the ball over eight times. Three of those turnovers were run in for touchdowns. USL was coached by Nelson Stokley. His son, Brandon, was the team's top receiver. That name should ring a bell. He was a long time receiver in the NFL, most of it as one of Peyton Manning's targets with the Indianapolis Colts. I did the telecast of the game. At the outset it figured to be a typical non-conference, early-season game for A&M, although playing on the road before a full house was expected to keep the game closer than it might. Jake Delhomme's game started miserably as his first pass was picked off by Donovan Greer and returned to the USL 12 yard line. Dante Hawkins carried to the one and D'Andre Hardemann took the ball in for the touchdown. But the first of the Aggie turnovers led to a 7-7 tie when Mason intercepted a Brandon Stewart pass for a touchdown. At the end of the first half it was 21-13 USL. The Cajuns might have been able to get at least three more, but the clock wound down before a final play from the A&M 18 yard line could be run. The Aggies got the lead back at 22-21 after three quarters, but were kept off the field by Delhomme and his crew. Jake was only 14-33 passing, but converted four third downs through the air. He threw one short TD pass and had the one interception of his first pass of the day. Stokley caught five passes for 54 yards. After the final gun sounded, Cajun fans stormed the field. The goal posts came down and were last seen being moved out of the stadium. The next morning the Lafayette Sunday Advertiser gave the front and sports pages almost totally over to the USL win the biggest in school history. Had Jake Delhomme been on a Super Bowl winner, perhaps that game might have gone to No. 2 on his great memories. But I am betting it is still No. 1 right now. It probably will remain that even if he is part of a Texans team that wins a Super Bowl with T.J. Yates playing and Jake watching. But it sure would be fun to find out.
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