By Joe Gulick
Texas Tech finished its 1989 season on a sour note, with a 40-24 loss to Jack Pardee’s Houston Cougars, but the Red Raiders were bound for the All-American Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., to play the Duke Blue Devils.
This Dirk West cartoon was printed on Nov. 30, 1989, five days after Tech had lost to Houston and Baylor had stomped Texas 50-7 in Austin. Former Tech coach David McWilliams was in his third season of his five-year contract at Texas and was struggling with a 16-17 record after the Baylor game. It got even worse when Texas A&M beat the Longhorns 21-10 the following Saturday, giving Texas a 5-6 season mark.
Meanwhile, Arkansas won the Southwest Conference title and was headed for the Cotton Bowl, where it would lose 31-27 to Tennesee.
Tech was led by running back James Gray, who piled up 1,509 rushing yards in the regular season and rushed for 280 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-21 bowl victory over Duke. It was Tech’s first bowl win in 16 years and the most points the Red Raiders had ever scored in a bowl game. The Red Raiders finished the season ranked 19th in the Associated Press poll and 16th in the United Press International poll.
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