Sept. 1, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Each week the Insider will take a look at Notre Dame’s opponent and feature one of the key players in Saturday’s game. This week the Irish face the Aggies of Texas A&M. The key player in this week’s matchup without a doubt is R.C. Slocum. He is in his 12th season as head coach of Texas A&M where his record stands at 102-32-2.

Saturday’s game will be a battle of the defensive minds.

In his time at A&M, R.C. Slocum put together the best decade in the history of the Aggies. He finished the 1990s with 94 wins, which is the most of any Division I football program in the history of the state of Texas.

It is an impressive record, which he set by knowing the ins and outs of how to run a program. Not to mention, Slocum has repeatedly assembled a defensive powerhouse.

This year’s “Wrecking Crew” is no different from any other in the past. Outside linebackers Roylin Bradley and Jason Glenn registered 27 tackles for losses and 12 sacks a season ago. They team up with inside linebackers Cornelius Anthony and Brian Gamble and pack a powerful punch.

R.C. Slocum actually hired Bob Davie as the linebackers coach for A&M back in 1985. Then Aggie head coach Jackie Sherrill left the decision up to his defensive coordinator Slocum at the time.

Slocum took Davie under his wing and showed him the sights and sounds of A&M and Texas in general. Davie credits Slocum for teaching him about more than the state of Texas.

“I learned a lot from him,” Davie said. “He introduced me to a lot of people in Texas. And the thing I thought he always did a great job of was just really being steady in the boat and seeing the big picture on things.”

Slocum is a key player in Saturday’s game. He could have some tricks up his sleeve to surprise Davie. A&M has been hit with injuries early so watch for Slocum to throw in some surprises to keep the Irish off guard.

Saturday’s game will be a meeting of the minds with both coaches focusing on finishing strong especially since both coach’s squads became familiar with folding in the tough games last season.

The game will be an opportunity for either the teacher to teach his former student a new lesson or vice versa. Nonetheless, no one should underestimate the coaching ability of Slocum.