COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M will face Pac-12 Conference power UCLA in a home-and-home football series in 2016 and 2017, the two schools along with the Pac-12, the Southeastern Conference and ESPN announced on Thursday.
The UCLA Bruins will make their first-ever appearance at Kyle Field on Sept. 3, 2016, and the Aggies will make the return trip to Pasadena, Calif., on Sept. 2, 2017. It will be a rare road trip to California for the Aggies, who haven’t played a regular season game on the West Coast in more than 20 years since knocking off coach Bill Walsh’s Stanford Cardinal squad in the 1992 season opener in Anaheim, Calif. Texas A&M previously announced its 2015 football season opener against Pac-12 member Arizona State on Sept. 5, 2015 at Reliant Stadium in Houston in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff.
“We are very pleased this series was able to come together and provides our program with an exciting, premier non-conference matchup against UCLA,” Texas A&M Director of Athletics Eric Hyman stated. “UCLA brings one of the top programs from the West Coast to the redeveloped Kyle Field in Aggieland, and for our Aggie team and the 12th Man to have the chance to play in the Rose Bowl is a historic opportunity.”
The two teams have faced off four times previously with the series tied at two wins each. The only recent meeting came in the 1998 Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl in Dallas, which featured a pair of familiar coaching adversaries in A&M’s R.C. Slocum and UCLA’s Bob Toledo, who was on Slocum’s original coaching staff at Texas A&M and guided A&M’s offense from 1989-1993. The fifth-ranked Bruins rallied for a 29-23 victory over the No. 20 and Big 12 South Champion Aggies despite a Cotton Bowl record 20 tackles and an interception from linebacker Dat Nguyen.
The 2006 Holiday Bowl matchup between California and Texas A&M marks the Aggies’ most recent meeting with a Pac-12 team, although A&M has several recent meetings with current Pac-12 members Colorado and Utah when they were members of other conferences.
In other meetings between A&M and UCLA, the Aggies tallied a pair of road victories in 1940 (7-0) and 1951 (21-14), while UCLA’s other victory came in 1955 when the top-ranked Bruins beat Paul “Bear” Bryant’s second Aggie squad 21-0 in the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The last time Texas A&M engaged a Pac-12 foe in a home-and-home series dates back to the late 1980s when the Washington Huskies and Texas A&M dueled in 1987 and 1989. The Aggies won 29-12 at Kyle Field in 1987, while the Huskies returned the favor with a 19-6 win in Seattle in 1989.
The Aggies open the 2014 football campaign on the road against SEC foe South Carolina on Thursday, Aug. 28 in the first game to air on the SEC Network.