DALLAS, JAN. 1 -- It was to be Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown's triumphant return to his hometown, but the 52nd Cotton Bowl Classic will be remembered as his day of infamy and 13th-ranked Texas A&M University's 35-10 rout of No. 12 Notre Dame.

A frustrated Brown lost his poise in the fourth quarter and ran across the field to tackle from behind a member of A&M's "12th-Man" kickoff team who had tackled him.

The Aggies' "12th-Man" team consists of nonscholarship players from the student body.

Brown, who was penalized 15-yards for the personal foul, never returned to the field after the incident, which involved Warren Barhorst.

Alex Morris' interception late in the second quarter triggered the A&M rout but it was overshadowed by the incident involving Brown, who went to high school only 15 miles from the Cotton Bowl at Dallas' Woodrow Wilson.

Brown, who left the field just before the end of the game, said an A&M player held him down while another stole a towel with his initials on it.

"I hate it that I cost the team 15 yards but they had no right to take my towel," Brown said. "My intention was to take the towel away but I guess I tackled him {Barhorst}. I believe they planned this on the sideline."

Brown had 238 all-purpose yards and after he left, the crowd of 73,006 chanted "We want Brown, We want Brown."

Brown, who caught six passes for 105 yards in the first half, said the towel was given to him by a teammate's girlfriend.

"The towel was special to me," said Brown, who did get it back.

Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz said he wished Brown hadn't done it.

"I felt bad because I looked up and it was first and 25," Holtz said. "He {Brown} made a mistake. But he has had a great career at Notre Dame."

Texas A&M Coach Jackie Sherrill said "There was no excuse for what Brown did, but frustrations build up. It was certainly out of character. He should have been ejected."

Sherrill said the game turned on Morris' interception in the A&M end zone with the Irish leading, 10-3.

"That put us back in the game," Sherrill said. "Our defense controlled the line of scrimmage. Brown hurt us early but the game wasn't won by the skill players. It was won by the defenders."

Morris said he was out of position when he made the critical interception.

"I was supposed to be on the other side of the field, but I saw the quarterback roll out and I ran to that side and he {Terry Andrysiak} threw it right to me," Morris said.

Notre Dame (8-4) led by 10-3 and was about to widen the margin when Morris intercepted Andrysiak in the Aggies' end zone with a one-handed catch.

Texas A&M (10-2), the Southwest Conference champion, drove 80 yards for the tying score, producing two touchdowns in a span of 76 seconds to take an 18-10 halftime lead.

Brown's 17-yard first-period scoring pass from Andrysiak, who missed the last seven games with a broken collarbone, gave Notre Dame a 7-0 lead and both teams traded field goals before A&M's late first half explosion.

It was the first meeting between the two football tradition-rich schools. Notre Dame 7 3 0 0 10 Texas A&M 3 15 7 10 35

First Quarter

ND -- T. Brown 17 pass from Andrysiak (Gradel kick), 3:28

A&M -- FG Slater 26, 15:00 Second Quarter

ND -- FG Gradel 36, 4:03

A&M -- Thompson 24 pass from Lewis (Slater kick), 13:18

A&M -- Horton 2 run (Lewis run), 14:34 Third Quarter

A&M -- Richardson 1 run (Slater kick), 1:43 Fourth Quarter

A&M -- FG Slater 25, 4:17

A&M -- Richardson 8 run (Slater kick), 2:43

A -- 73,006

Notre Dame Tex. A&M First downs 17 24 Rushes-yards 36-74 59-294 Passing yards 203 116 Return yards 4 9 Passing 15-28-2 8-17-0 Punts-average 5-31 4-42 Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1 Penalties-yards 6-64 6-55 Time o

RUSHING -- Notre Dame: Johnson 8-20, Andrysiak 11-15, Green 5-14, Graham 2-9, Banks 5-9, Brooks 3-7, Rice 1

PASSING -- Notre Dame: Andrysiak 15-25-1, 203 yards, Rice 0-3-1, 0. Texas A&M: Richardson 2-9-0, 15, Pavlas

RECEIVING -- Notre Dame: T. Brown 6-105, Heck 3-28, Ward 2-37, Green 1-24, Waters 1-10, Jefferson 1-7, Bank