Kirk Herbstreit's ESPN Debut 25 Years Ago Was Full of 90's College Football Nostalgia

Kirk Herbstreit in 1995 on the deuce.
Kirk Herbstreit in 1995 on the deuce.

How much have things changed in 25 years? Ricky Williams was a freshman. Kirk Herbstreit was a sideline reporter. Everyone had a mustache. ESPN2 did not use capital letters. That's just some of the incredible archived footage you will see in this clip from Texas' 1995 season-opener against Hawaii.

This game took place so long ago that Texas was still in the Southwest Conference. The Longhorns won the game, 38-17. As Herbie mentioned, Williams was the first true freshman to start at running back for Texas since Earl Campbell. Williams finished 10 carries for 95 yards, breaking Campbell's record of 85 yards in a Freshman debut. Williams also scored twice, including that 65 yard run in the video.

And let's not forget head referee Mike Pereira in his last season in college before moving to the NFL.

Mike Pereira, referee.
Mike Pereira, referee.

As for Baby Herbie, according to the ESPN Press Room, the former Ohio State quarterback joined ESPN in September 1995, so this would have been his network debut. It looks like nerves may have gotten to him a little, but he recovered nicely and got through all his talking points before throwing it back to the booth. He joined College GameDay a year later and the rest is history. Just like those Hawaii uniforms.