On November 7th, 1992, SMU hosted the Houston Cougars on Homecoming Day at Ownby Stadium. It was the last Homecoming for a group of 26 seniors who began playing for Forrest Gregg in 1989. In that freshman season, they had traveled to Houston to take on a superiorly talented Cougar team led by Heisman trophy winner Andre Ware in the Astrodome. By the end of the day, Houston had beaten the Mustangs, 95-21, in one of the poorest displays of sportsmanship in college football history. When other teams might have folded and other players given up, this group of young men stayed together through it all. Four years later, after showing great patience and character along the way, the Mustangs responded by destroying the Cougars 41-16, in one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.
The game belonged to the Mustangs. The defense applied pressure on quarterback Jimmy Klingler all day forcing him to make critical mistakes. The Mustangs piled up five sacks, three interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. When Klingler tried to use the draw to catch SMU off guard, the Mustangs were ready for it. They limited the Cougars to just 17 yards rushing on 18 attempts. Houston's 16 points were their fewest in an SWC game since a 17-13 loss to Texas A&M in 1989.
Offensively, the Mustangs exploded for 41 points. Dan Freiburger threw a pair of touchdown passes, and Rongea Hill added three touchdowns on the ground. It was the final scoring drive of the afternoon that was the most impressive. By using a mixture of runs and shorts passes, the Mustangs marched 89 yards in ten plays, capped off by Hill's four-yard touchdown run.
The final stats showed that the Mustangs had controlled the ball for a season high 37 minutes while accumulating 461 yards of total offense. Freiburger connected on 26 of 44 passes for 346 yards. Hill carried the ball 24 times for 129 yards and a 5.4 yards per carry average. It was a truly dominating performance.
The win snapped a three game losing streak to the Cougars. It also helped the Mustangs to a 5-6 record, earning head coach Tom Rossley co-Coach of the Year honors in the Southwest Conference. Randy Galloway, writing for the Dallas Morning News at the time, stated, "SMU went 5-6. To me, that qualified Rossley as the country's most legitimate coach-of-the-year candidate. And that doesn't mean coach-of-the-year in the 214-area code, or the SWC, or anything west of Gene Stallings in Tuscaloosa. That's national coach-of-the-year for Rossley."
Later that year, those 26 seniors who had stuck it out through all of the tough times graduated with degrees from SMU. They were ready to begin the newest chapters of their lives with a sense of pride and accomplishment for what they did for SMU. They were able to look back on their time on the hilltop knowing that they had been a part of something special.
In 1989, Forrest Gregg had set out to field a team of boys that were strong in character and loved football with all their hearts. Four years later, we were able to see that he was successful. The patience of the seniors paid off as the Mustangs routed the Cougars, 41-16, in one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.