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Football

Greatest Moments

In 1947, two schools from the state of Texas epitomized football powerhouses: SMU and the University of Texas. Their game was a classic struggle between two giants with SMU emerging victorious, 14-13. The key to the game was the play of Doak Walker. Walker's performance that day was the key to ensuring SMU an undefeated season and a trip to the Cotton Bowl making the 1947 Texas game one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.

On November 1, 1947, UT traveled to Dallas to take on conference rival SMU in a showdown of two top-10 teams. Both schools were undefeated with SMU at 5-0 and ranked No. 8 in the nation while Texas stood at 6-0 and No. 3 in the polls. It was also the last meeting of Doak Walker and Bobby Layne, former high school and future pro teammates. The game drew a standing room only crowd of 50,000 to the 46,000 seat Cotton Bowl, setting the wheels in motion to enlarge the stadium as soon as possible.

Texas was rated the superior team at the time. In public, Matty Bell sang the praises of the Longhorns, but in the locker room, he was preparing his players to beat them. "I just had to convince them they could win with all the chips down," Bell said. "I said they would have to do their hardest blocking and tackling and that they were not to be awed by Texas's reputation."

Before the game, Doak Walker got up and said, "Fellows, I've been sweating this game out since we lost to Texas in 1945, and we've just got to win this time." SMU struck in the first three minutes to take a 7-0 lead following an 81-yard kickoff return. Walker hit Dick McKissack inside the Texas 5 on a crucial fourth down play to keep SMU moving. Paul Page scored on a reverse one play later as the Texas defense focused on Walker.

Bobby Layne, however, brought the Longhorns back. He engineered a scoring drive capped off by an 11-yard touchdown run by Tom Landry. The game stayed tied until just before halftime when Walker set SMU up for another touchdown. Gil Johnson hit Walker for a gain of 37, putting the Mustangs at the Texas one yard line. McKissack rammed through the line on the next play for the score. Walker added the extra point and SMU led 14-7.

Texas surged back and had a chance to tie the score late in the fourth quarter. Layne went to the air and hit Byron Gillory for a long touchdown pass. However, kicker Frank Guess pushed the extra-point attempt wide of the uprights, allowing SMU to hang on to the narrow lead. SMU spoiled the Longhorn's bid for its first national championship with the thrilling 14-13 victory.

Walker later recalled, "During the years that I have been on football, baseball, basketball, track, and swimming teams either in high school or college, or the army, I have had lots of thrills. But I guess my highlight in sports was that game against Texas."

SMU finished the season with a record of 9-0-1 and were crowned Southwest Conference champions. They earned their first trip to the Cotton Bowl matching them against Penn St. Texas finished the regular season 9-1 and earned a trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl. The 1947 SMU-Texas game will go down as one of the greatest games in SMU history and takes it place as one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History....

THE COUNTDOWN
No. 90 :: First School Win (1915)
No. 89 :: Rutledge sets two school records (2003)
No. 88 :: Phillips 100 yard INT (1984)
No. 87 :: McCown completes 19 straight (1999)
No. 86 :: Brownlee kicks 57 yd. field goal (1985)
No. 85 :: Bennett records first career win (2002)
No. 84 :: SMU closes out the Cotton Bowl (1999)
No. 83 :: Ownby Stadium opens (1926)
No. 82 :: James sets SWC record (1982)
No. 81 :: Stewart named All-American (1993)
No. 80 :: Briggs sets new Mustang mark (2002)
No. 79 :: SMU defeats Arkansas 31-9 (1997)
No. 78 :: The 1980 Holiday Bowl (1980)
No. 77 :: Hopkins records 4 INTs (1981)
No. 76 :: Pony Express heads to Japan (1983)
No. 75 :: SMU plays in first ever bowl game (1924)
No. 74 :: Hayden Fry named head coach (1962)
No. 73 :: McIlhenny leads SMU over Baylor (1982)
No. 72 :: Flanigan sets total offense record (1997)
No. 71 :: Bell inducted into CFHOF (1955)
No. 70 :: Dickerson runs wild against A&M (1980)
No. 69 :: Charles breaks freshman record (2001)
No. 68 :: Johnson sets sack record (1999)
No. 67 :: Dupard leads pouding of Texas (1985)
No. 66 :: Sanders named first All-America (1928)
No. 65 :: Rossley breaks reception record (1994)
No. 64 :: First win over Texas (1924)
No. 63 :: Gregg returns to SMU (1988)
No. 62 :: Mann leads SMU over TCU (1926)
No. 61 :: Berry defines excellence (1954)
No. 60 :: Birth of the Mustang Name (1917)
No. 59 :: Ford scores first TD in Ford (2000)
No. 58 :: Wolf sets SWC record (1992)
No. 57 :: Meredith sets SWC record (1957)
No. 56 :: Choate Anchors SMU Defense (1978)
No. 55 :: SMU downs Texas (1965)
No. 54 :: Tolbert leads win over BU (1978)
No. 53 :: SMU downs Texas in Austin (1982)
No. 52 :: Partee kicks win over Baylor (1966)
No. 51 :: Hopkins recovers Pitt fumble (1983)
No. 50 :: Dickerson scores 19 TDs (1981)
No. 49 :: Romo breaks completion record (1990)
No. 48 :: LeVias breaks reception record (1968)
No. 47 :: SMU records 400th win (1997)
No. 46 :: SMU clinches winning season (1997)
No. 45 :: Walker on Life Magazine (1948)
No. 44 :: Rote No. 1 NFL Draft Pick (1951)
No. 43 :: SMU blanks TCU (1966)
No. 42 :: SMU downs UNT on Homecoming (1989)
No. 41 :: SMU RUNS over Razorbacks (1980)
No. 40 :: Richardson sets rushing record (1968)
No. 39 :: Wolf breaks NCAA record (1989)
No. 38 :: SMU downs Arkansas (1984)
No. 37 :: The Decision (1945)
No. 36 :: Doak Walker Day at SMU (1998)
No. 35 :: SMU Upsets A&M (1974)
No. 34 :: SMU Ties Ohio State (1978)
No. 33 :: SMU ties Penn State (1948)
No. 32 :: The Army game (1928)
No. 31 :: The TCU Game (1947)
No. 30 :: SMU comeback against Baylor (1975)
No. 29 :: Hixson leads nation in passing (1968)
No. 28 :: Back to the Cotton Bowl (1949)
No. 27 :: Smith picks off Marino (1983)
No. 26 :: The Aloha Bowl (1984)
No. 25 :: Mustang Mania (1978)
No. 24 :: First SWC Title (1923)
No. 23 :: LeVias Baffles Texas A&M (1966)
No. 22 :: Debut Of The Pony Express (1980)
No. 21 :: Undefeated SMU Beats Texas (1947)
No. 20 :: The Ohio State game (1950)
No. 19 :: Dickerson breaks SWC record (1982)
No. 18 :: Revenge against Houston (1992)
No. 17 :: Tie versus Texas A&M (1994)
No. 16 :: Win over Notre Dame (1951)
No. 15 :: Walker career accolades (1949)
No. 14 :: SMU ranked No. 2 (1982)
No. 13 :: The House That Doak Built
No. 12 :: Bluebonnet Bowl in 1968
No. 11 :: Opening of Ford Stadium (2000)
No. 10 :: The Navy Game (1963)
No. 9 :: Carter's block against Arkansas (1982)
No. 8 :: Miracle on Mockingbird (1989)
No. 7 :: The 1949 Notre Dame Game
No. 6 :: National Champions (1935)
No. 5 :: Signing of Jerry LeVias (1965)
No. 4 :: McIlhenny Cotton Bowl TD (1983)
No. 3 :: The Miracle Man (1982)
No. 2 :: The $85,000 Pass (1935)
No. 1 :: Doak Wins the Heisman (1948)

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