Football

Greatest Moments

In 1968, a new quarterback took over the reigns of the Mustang offense. Coach Hayden Fry promoted the season as "Excitement '68" because win or lose, SMU was going to be a sight to see. The excitement would be the result of the high flying aerial display sophomore quarterback Chuck Hixson commanded, one that would see him throwing the ball seventy percent of the time. In his first varsity game, he completed 27 of 48 passes for 283 yards, three touchdowns and a 32-28 upset of Auburn. It gave the sophomore confidence and momentum and he never looked back. By the end of the season, Hixson became the national passing champion in one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.

In just his second game as a starting college quarterback, Hixson led his team against the No.1 team in the country, Ohio State. He accepted the challenge gallantly, establishing an NCAA record for passing attempts with 69, completing 37 of them for 417 yards and two touchdowns. Hixson proved that he could handle the pressure applied by the best defense in the land. Even though the Mustangs fell to the Buckeyes that day, Hixson was poised to make some heads turn in Southwest Conference play.

He received praise from every team he faced. Coach Frank Broyles of Arkansas once told Hixson that he was "the greatest college passer he ever saw." He had a season high of four touchdown passes in a valiant comeback attempt against Arkansas. He averaged 46 attempts per game with the fewest being 27 against Texas A&M. The only reason he did not throw more in that game was that Mike Richardson was busy setting an SMU record for most rushing yards in a game. Hixson's favorite target was Jerry LeVias, who caught 80 passes on his way to being the second ranked receiver in the country.

Hixson wiped out all of the conference records for passing in a season or game except one and he tied for that. But he was proudest of the fact that he almost hit the 3,000-yard mark in total offense. He lacked five yards only because he had 108 yards in losses when he was sacked attempting to pass. But Hixson scored six touchdowns running with the ball and he passed for 21, making his personal total 27. Coach Hayden Fry credited Hixson with 11 touchdowns that were the result of an audible he made at the line. What makes his 27 touchdowns even more impressive is that SMU's team total was only 32.

When the Hal 9000 computer finished computing the final statistics, Hixson was the NCAA's No. 1 passer. He set 10 SWC records along the way. He had 265 completions in 468 attempts for 3,103 yards, 23 interceptions, 21 touchdowns, and 2,995 yards of total offense.

To prove that 1968 was not a fluke, Hixson finished second in the nation in passing in 1969 and fourth in 1970. His memorable season of 1968 is one of the finest by any quarterback in any era. He is the only Mustang to lead the nation in passing, although Mike Ford finished second in the nation ten years later. Chuck Hixson's strong arm led the Mustangs to a winning season and bowl victory that year, plus it placed him among 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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