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Football

Greatest Moments

For many football fans in the state of Texas, the date November 9, 1974 is synonymous with Baylor upsetting Texas and leaving the lights on all night. But Waco was not the only site of a Southwest Conference upset that day. Texas A&M brought a perfect SWC record into the Cotton Bowl to battle the Mustangs. The Mustangs emerged victorious 18-14 in front of 44,463 screaming fans in one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.

The night before the game, legendary comedian and performer Bob Hope was in town for the annual Pigskin Review. Hope ended the evening by proclaiming to the SMU faithful that "the Ponies are gonna send the Aggies home in baggies!" Such a declaration was considered to be extremely bold considering A&M was on target to go to the Cotton Bowl. The Aggies were ranked 5th in the Associated Press poll, with only a loss at Kansas keeping them from a perfect season thus far.

However, once the game started, Hope's prediction did not seem so bold after all. Early on, SMU's Oscar Roan grabbed a fumble out of mid-air at the A&M 14 and went into score. Later in the first half, it appeared that A&M was headed for a score when Bubba Bean was open for a pitchout but fumbled it to the ground. SMU star lineman Louis Kelcher was there for the recovery. The Ponies then drove 84-yards to set up a 21-yard field goal to extend their lead. The defense also set up the Ponies next score with an interception, placing SMU on the Aggie 20 yard line. Quarterback Ricky Wesson burst into the end zone on the next play to put the Mustangs ahead 16-0.

A&M fought back to narrow the score to 16-14. An SMU punt pinned the Aggies deep in their own territory, making A&M have to march the length of the field for the win. However, SMU's Steve Morton was able to fight through the Aggie line and record a quarterback sack in the end zone for a safety. The final two points gave SMU an 18-14 upset victory.

Even though A&M was 4-0 in Southwest Conference play coming into the game, Louis Kelcher could have cared less. He had a stellar day. He made 24 tackles, earning him nationwide Defensive Player of the Week honors by both Sports Illustrated and the Associated Press. On one series of downs, he made back-to-back tackles on screen passes on opposite sides of the field, both from his nose guard position.

Kelcher went on to earn All-America honors as well as being named SWC Defensive Player of the Year in 1974. He also set a school record for the most tackles for a loss in a season with 22. After graduating from SMU, he went on to a successful NFL career with the San Diego Chargers from 1975-83, and the San Francisco 49ers in 1984.

Kelcher was the anchor of a Mustang defense that was able to make big plays all day long against the heavily favored Aggies. SMU was able to prove Bob Hope's prediction correct with the upset over their highly ranked conference foe. The 1974 upset win over A&M in the Cotton Bowl takes its place on our countdown 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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