The 1966 SMU squad was a special group of young men who knew how to play exciting football. The Mustangs were slow starters, but they knew how to come-from-behind to get the job done. They never quit on a game because there was always Jerry LeVias to make a clutch play or Dennis Partee to make the winning kick. All of the experts predicted SMU to finish in fifth place, but this team wanted to be champions. On November 27, 1966, the Mustangs proved all of their critics wrong by shutting out TCU to win the conference title in one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.
The week prior to the TCU, Dennis Partee had kicked a last minute field goal to life the Mustangs over Baylor. That same day, conference leader Arkansas was upset by Texas Tech, leaving SMU only one win away from the title. TCU was still in the way of the crown, but the Mustangs cleared that obstacle in style, 21-0.
Quarterback Mac White hit Jerry LeVias for a 68 yard touchdown in the first quarter to give the Mustangs the early advantage. It proved to be all the Mustangs would need as the defense completely dominated the game, shutting out the Horned Frogs. Wayne Rape ended the only real TCU threat by picking off a pass at the goal line. Jerry Griffin also intercepted a pass and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown. The Mustangs added another late touchdown to secure the 21-0 victory and Southwest Conference championship.
After 18 long years of waiting, the Mustangs were champions again. All of the rough years were temporality forgotten in the joy of an 8-2 season, a 6-1 SWC record, the conference trophy, a No. 10 national ranking, and a trip to the Cotton Bowl.
The Mustangs had seven All-SWC players, and John LaGrone was honored as a consensus All-American in tribute to his consistently brilliant defensive play. The Mustangs also led the conference in rushing as well as in total offense. Quarterback Mac White totaled 606 yards and six touchdowns running, and quarterback Mike Livingston had 475 yards and seven touchdowns passing. And then there was sophomore Jerry LeVias, who was credited with winning six of SMU's eight victories with his pass receiving, passing, rushing, and kick returns.
It was a thrilling year for the Mustangs as they won their first conference championship since the days of Doak Walker. The 21-0 win over TCU in the last game of the season to clinch the title takes its place on our countdown of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.