The 1966 season was one of the most exciting in SMU's history as three of the Mustangs' crucial conference wins came by a combined total of seven points. On November 19, SMU was coming off of a disappointing loss at Arkansas. The Mustangs still had their eyes set on the SWC championship, but they had to get by a tough Baylor team. The game's outcome rested on the right leg of SMU kicker Dennis Partee as he kicked the game winner with 15 seconds to play. Partee game-winning kick helped SMU move one step closer to its first conference title since 1948 making it one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.
SMU jumped out to a 21-0 lead on a touchdown by Pat Gibson and two by Jerry LeVias, including a 100-yard second-half kickoff return. But Baylor stormed back to cut the deficit to 21-19 with 8:31 to play. The Bears then took the lead on kicker Bob Purvis' field goal with 2:37 to go. Just when it appeared that Baylor had overcome the 21-0 deficit, the Mustangs stormed back. SMU took Baylor's kickoff and marched into field goal range. With 15 seconds left on the clock, Coach Hayden Fry sent Dennis Partee on to the field to attempt a 20-yard field goal. Partee's kick split the uprights and SMU emerged victorious, 24-22.
The Baylor victory was reminiscent of several wins from earlier in the season. In October, SMU had scored with just nine seconds remaining to knock off Rice, and then two weeks later beat Texas with just 18 seconds to go. This Mustang team showed the resolve it needed to claim the SWC title and a spot in the Cotton Bowl.
Partee went on to a successful professional career as a punter and kicker for the San Diego Chargers. He holds the San Diego record for most points by a rookie. Then in 1971, Partee showed a national television audience why Hayden Fry had trusted him to make the game winner against Baylor in 1966. Partee kicked a 45-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Chargers to a 20-17 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday Night Football.
Dennis Partee was an important part of the first SWC championship team since the days of Doak Walker. The Cameron, Texas native rose to the occasion and used his powerful leg to kick SMU to victory. The 24-22 last minute win over Baylor takes its place as one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.