Our last moment discussed the importance of a name, so it only seems fitting that our next moment also revolve around a name. On September 2, 2000, SMU opened the brand new Ford Stadium against the University of Kansas. It was a player, Billy Ford, who had the honor of scoring the first touchdown in the history of the new stadium. Billy Ford's touchdown reception comes in at No. 59 on our list of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.
After SMU stuffed the Jayhawks' offense on their first possession, SMU quarterback Josh McCown drove the Mustangs to history. McCown engineered a 72-yard drive in nine plays for the first score in SMU's new home: an 11-yard pass to Billy Ford.
Billy Ford was recruited by SMU by receiving countless pieces of information about a new home for the team called Ford Stadium being built on campus. He thought that it was a unique opportunity to be able to play in a stadium that shared his name. Ford is very proud of his name; in fact, he even has a tattoo of the Ford Motor Company's logo adorning his bicep.
It seemed to be destiny that Billy Ford would score the first touchdown in the stadium's history. When he arrived in Dallas from Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School, Ford was a reserve safety. Soon after that he was moved to linebacker before finally being switched to the offensive side of the ball. Ford was tagged as a tight end/U-back position because of his soft hands and blocking abilities.
From the eleven yard-line, Ford was able to break free of his defender and find an opening in the Jayhawks' secondary where McCown was able to hit him for the first score of the game. At that moment, the sellout crowd of 32,267 Mustang faithful erupted into a frenzy of excitement that had not been seen on campus in years. Billy Ford's touchdown was the beginning of a dominating performance by the Mustangs as they downed their Big XII visitors 31-17.
Billy Ford ensured himself a place in SMU history that can never be taken away from him. His catch did more than put six points on the board for the Mustangs; it sent a signal to SMU fans that football was back were it belonged, back on the Hilltop. Billy Ford's touchdown catch in Ford Stadium takes its place at No. 59 on our list of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.