Red Raiders pose historic gridiron challenge
Published: Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
When the SMU Mustangs' football team travels to Lubbock, Texas this Sunday to face off against Texas Tech in a nationally televised game, history will not be on their side.
The Mustangs have not beaten the Red Raiders since 1986, the same year the infamous death penalty was imposed.
Since then, Texas Tech holds a perfect 13-0 mark against SMU. The Red Raiders also lead the all-time series 31-16.
The first game between SMU and Texas Tech was played in 1932 in Lubbock, which was coincidently the first year Peruna was introduced as the official school mascot.
The Red Raiders pulled out a 6-0 victory in the first of 47 meetings against the Mustangs.
1948 was a big year for SMU, which featured a 9-1-1 record and a Southwest Conference (SWC) championship.
Running back Doak Walker rushed his way to college football's greatest individual award, the Heisman Trophy. Walker also led the team to a 21-13 victory over Oregon in the Cotton Bowl.
Despite all of these significant events, many argue that the most important one was on Oct. 2 when the Mustangs defeated the Red Raiders 41-6 at the last game at Ownby Stadium, which was located on SMU's campus.
The Mustangs played all of their home games at the Cotton Bowl, also known as "The House that Doak Built" for the next 31 years.
In 1960, Texas Tech joined SMU in the Southwest Conference and a fierce conference battle was born. The Red Raiders won the first conference meeting 6-0.
For the rest of the 1960's, Texas Tech and SMU enjoyed respective victories over each other as neither team dominated the series. But things would change in the 1970's.
The Red Raiders ruled the seventies, beating the Mustangs in eight out of 10 meetings. This decade also saw Texas Tech appear in six bowls, including a 1973 victory over Tennessee in the Gator Bowl.
The Red Raiders finished 11-1 that year and thrashed the Mustangs 31-14.
Meanwhile, SMU failed to reach a bowl game during the whole decade but showed promise for the 1980's after a 35-10 victory over Texas Tech in 1979.
A 30-6 victory in 1981 behind the Pony Express (composed of running backs Erick Dickerson and Craig James) saw the Mustangs begin a new tradition of defeating the Red Raiders.
Just one year later, SMU enjoyed an undefeated season, which included a 34-27 win over Texas Tech and a 7-3 victory over quarterback Dan Marino and the Pittsburgh Panthers in the Cotton Bowl.
The Mustangs were controversially ranked number two behind Pennsylvania State in the final rankings, despite being the only undefeated team in college football.
SMU would continue their dominance over Texas Tech until the death penalty was enforced in 1986.
In 1989, the Red Raiders defeated the Mustangs 48-24 in their first meeting since the death penalty was enacted.
SMU would continue their losing streak until 1995 when the SWC diminished and died off. SMU moved on to the Western Athletic Conference, while Texas Tech moved on to the Big 12 Conference.
Six years went by until the Mustangs finally rekindled the flame against the Red Raiders in 2002. This decade has featured six match-ups between the two teams, and Texas Tech has won every game.
The most recent match up came in 2008, a game SMU fans want to erase from their memory.
Mustang quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw an interception on the first play from scrimmage, and the Red Raiders never looked back as they coasted to a 43-7 victory.
2010 is a whole different year. The Mustangs are coming off of their first bowl victory since 1984, and Pony pride is at an all time high.
Sept. 5 may be the day when Texas Tech's streak comes to an end as the SMU Mustangs put their recent history behind them and go back to the winning ways of the 1980's.
After all, history is made everyday.