"It's our first time here" said Carlos Munez as he was leaving Ford Stadium after an exciting SMU 28-21 victory over ECU. Carlos and his son John had lived in Dallas their whole lives, but with the overwhelming choices of entertainment that urban environments bring with them, Mustangs football was never really a passing thought, until now.
Since SMU's season opening win over SFA, the Mustangs have been on the road until the Saturday night battle with the Pirates. On that road trip, the Mustangs beat UAB for their first conference win of the year, and looked to go 2-0 in conference for the first time in 24 years.
A half full crowd bundled up in the wet cold autumn night. But the lack of a full house was deceivingly loud, bringing a surprising and invigorating crowd noise while the Mustangs were on defense.
"This was the first time in four years that I really felt like we had a home presence on third down," senior cornerback Bryan McCann said after the game. McCann had a first quarter blocked field goal returned for a touchdown to tie the score, 7-7.
The overall feeling of a creeping swagger has started to spread from the team out into the crowd and with a 2-0 home record for the first time since 2006, the Mustangs look to make their home record a point of pride in the 2009 season.
"Obviously you want to win all your home games, and I thought the crowd was really into it" said linebacker Chase Kennemer, who was impressed with the fans, especially the student body.
"With it being fall break and most of the students going home, we didn't think there would be much of a crowd. But, people are starting to buy in on what we are doing. Hopefully it will spread and even more people will jump on board."
Coach June Jones credited the home field as well.
"We probably don't win that game on the road. Being at home you try to find a way to win."
A passionate group of ECU faithful treaded across the country to attend the game, but SMU still had a strong voice in stands during the game. Even with the crowd that Ford Stadium had last Saturday, a win over ECU should only make things louder when Navy comes to town.
"We hope to come back next Saturday" Carlos said about the Navy game. "But those tickets might be harder to get."