History: Texas Tech vs. SMU

Cameron Brock cracked open the history book and record books to break down the history between Texas Tech and SMU.

If you think SMU is a small conference program that has never been prominent and has zero chance of winning a national championship, chances are you were born in 1987 or later.

           

There are many born after 1987 who understand what the Pony Express was thanks to ESPN's 30 for 30: "Pony Exce$$". SMU football has quite the history though, and Texas Tech is a big part of it.

 

SMU started playing football almost a decade before Texas Technological College, now Texas Tech University, existed. The Mustangs were one of the first pass happy offenses in the 1920s tossing the ball on average 30-40 times a game. It became known as the "Aerial Circus" and the team was coached by Ray Morrison.

           

The rivalry started in 1932 with the Red Raiders winning 6-0. SMU returned the favor the next season by handing Tech a season opening loss 14-0. The two teams would not face each other again until 1943 where the game would be played in Dallas for the first time. SMU won 7-6.

           

Before the two teams met in Dallas, the Mustangs won their first national championship in 1935 under Head Coach Matty Bell, although SMU lost to Stanford in the Rose Bowl 7-0.

           

The rivalry favored SMU 4-2 when Tech joined the Southwest Conference. The two teams had not met since 1947 when Doak Walker and Bobby Layne propelled the Mustangs to their most lopsided victory in the series 41-6 in 1948.

 

After the addition of Tech to the Southwest Conference, SMU continued to dominate the series. The Mustangs took three of the first four games from Tech in the conference rivalry.

           

The trend would swing the other way in 1963 with Tech's first road win in the series. Tech won 13-6 and won six of the next eight.

           

The Red Raiders took complete control of the series throughout the 1970s winning seven straight. The ponies only managed wins in 1971 and 1979. The second victory was the first time Texas Tech faced Eric Dickerson and the Pony Express.

           

The Pony Express helped lead SMU to a No. 18 national ranking and a three-game winning streak going into Lubbock on Nov. 15, 1980. The Mustangs had upset No. 2 Texas 20-6 earlier in the season and accumulated a 7-2 record, the Red Raiders shutout the Mustangs 14-0.

 

Tech would finish the season 5-6. SMU lost the Holiday Bowl in what be known as the "Miracle Bowl" against BYU.

 

Texas Tech would win one game the next season over New Mexico. The Red Raiders would end up watching SMU rush to a 10-1 record and their second national championship after defeating the Arkansas Razorbacks in what is widely known as the "Polyester Bowl".

 

In 1982, SMU entered Jones Stadium ranked second with a 9-0 record. SMU was up 27-24 when Tech kicked a field goal with seventeen seconds left in the game. In an era with no overtime, the game seemed as if it would end in a tie. Bobby Leach ended up breaking hearts all over Raiderland and scoring on the kickoff for an SMU victory 34-27. Once again that season, SMU would win a national championship.

 

Tech would lose six straight games in the series before the "Death Penalty" took two years of football away from the SMU campus. The Red Raiders are 14-0 against the Mustangs since the NCAA sanctions.

 

The two teams from the Southwest Conference who have played the most non-conference games against each other are SMU and Texas Tech. SMU

 

The Red Raiders will look to make it 15 in a row when Kliff Kingsbury makes his head coaching debut leading Texas Tech against SMU Friday.

 

As an assistant coach, Kingsbury is 3-0 against the Mustangs. Texas Tech leads the all-time series 32-16.


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