When the Red Raiders last made the trip to Dallas to play in Ford Stadium, the Red Raiders left on a sour note as SMU head coach Phil Bennett was unhappy with the way Mike Leach continued to run his offense when apparently he preferred that Leach take his foot off the pedal.
This year the series heads back to Dallas, and Coach Bennett knows what he is up against after Graham Harrell led Texas Tech to a resounding 35-3 victory over the Mustangs last year in the first start of his career. With a full season under Harrell's belt, SMU expects that the talented offense will be ready to go.
"Coming into the Tech game, we know what we're going to face," said Coach Bennett on Tuesday afternoon. "They are a very good football team and very well coached. They're a team who can contend with anyone they play. They're never out of a game. Their offensive line is gigantic and defensively, they line up well. They're just like us; they line up, they know what to do and they play hard."
Although most SMU faithful are touting this as the biggest game of the season, Coach Bennett views it as an important game but one that doesn't necessarily define their season.
"This game is a game where we want to play well and we want to win, but it's not an end-all game for us. Our goal is to be the 2007 Conference USA champion. We know there's going to be a learning curve for some of our younger guys. What I'm looking for is execution on both sides. "
As a member of the Conference USA, SMU doesn't get to be in the limelight as much as most BCS teams. With the 3 pm kickoff on Labor Day and the game being nationally broadcasted on ESPN, it's a unique position for them to be in.
"It's going to be on national TV on a national holiday," said an excited Coach Bennett. "We haven't had that here. It's a new feel for us. My guys are excited about the opportunity and I think they'll come ready to play."
Tech leads the overall series 29-16 dating back to 1932 and has won 11 straight against SMU.