As hard as it is to believe, I’ve lived in Dallas for well over three years now and never made it to an SMU Football game.Despite living within a few miles of the stadium, the Mustangs were never too high on my list of teams to visit.While the program has improved considerably in recent years under the leadership of gunslinger head coach June Jones, I still wasn’t ready to dedicate an entire College Football Saturday to see a game there.Fortunately, SMU had a fantastic Friday night matchup on their schedule as the Horned Frogs of TCU were making the trek over from Fort Worth.Spending a Friday evening under the lights of Ford Stadium sounded like the perfect opportunity to check out my first game there.
SMU, or Southern Methodist University, for the uninformed, has a markedly different feel than all the other Texas schools we have been to.The atmosphere at SMU is largely a function of the demographic that comprises the school.SMU is a rather expensive, elite private university, with a campus that abuts the “Highland Park” section of Dallas – one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the State.Expectedly, the school has a decidedly “preppy” student body and I saw enough Khakis and loafers running around to fill out a young Republican convention.I wasn’t sure if this was tailgating or a Gap ad with a bunch of David Spade clones.
To SMU’s credit, however, the “Boulevard” is a breathtaking tailgating spot, as tents and grills line a shaded promenade of towering Post Oaks.
The game itself was actually quite competitive through the first half.While I expected TCU to come in and dominate en route to another unbeaten BCS run, the Mustangs actually put up quite a fight. Athletically, they matched up surprisingly well with the Horned Frogs, and broke a couple of impressive big plays. The Mustangs even took a quick lead coming out of halftime with a key interception.Unfortunately, that lead and the SMU celebration was short lived, as the Horned frogs returned the ensuing kickoff for 83 yards, and scored a few plays later.TCU never looked back from there, and kept their unblemished record in tact with a 41-24 win.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s easy to see the SMU program is one on the rise.There is some talent on the field, and their offense is clearly capable with June Jones.Unfortunately, their execution was sporadic on this night and it cost them. However, if they can nail down some of those executional hiccups, the Mustangs will be a formidable opponent in the future.
Ford Stadium was a pleasant venue, and we scooped up a couple of endzone lawn seats on the cheap from the stadium box office.Given the proximity of TCU, the stadium was jam packed for the evening as 35,481 fans filled the stands – a record crowd at Ford.
Special thanks to our friends Jenny, Jonathan and Heath for joining us for a perfect Friday Night of Football!
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