SMU faces the United States Military Academy in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Thursday, December 30, at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.
It’s the Mustangs’ first home bowl game since 1966 and the Black Knights first bowl game in 14 years.
Update: SMU falls to Army 16-14 in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.
Here’s what you need to know to get to the game and have a good time:
The Boulevard: The 10-year tailgating tradition will celebrate its first postseason before the 11 a.m. kickoff, with the Boulevard closing to traffic by 9:30 a.m. Watch for Peruna, the Mustang Band and the Spirit Squad to lead the way into the stadium from the top of the Boulevard. The gates to Ford Stadium open at 9 a.m.
Out of the Sky: As part of the bowl game, there will be a flyover before the game at 11 a.m. Bell helicopters will fly into the stadium about 8 a.m. and will depart about 5 p.m.
Peruna: The pony will wear a patriotic outfit to honor U.S. service members. Peruna previously wore the outfit to commemorate the anniversary of September 11.
The Uniforms: SMU players will wear number 17 on their helmets to honor football legend and alum Don Meredith, who died December 5. Meredith, whose jersey was retired in 2008, was a two-time All-American (’58 and ’59) at SMU and went on to a successful career with the Dallas Cowboys, later becoming a popular analyst on “Monday Night Football.”
The Records: This season, SMU captured the C-USA West Division with a 6-2 record and is 7-6 overall, with seven of the Mustangs’ opponents earning bowl bids. Army finished the regular season 6-6 and is bowl-eligible for the first time since 1996.
The History: Army leads the series with SMU 2-0 after winning 14-13 at West Point in 1928, when the Mustangs played their first football game east of the Mississippi. The Black Knights also posted a 24-6 victory over the Mustangs in 1967 at SMU’s Ownby Stadium.
What to Wear: Armed Forces Bowl T-shirts can be purchased at the SMU Bookstore for $21.98. SMU team merchandise can be purchased at the SMU online store. ESPN’s Armed Forces Bowl website offers bowl-related merchandise.
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased through the SMU Athletics site or by calling 214-SMU-GAME. A limited number of tickets in the Mustang fan section are available first-come, first-served for $40 each. Tickets also are being sold for $20 first-come, first-served to students, faculty and staff with valid SMU ID at the SMU ticket office. Faculty and staff can buy up to four tickets at this discounted rate, and students may purchase one ticket for personal use. Tickets also can be purchased and donated to SMU’s community outreach programs.
Where to Watch: The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will air at 11 a.m. on ESPN and ESPN Radio nationally and will also air locally on KTCK-AM (1310), the flagship of the Mustang Radio Network. Information on national watch parties will be posted on “Bowl Central.”
- Chris Dell ’11