The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Mustangs Paint the Field Blue for American Conference Debut

In the first of a series of home games this season, the SMU Football team will don blue throwback jerseys as part of an ‘80s Night for its Family Weekend game and American Athletic Conference debut against Rutgers.

Game day spectators are in for a “radical” treat this Family Weekend when the SMU football team marks its entry into the American Athletic Conference by throwing Ford Stadium back to the ‘80s.

According to Director of Athletics Rick Hart, this special ‘80s theme will serve as a tribute to the visiting members of the 1983 football team.

“We’ve invited all of our former student athletes back to the game and then within that, we’re honoring two teams in particular that are celebrating championship anniversaries – the 2003 women’s soccer team and the 1983 football team,” Hart said. “Since it’s a football game, we thought we’d turn it into an ‘80s theme in honor of the 1983 team. It’s an opportunity to celebrate Family Weekend and do that with former student athletes.”

Team captain of the ‘83 Mustangs, Lance McIlhenny said his senior season ended with a bang when he and his team got the opportunity to play at the

Sun Bowl. McIlhenny still comes back to campus regularly to Boulevard and watch home games, but the recognition he and his teammates are set to receive makes this upcoming weekend’s game much more significant.

“Playing football seems just like yesterday, even though it was 30 years ago,” McIlhenny said. “I was fortunate enough to play for SMU for four years. It’s very nice of the athletics department to recognize the 1983 team. I’m hopeful that a bunch of guys will be there to celebrate as 30 years go by.”

Current football players are also excited about the ‘80s theme and the chance to honor their predecessors at Saturday’s game.

SMU has a tradition of football success,” senior linebacker Randall Joyner said. “The 1983 team played at the highest level and made its mark here at SMU. We’re proud to wear the throwback uniforms as a tribute to their success, but we plan on writing our own chapter, and that starts Saturday when we begin American Athletic
Conference play.

“We’re 0-0 in the league, and we have a great opportunity to take our first step towards another bowl game and a potential conference championship.”

Hart said that the athletics department has not organized any special themed games in a long while. Later in the season, one of the games will be themed around celebrating university achievement while another one is set to center on military and service personnel appreciation.

“In football, we’ve got six home games, so we’re really making sure to build a theme around those games and try to focus on a certain audience or highlight a certain aspect of the university community,” Hart said.

“We want to use football and our football games as platforms to recognize deserving people and to try and engage the community in a broad, meaningful way.”

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