On this day in 1989, the Houston Cougars blew out the SMU Mustangs, 95-21. UH piled up 1,021 yards – an NCAA record that still stands. UH set or tied 18 NCAA or SWC records with many of them coming in the 2nd quarter.
The Coogs outscored the Ponies 35-8 in the period as Andre Ware passed for 340 yards (NCAA record) and 5 touchdowns (NCAA record). David Klingler would break Ware’s record for most TDs in a quarter in 1991.
Ware’s 517 passing yards in the first half are still an NCAA record as are his 510 total yards (lost 7 yards due to sacks).
After the game, SMU coach Forrest Gregg was outraged that Houston kept substituting.
“I don’t know why they had to keep sending in fresh receivers to blow by our kids who were obviously tired,” Gregg said.
It’s a strange argument considering what Houston’s frontline talent had done to the Mustangs. Would he prefer the UH starters to stay in the game? Manny Hazard, a consensus All-American in 1989, had 143 yards and 3 TDs before being pulled. Paul Smith had 6 catches for 255 yards and Brian Williams had 173. Chuck Weatherspoon ran for 207 yards on 15 attempts and caught 4 balls for 39 yards. He scored three times.
David Klingler threw for 4 TDs in the second half. In the coming days, much of the national media vilified UH for running it up against the young, hapless Ponies. SMU caught Houston the week after the Coogs lost for the first time in 1989, a 17-13 game at Texas A&M.