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Safeway Bowl
First contestedOctober 7, 1922
SMU 66, North Texas 0
Number of meetings38
Most recent meetingSeptember 1, 2018
North Texas 46, SMU 23
Next meetingSeptember 7, 2019
All-time seriesSMU leads 31–6–1 (.847)
Largest victorySMU, 68–0 (1927)
Longest win streakSMU, 11 (1934–1976)
Current streakNorth Texas, 1 (2018–present)

The Safeway Bowl is the name given to the North Texas–SMU football rivalry.[1] It is a college football rivalry game between the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs football team and the University of North Texas (UNT) Mean Green football team, two universities in Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.[2]


Its name is derived from a challenge from then UNT head coach Matt Simon issued in 1994 after a two-year break in the series, stating "I'd like to play because I think we could beat them, and my players feel the same way. If they'd like to play on a Safeway parking lot ... just give us a date and time."[3]

The schools have played on and off 37 times dating back to 1922 with three major hiatuses, from 1943 to 1973, from 1993 to 2005, and from 2007 to 2013. The most recent meeting between the two teams occurred in 2018, when the Mean Green defeated the Mustangs 46–23. In 2013, both schools announced the series would be extended through 2025, continuing its current home-and-home format.[4]


• Despite having their home games at the Cotton Bowl for 46 years, North Texas played SMU there just twice. The first 21 games of the series came before the arrival of Doak Walker to SMU, whose play attracted the large crowds that prompted the school to move its home games out of Ownby Stadium to the larger venue in Fair Park. • Of the 37 games played between the two schools, just four of those have taken place in Denton. Ownby Stadium was seen as the far superior venue to the tiny Eagle Field that North Texas played on before 1952, which sat just 5,000 people to Ownby's 23,000. When the series resumed in the 1970s, the Cotton Bowl and Texas Stadium both held vastly more fans than Fouts Field could. Only after SMU moved its home games back on campus following the death penalty did the schools start playing games in Denton. Fouts Field hosted its first Safeway Bowl in 1990, which North Texas won to snap a six-game losing streak in the series.
• Both schools have largely had success in the series when playing on their campuses. North Texas holds a 4–1–0 record in games played at Fouts Field or Apogee Stadium, while SMU holds a remarkable 23–1–1 record in games played at Armstrong Field, Ownby Stadium, or Ford Stadium. SMU's only win on UNT's campus came on September 3, 2016 while UNT's only win on SMU's campus came on September 23, 1933. SMU leads the series 7–1–0 when the game was played at either the Cotton Bowl or Texas Stadium.
• 16 of the 37 contests have ended with a shutout (43%), including the 1932 game which ended in a scoreless tie. North Texas was on the losing end of all of those shutouts except the tie and a 7–0 win in 1933 (UNT's most recent win on SMU's campus). The first six games of the series, all won by SMU, were also shutouts.

Game resultsEdit

SMU victoriesNorth Texas victoriesTie games
1October 7, 1922 Armstrong Field SMU 66–0
2September 29, 1923 Armstrong Field SMU 41–0
3September 27, 1924 Armstrong Field SMU 7–0
4September 26, 1925 Armstrong Field SMU 48–0
5September 24, 1926 Ownby Stadium SMU 42–0
6September 24, 1927 Ownby Stadium SMU 68–0
7September 22, 1928 Ownby Stadium SMU 60–6
8September 21, 1929 Ownby Stadium SMU 13–3
9September 26, 1931 Ownby Stadium SMU 13–0
10September 24, 1932 Ownby Stadium Tie0–0
11September 23, 1933 Ownby Stadium North Texas 7–0
12September 22, 1934 Ownby Stadium SMU 33–0
13September 21, 1935 Ownby Stadium SMU 39–0
14September 26, 1936 Ownby Stadium SMU 6–0
15September 25, 1937 Ownby Stadium SMU 14–0
16September 24, 1938 Ownby Stadium SMU 34–7
17October 7, 1939 Ownby Stadium SMU 16–0
18October 5, 1940 Ownby Stadium SMU 20–0
19September 27, 1941 Ownby Stadium SMU 54–0
20September 26, 1942 Ownby Stadium SMU 26–7
21September 14, 1974 Cotton Bowl SMU 7–6
22September 25, 1976 Cotton Bowl SMU 38–31
23September 17, 1977 Texas Stadium North Texas 24–13
24September 22, 1979 Texas Stadium SMU 20–9
25September 13, 1980 Texas Stadium SMU 28–9
26September 12, 1981 Texas Stadium SMU 34–7
27October 2, 1982 Texas Stadium SMU 38–10
28September 22, 1984 Texas Stadium SMU 24–6
29October 28, 1989 Ownby Stadium SMU 35–9
30October 6, 1990 Fouts Field North Texas 14–7
31September 12, 1992 Ownby Stadium SMU 28–14
32September 9, 2006 Fouts Field North Texas 24–6
33September 8, 2007 Gerald J. Ford Stadium SMU 45–31
34September 6, 2014 Apogee Stadium North Texas 43–6
35September 12, 2015 Gerald J. Ford Stadium SMU 31–13
36September 3, 2016 Apogee Stadium SMU 34–21
37September 9, 2017 Gerald J. Ford Stadium SMU 54–32
38September 1, 2018 Apogee Stadium North Texas 46–23
Series: SMU leads 31–6–1

See also Edit


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