1966 Cotton Bowl Classic (December)

The 1966 Cotton Bowl (Dec.) was a college football postseason bowl game played by the SMU Mustangs and the Georgia Bulldogs in Dallas.[1] The 1967 game was moved to Saturday, December 31, 1966, due to the Dallas Cowboys hosting the NFL Championship Game at the stadium on New Year's Day, the usual day for the Classic. Because January 1 was a Sunday, the Sugar, Orange, and Rose Bowls were played on Monday, January 2.

1966 Cotton Bowl Classic
Georgia Bulldogs SMU Mustangs
(9–1) (8–2)
24 9
Head coach: 
Vince Dooley
Head coach: 
Hayden Fry
1234 Total
Georgia 10707 24
SMU 3600 9
DateDecember 31, 1966
StadiumCotton Bowl
MVPTB Kent Lawrence (Georgia)
T George Patton (Georgia)
FavoriteGeorgia by 7
United States TV coverage


The #10 Mustangs (8–2) had won the Southwest Conference (SWC) championship (6–1) for the first time since 1948, led by fifth-year head coach Hayden Fry. They had won all five games that season at the Cotton Bowl, their home stadium through 1978. Fourth-ranked Georgia (9–1) had shared the Southeastern Conference (SEC) title (6–0) with Alabama, with only a one-point loss to Miami their only blemish. They were led by Vince Dooley, in his third season of 25 seasons as head coach of the Bulldogs, and were a seven-point favorite.[2] Kickoff for the game was 1:30 p.m. CST and it was televised by CBS.[3]

Game summary

Kent Lawrence scored the first points of the game for the Bulldogs on a 74-yard touchdown run in the early seconds of the game. SMU responded with a field goal later in the quarter, but Georgia would score 10 straight points (highlighted by a Billy Payne touchdown catch from Kirby Moore) to lead 17–3. Mike Richardson of SMU scored a touchdown to narrow the lead, but the kick was blocked, and it was 17–9 at halftime. It was SMU's last points of the game as Georgia held SMU in check the rest of the game and scored once more on a Ronnie Jenkins touchdown run to seal the game.[4][5] Ultimately, it was Georgia's rushing attack that won the game for the Bulldogs, who had 244 more rushing yards than the Mustangs, who could only muster 40.[6]


Statistics SMU Georgia
First Downs 11 17
Yards Rushing 40 284
Yards Passing 165 79
Total Yards 205 363
Punts-Average 4-36.5 4-28.5
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-1
Interceptions 1 3
Penalties-Yards 7-45 3-37


  1. ^ "SMUMUSTANGS.COM 1966 COTTON BOWL - GEORGIA 24, SMU 9 - Official Athletic Site Official Athletic Site - Football". Archived from the original on 2015-01-12. Retrieved 2014-12-28.
  2. ^ "Georgia hopes Jenkins ready". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. December 31, 1966. p. 6.
  3. ^ "Georgia's rated best". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. December 31, 1966. p. 9.
  4. ^ Ratliff, Harold (January 1, 1967). "'Dogs reap Cotton Bowl harvest, 24-9". Eugene Register-Guard. Oregon. Associated Press. p. 1B.
  5. ^ "Georgia power grinds down SMU, 24-9, in Cotton Bowl". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. January 1, 1967. p. 1, section 4.
  6. ^ "38-49.pmd" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-01-12. Retrieved 2014-12-28.
History & conference tie-ins

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