1948 Cotton Bowl Classic
12th Cotton Bowl Classic
1234 Total
Penn State 0760 13
SMU 7600 13
DateJanuary 1, 1948
StadiumCotton Bowl
LocationDallas, Texas
MVPG Steve Suhey (Penn State)
RB Doak Walker (SMU)
Cotton Bowl Classic
 < 1947  1949

The 1948 Cotton Bowl Classic was a post-season game between the SMU Mustangs and the Penn State Nittany Lions. The game was a struggle of yardage with the final score being decided on a missed extra point.


SMU was coached by Matty Bell and led by Doak Walker, who was named All-American. SMU went unbeaten and had won the Southwest Conference championship.

Penn State was coached by Bob Higgins, who would retire after next season. They also went unbeaten as an Independent. Coincidentally, Higgins was the coach who had handed SMU their first bowl loss back in 1925.

Game summary

Doak Walker scored the first seven points of the game on a 53-yard touchdown pass to Paul Page. Later in the second quarter, Walker scored again, this time on a two-yard touchdown run as the extra point was missed. Penn State roared back with Larry Cooney's 38 yard touchdown catch from Elwood Petchel as the game was 13-7 at half time.

Wallace Triplett caught a touchdown pass from Petchel in the third quarter, but the extra point missed as the game was tied, 13-13. The game had no further points as Walker was limited to 75 yards combined and Penn State lost two fumbles.[1]


Statistics SMU Penn State
First Downs 12 12
Yards Rushing 92 165
Yards Passing 114 93
Total Yards 206 258
Punts-Average 7-33.1 4-33.4
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-2
Interceptions 1 1
Penalties-Yards 1-5 3-15


  1. ^ "26-37.pmd" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-01-05. Retrieved 2014-12-28.