With 7:29 to play and Texas trailing 9-6 at Arkansas, the Longhorns were faced with a dilemma on third and four at their own 26-yard line. Giving the ball again to Earl Campbell was too obvious a play to call, so Quarterback Randy McEachern resorted to some fakery and his throwing arm. As the play unfolded, McEachern thrust the ball toward Campbell, who was gleefully tackled by the Razorbacks. But while Campbell was going down. McEachern was dashing to the right. When he spotted his other running back, Johnny (Ham) Jones, in the clear, he made good on a 14-yard pass.
That provided some working room for McEachern, who followed with a 31-yard toss to Alfred Jackson and then executed a "reverse screen left" pass to Campbell for 28 more yards to the Arkansas one. Two downs later, McEachern faked again to Campbell and pitched wide to Jones for the go-ahead score. That gave undefeated Texas a 13-9 win, its sixth in a row over Arkansas, and a 2-0 record in the Southwest Conference.
Campbell carried 34 times for 188 yards and became the conference's alltime rushing leader with 3,385 yards. Much of the game, though, revolved around the kicking of Russell Erxleben of Texas and Steve Little of Arkansas. Erxleben put the Longhorns on top 6-0 with field goals of 58 and 52 yards in the first period. Then Little booted three-pointers from 33 and 67 yards in the second quarter, the latter tying Erxleben's NCAA distance record. And it was Little who put the Razorbacks in front 9-6 with a 25-yarder in the third period.
An even more dramatic windup was staged by SMU, which scored 20 points in the final 39 seconds to overcome Houston 37-23 in the Astrodome. Despite suffering a hyperextension of the elbow in the first half, the Mustangs' freshman quarterback, Mike Ford, ignited the resurgence by moving SMU downfield and setting up a 25-yard field goal by John Dunlop that made the score 23-17. Houston seemingly had an opportunity to lock up the game with 3:41 remaining, but David Hill of the Mustangs blocked a field-goal attempt from 26 yards out. Then, with 39 seconds left, Arthur Whittington scored on a dazzling 14-yard run to knot the score. Dunlop added the extra point and SMU led 24-23. SMU then got two quick touchdowns, one after the Cougars fumbled at their own two and another when D. K. Perry intercepted a pass and raced 37 yards into the end zone.
Impressive statistics were accumulated by Ford (14 of 26 passes for 259 yards). Wingback Emanuel Tolbert (seven receptions for 140 yards and one TD) and Whittington (136 yards and two touchdowns in 26 rushes, three pass catches for 49 yards and two kickoff returns for 23 more).
Baylor also put on a remarkable late effort, but fell short and lost to Texas A&M. Three touchdown passes by Quarterback David Walker and two one-yard scoring plunges by Fullback George Woodard enabled the Aggies to storm to a 35-7 lead. It was at this juncture that the Bears got busy, freshman Quarterback Scott Smith scoring from one yard out just before the half ended.
Two short touchdown runs in the third period moved Baylor to within 35-28. But two late turnovers led to the Bears' downfall and a 38-31 setback, while the Aggies now have a 2-0 SWC record. The most befuddling aspect of the game was that Baylor Fullback Steve Howell, who had gained 125 yards in the first half, did not get the ball thereafter.
A 21-point third period helped Texas Tech knock off Rice 42-7. Bill Adams contributed field goals of 52 and 47 yards as Tech won its second conference game in three outings.
1. TEXAS (5-0)
3. TEXAS A&M (4-1)