McIlhenny then iced the game with his third straight TD completion. With Texas in an eight-man front looking for SMU to run out the clock, McIlhenny called a play-action pass, a 46-yard floater to James, who disguised his route as a regular blocking assignment on Cade. At which point Dickerson, James's most vocal cheerleader, safely announced to his fellow Mustangs, "See what happens when people go talking all that trash!"
In the end, Texas was still hung up on "that freak play" while SMU was sniffing a Nov. 20 showdown with unbeaten Arkansas. "We needed this to prove we belong near the top," said Dickerson. On the other side Akers was saying, "We're Texas. And being Texas counts for something."
On Saturday, being Texas counted for 17. Being SMU counted for 30.