Welcome to 1982 and a heavy weight matchup between the #4 SMU Mustangs and the #19 Texas Longhorns. The great YouTuber Stephen Barnett uploaded this gem. Keith Jackson and Frank Broles both lend their voices to the commentary. That alone makes it worth a watch.
Get me some Showdown Bullets!
- The 1982 Mustangs were the first team under Bobby Collins. Collins replaced Ron Meyer who left SMU for the New England Patriots.
- Collins came to SMU from Southern Mississippi where he led the Golden Eagles for seven years.
- SMU had one of the most talented rosters in SWC history. Some said it was the best money could buy. We digress.
- Eric Dickerson, Craig James, and Lance McIlhenny formed one of the most lethal backfields in NCAA history. The Mustangs really got going once McIlhenny established himself as the starter.
- McIlhenny was all of 5-8 out of Highland Park. He was a savant when it came to running the option and both Dickerson and James benefitted from what he brought to the offense. McIlhenny led the Mustangs to a school record 21 game unbeaten streak.
- SMU finished the 1982 season 11-0-1. The one hiccup was a tie with Arkansas. They beat Dan Marino and Pitt in the Cotton Bowl.
- Even though the Mustangs were the only undefeated team in 1982, Penn State was awarded the National Title. The Nittany Lions beat four top 5 teams and six teams from the top 15 in 1982. You can argue East Coast bias, but Penn State earned the title.
- SMU beat three ranked teams including two from the top 10.
- Texas was a year away from fielding one of the most dominant defenses in college football history and most of those pieces were in place in 1982.
- The 1982 version allowed 14 points a game, five more than the 1983 unit would allow.
- Texas' coach Fred Akers was in the midst of winning 66 games in seven seasons, six seasons of nine or more wins out of seven, and ten straight bowl appearances.
- Akers is one of the most polarizing coaches in Texas history. Because of his strained relationship with Darrell Royal, the diehards had a hard time accepting him. Still Akers finished in the top ten four times, three of those years the Longhorns were a top 5 team.
- If anything Akers struggled in big games. He was 2-7 in bowl games including a 1983 Cotton Bowl loss to Georgia that cost the Horns a National Title and no doubt changes his place among Texas fans.
Enjoy one of the great games in SWC history. And Keith Jackson of course.