Loaded with talent and experience, the 1980 SMU Mustangs had high hopes and high expectations. The Mustangs entered the final week of the season with a chance to complete the school's most successful season since the 1968 Mustang team won the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl. In moving its record to 8-3, Coach Ron Meyer's crew dominated the Arkansas Razorbacks in the season finale. On November 22, 1980, three SMU players rushed for 100 yards en route to a 31-7 win for one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.
On the ground, the tailback duo of Craig James and Eric Dickerson once again accumulated big yardage. Dickerson led the attack with 107 yards on 18 carries and James finished with 102 yards on 23 carries. James, the sophomore from Houston, also scored two touchdowns. But the Mustangs also unleashed a weapon known as the flanker reverse. Mitchell Bennett carried the ball 3 times for 106 yards. The first exchange went for 55 yards and a touchdown. It was the only time in SMU history that three runners have gone over 100 yards in a contest.
Everyone already knew about the explosiveness of Dickerson and James, but Arkansas was caught off guard by Bennett. He was a member of the same recruiting class as the Pony Express, a factor in him being overlooked. However, he was regarded as probably the best high school wide receiver in the state in 1978. He attracted recruiters from all nine Southwest Conference schools plus Nebraska from the Big Eight. His biggest asset was his speed. He was clocked running the 100 yard dash with sub-10 second times and consistently ran the 40 in 4.4 or 4.5 seconds. Coach Meyer commented on Bennett by saying, "There aren't many human beings who can run with Mitchell, and when you've got a guy like that on your team, you want to play him."
The offense took an early hit when freshman starter Lance McIlhenny was injured on SMU's third possession and was forced out of the game for the remainder of the contest. However, his replacement was no stranger to SMU football. Under the direction of Mike Ford, SMU put 31 points on the board and tallied 439 yards in total offense for its eighth win of the year.
The Mustangs finished the season 8-3 earning a trip to the Holiday Bowl against BYU. The Pony Express ran wild and manhandled their conference rival. On the shoulders of three 100-yard rushers, the 31-7 win over the Razorbacks takes its place as one of the 90 Greatest Moments in SMU Football History.