Bobby Leach caught a bouncing, across-the-field lateral and ran 91 yards with four seconds to play to give second-ranked Southern Methodist a wild 34-27 victory yesterday over Texas Tech in Lubbock.
The play took 13 seconds.
"It's a miracle . . . it's a miracle," Leach said. "I can't believe it."
Blane Smith bobbled the kickoff after Tech had tied the score on a field goal with 17 seconds to play. He picked up the ball with most of the Red Raiders bearing down on him and threw it toward Leach, a 9.5 sprinter. Leach caught the ball on the bounce and scored without being touched.
"I was a little worried when I bobbled it," Smith said. "But we did it. It's a miracle."
Leach said, "I saw the ball on the ground and I kept saying, 'Throw it, throw it, hey, what's he doing?' Then I saw I had clear sailing."
Eric Dickerson, SMU's tailback, said, "I always believed in miracles. I'm going to go to church tomorrow. I looked all over for flags. It was just a miracle."
Craig James, SMU's other tailback, said, "I already had my mind set on 10-0-1. All of my life, I'd always have remembered that one tie."
Tech Coach Jerry Moore was still in a state of disbelief 30 minutes after the game.
"This is one of the hardest experiences in the dressing room after a game I've ever had to go through," he said.
The victory gave SMU at least a tie for the Southwest Conference title. SMU is 10-0 overall, 7-0 in the SWC.
Dickerson, who ran 21 times for 115 yards, broke Earl Campbell's SWC rushing attempts record with 766 carries in his three years.
The Mustangs extended collegiate football's longest major college victory streak to 14. It was the first time they had won in Lubbock since 1968.