Third-ranked Texas lived dangerously again yesterday but escaped 14th-ranked Southern Methodist, 13-7, before 80,754 fans in Austin. It was the second-largest crowd in Memorial Stadium history.

James Lott's pass deflection in the fourth period saved the game. SMU claimed he interfered.

"I had the worst seat in the house," SMU's coach, Bobby Collins, said. "The officials were right on top of the play and they didn't call anything. We'll have to look at the film and then talk to the league office about it."

Texas took a 13-0 lead in the third quarter on Jerome Johnson's seven-yard touchdown run, but the Mustangs' Keith Brooks intercepted Todd Dodge's pass and ran it back 42 yards for a touchdown.

SMU drove to the Texas 14- and nine-yard lines late in the game but couldn't score.

Ty Allert sacked Mustang quarterback Don King for an 11-yard loss on third down to force SMU to go for a field goal, which it missed.

On SMU's next drive, Lott batted a fourth-down pass away from receiver Marquis Pleasant in the end zone.

After the game, Pleasant maintained that "it was interference."

Lott said: "I knocked down the ball, then I pushed him down as I fell."

Then with 31 second left, Lott saved the game again by leaping to intercept King in the end zone.

Two weeks ago, the Longhorns played a controversial tie with Oklahoma. Last week, they came within three yards of losing to Arkansas. Now, they are 5-0-1 and lead the Southwest Conference with a 3-0 record. SMU is 4-2 and 2-2.