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Mustangs hit another turning point

With Hawaii Bowl, SMU program emerges from lingering death-penalty darkness

Updated: December 21, 2009, 6:30 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

UNIVERSITY PARK, Texas -- The moment sophomore running back Eric Dickerson witnessed the sudden jubilation, he knew he would never forget it.

It was Oct. 25, 1980, and the unranked SMU Mustangs had just walked into Texas' backyard with a freshman quarterback and laid a 20-6 whipping on the second-ranked Longhorns. Dickerson couldn't believe the celebration going on around him -- not by his teammates, but by the old-timers who had waited what seemed a lifetime to rejoice.

The victory, ...

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