The third Holiday Bowl pitted the BYU Cougars against the Mustangs of SMU.
Behind quarterback Jim McMahon, the Cougars were keepers of the most explosive passing offense in the country. The Mustangs, on the other hand, were anchored by the "Pony Express," star running backs Craig James and Eric Dickerson.
With four minutes left in the game, the Mustangs had a 45-25 lead, and many BYU fans started heading for the exits. But McMahon screamed at them to stay, and then threw a touchdown pass in BYU's next drive.
They recovered an onside kick and scored again to make it 45-39. They forced SMU to punt on their final drive, and Bill Schoepflin blocked the punt, giving the Cougars the ball at the 41 yard line with 13 seconds left.
After two incomplete passes, McMahon fired a Hail Mary into the end zone, which was caught by tight end Clay Brown. The extra point gave the Cougars a 46-45 victory.