Cotton Bowl Classic

SMU stuns No. 11 Houston 38-16 by shutting down QB Greg Ward

A grim-faced Tom Herman could hear the whoops and hollers of SMU players as the Houston coached tried to explain a shocking 38-16 loss to the Mustangs on Saturday night.

Was it hard to listen to that celebration?

"More than you know," Herman said.

Ben Hicks threw for three touchdowns and ran for another score in SMU's first win over a ranked team in five years.

The Cougars (6-2, 3-2 American) lost for the second time after a 5-0 start that included a season-opening win over then-No. 3 Oklahoma that vaulted Houston into the Top 10.

The last time the Mustangs (3-4, 1-2) beat a team ranked 11th or higher, they were No. 4 and finishing off a...