Darrell K Royal

Bill Little, special assistant to the head football coach for communication, will retire Sunday after 46 years with the Texas athletics department. The football and baseball press boxes will be named the Bill Little Media Center in his honor. 

Photo Credit: Lauren Ussery | Daily Texan Staff

Seven years ago, Bill Little, special assistant to the head football coach for communication, made a promise to then-athletic director DeLoss Dodds and head football coach Mack Brown.

The longtime sports information director committed to stay at Texas for as long as Dodds and Brown did.

But, last January, just a few months away from turning 72, Little and his wife, Kim, realized that promise had been fulfilled.

“In January, I looked up, and both DeLoss and Mack were gone,” Little said. “A new group of people were coming in, and they needed their own people to do their own thing. So [Kim and I] said, in the words of Coach Royal, ‘Let’s just set our bucket down.’ And that’s what we decided to do.”

On Aug. 31, Little will retire, and, for the first time since 1968, he will no longer be an employee of Texas athletics.

The legendary wordsmith, who worked as a commentary writer and special assistant to Brown for the past seven years, saw the reigns of five football coaches, five basketball coaches and four athletic directors during his time in Austin. He attended 36 bowl games with the Longhorns and broadcasted more than 1,700 baseball games. Even Little’s honeymoon consisted of accompanying the Longhorns’ basketball team to New York during their NIT trip in 1978. But, after seeing six decades come and go at Texas, Little thought it was the perfect time to leave.

“It’s always hard to step away,” Little said. “But the timing was just perfect. I always said I never wanted to leave anywhere bitter, and that has always been important to me. The opportunity seemed right for the new administration — for Coach Strong and for everyone. It was a hard decision, but it was also an easy decision.”

Little grew up in Winters, a small town south of Abilene that encompasses under three square miles and has a population of just more than 2,500. After growing up a Longhorn fan, he followed in the footsteps of both his parents and began his college career at Texas in 1960.

As a student, he majored in journalism and worked in the sports information director’s office, creating a close friendship with football coach Darrell K Royal that would span until his death in 2012. In addition, he served as the sports editor of The Daily Texan for two years, witnessing Royal’s first national championship in 1963.

In 1968, at 26, Little started his full-time career at Texas as an assistant sports information director after a job interview that lasted just two sentences.

“I saw there was this really good job in public relations at the University of Texas,” Little said. “I called Coach Royal, and I said, ‘Coach, I want to come back.’ And he said, ‘I’d like to have you back.’ And that was the extent of it. I started that spring.”

Unknowingly, Little would spend the next 46 years involved in Texas sports. Ironically, though, sports weren’t Little’s passion. His passion stretched through sports to the stories that could be told and the people who were discovered through the game.

“I knew I loved journalism, and I knew I loved to tell the story,” Little said. “What I found in sports was the human element. It’s the conquest of the human spirit. It makes you love the game — whatever it is — and you cry with it, whether you win or lose.”

Little wanted to make a difference through his work and through his words.

“I always found that, if you can write something that can make a difference to somebody, it can change a life,” Little said. “I was a bad golfer and a worse tennis player. And I wasn’t big enough to play football, and I was too short to play basketball, so my only gifts were to write and talk. And, if I was going to do what God put me on this planet to do, then I needed to do those things.”

Little made that difference he was seeking and influenced so many around him that the football and baseball press boxes will now be named the Bill Little Media Center. A significant gift from longtime athletics supporter Marian Dozier created the funds to honor Little.

“It means so much to be able to honor my great friend Bill in this way,” Dozier said. “This naming will help honor his immense life work, the legacy he has left nationally on sports media and hopefully motivate young people to follow their passions in work and life.”

With his retirement approaching, Little — who has three children and ten grandchildren, all of whom are Texas fans — is ready to step away. He still hopes to stay involved with Texas athletics, though, by announcing home baseball games and doing radio work. He’s also written seven books on the Longhorns and hopes to finish a few more during his new free time. 

“Texas athletics has pretty much been my life for close to 60 years,” Little said. “This fall will mark the first time since 1957 I haven’t covered football for somebody. But now, I think I’ve earned the chance to set my bucket down.”

Two years after a 1961 student referendum called for integration of the University’s athletic programs, the UT System Board of Regents removed all of its race-based student restrictions on Nov. 9, 1963. Seven days later, the University’s Athletic Council opened its doors to black athletes for the first time.

In 50 years, UT has made policy-based strides toward racial equality in athletics. But the hype surrounding the recent hiring of head football coach Charlie Strong — who is UT’s first black men’s head coach — indicates that many racial barriers are still unbroken.

Darrell K Royal, UT’s former athletic director and head football coach, announced the Athletic Council’s decision to open all University sports to black athletes on Nov. 16, 1963.

“The Athletic Council met with the administration this morning and decided that any Negro student who meets academic and athletic requirements is eligible to try out for any sport as of this moment,” Royal said in the Texan article. “We will recruit those Negroes that fit into our program.”

The Texan reported that, even though black males were allowed to try out for sports, their odds of making a team other than track were extremely low, as many sports had already started their seasons and were competitive.

“The first boy who plays for Texas will really have to be something special to do anything for his race,” an unnamed UT coach said in the article. “He must be a fine athlete as well as have the ability to take jibes and ridicule.”

UT was the first school in the Southwest Conference to declare athletic integration, and, according to the article, the announcement ended a “gentlemen’s agreement that supposedly existed between Southwest Conference coaches.” As a result, in the weeks that followed, all but two schools in the conference integrated their athletic programs.

Two black athletes began working out with the freshman track team a few weeks after the integration, according to a Dec. 4, 1963 article in the Texan. Former head track coach Jack Patterson said that because they joined the squad late, he would likely allow the boys more opportunity to “show off their wares.”

“Anybody with any potential at all we’ll encourage,” Patterson said. “I’ll have to trim the squad to 40 eventually, and that’s too many to work with really. If there’s any prejudice shown at all, it will be in favor of these boys.”

It took Royal seven years to find the right “fit” for his team, and, in 1970, Julius Whittier became UT’s first black football player. Though today’s teams are diversified, it wasn’t until 1993 that the University hired its first black head coach, former women’s track and field head coach Beverly Kearney. Two decades later, Strong’s hire made headlines when he became UT’s first men’s black head coach.

UT athletes are far more diverse than they were in 1963, but, 50 years later, the low number of black head coaches at the University and the media attention surrounding Strong’s employment demonstrate that race is still relevant in UT Athletics.

Correction: Because of a reporting error, this story has been corrected to say that Charlie Strong was hired two decades after Beverly Kearney.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Media mogul Ted Turner described sports as “a war without the killing.” 

The cement-clad, oval-shaped building at 1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd. in Dallas demonstrates this perfectly. The Cotton Bowl is home to one of college football’s fiercest rivalries, which, over 113 years, has consistently been significant in changing careers and changing legacies.

“OU week, Oklahoma game is one of the great games in college football for all the unique reasons; it’s at the State Fair, it’s at a neutral site,” Texas head coach Mack Brown said. “It’s such a traditional game and it’s still one of the more unique games with two bordering states. That’s really, really special.”

When Texas and Oklahoma first met in 1900, neither team had their current nickname. Texas was simply referred to as “Varsity” while Oklahoma was denoted as just Oklahoma.

Through the years, the Red River Rivalry — or Shootout as it was referred to as before 2005 — has grown to become a game where players make a name for themselves and a game where reality becomes legacy.

“When it gets down to it, all the playbooks go out the window and all the schemes go out the window and it’s man for man,” senior quarterback Case McCoy said.

Players look into a crowd filled with cramped, narrow seats split halfway between burnt orange and crimson and cream, creating intimidation as a game-changing factor. Former Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy was one of those players that looked beyond that crowd, leaving Texas with a 3-1 record against the Sooners.

McCoy led his team to a 45-35 upset victory against No. 1 Oklahoma in 2008, which helped cement his place as one of Texas’ greatest quarterbacks. His younger brother, Case, is now embracing a chance for fame himself.

“This could be the game I’m remembered for, for the rest of my life,” McCoy said. “I’d lie to you if I said this wasn’t a legacy game. I’m prepping and getting ready as if it is a game I will be remembered for, forever.”

However, sometimes people can be remembered for what they didn’t do at Fair Park in Dallas.

Darrell K Royal, arguably the best coach in Texas history, lost five of his last six meetings against the Sooners at the end of his career, tying his final contest against his northern rivals.

Comparisons can be made as Brown, currently the second-winningest head coach in Texas history behind Royal, has lost his last three meetings with Oklahoma. Just as Royal’s career came to an end during his losing streak, so too could Brown’s career come to an end, largely in part to his recent inability to stop a losing streak of his own against Oklahoma.

“It is a legacy game,” Brown said. “The team that wins this game gets celebrated and the guys that play well in this game become heroes.”

One of the biggest features of the Red River Rivalry is the aspect that many players and coaches have been on both sides of the 50-yard line separating the orange and maroon.

When Texas senior Mike Davis first attended the Red River Rivalry he was on the Oklahoma side, cheering for the Sooners.

Royal himself attended Oklahoma and played in a Sooner uniform from 1946-49. He was 2-2 against Texas during his college career as a quarterback and defensive back.

Mack Brown even spent time with his current enemy as an offensive coordinator for the Sooners. During his lone season in Oklahoma as its offensive coordinator in 1984, the Sooners played to a 15-15 tie with his future employers.

Brown remembers his first time experiencing the rivalry as one of the most unique memories he has.

“You used to drive the buses right down the middle of the fair grounds and fans would shake the buses coming in on both sides,” Brown said. “Coach [Barry] Switzer looked at me and said ‘Now you get it. Now you understand how important it is.’”

When both schools meet in the middle the 369-mile range between the two campuses, like Turner described, a college football game turns into more than just a college football game.

“It’s something a lot of people don’t get to experience,” junior Quandre Diggs said. “I knew how big the game was before I got here, but I never took part of it. I never had been to it. It was just something that amazes me each and every year when I go, to know that this is one of the biggest rivalries in college football, and at 18, 19, 20 years old and you get to experience something like that at a young age. It’s a blessing and I’m thankful for it.”

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Former Longhorn quarterback James Street, who led Texas to an undefeated season in 1969, died Monday morning at the age of 65.

“When we got the call Monday morning, I just couldn’t believe it,” head coach Mack Brown said. “We have to celebrate who he was. I want the players to understand he’ll have a legacy at this place.”

Street, a two-sport star at Texas, was also an all-conference pitcher with a 29-8 overall record for the baseball team. He arrived at Texas as a seventh-string quarterback but clawed his way to earn the starting spot. An undersized quarterback, Street personified the wishbone attack under former head coach Darrell K Royal and worked closely with offensive coordinator Emory Bellard to perfect the formation.

The wishbone, which features two deep backs with the fullback setup behind the quarterback under center, overwhelmed opponents under Street’s guidance. Street, who snagged the Longhorns’ starting job two games into the 1968 season, didn’t lose a game as a starter, finishing with a perfect 20-0 record.

“Coach Royal grabbed me, and he looked for a minute as if he were having second thoughts about putting me in,” Street said to the Austin American-Statesman in 2012 when Royal died. “Then he looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘Hell, you can’t do any worse. Get in there.’”

Texas players will wear orange decals with the initials “JS” on the back of their helmets in the game against Iowa State to honor Street.

“I see James all the time, I talk to him all the time, he’s got high energy,” Brown said. “I was just shocked that life can end so quickly … Here’s a guy who’s been so instrumental in so many lives in this state and especially at this university.”

Even with his baseball success — he threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in his time at Texas — Street is best known in Austin for football. His biggest moment came in 1969 when No. 1 Texas squared off against No. 2 Arkansas in what was dubbed the “Game of the Century.”

Street led the Longhorns to a pair of fourth quarter scores, which included a 42-yard touchdown, pulling Texas to 14-8 after a two-point conversion. Street added a passing touchdown late to give Texas a 15-14 win. Texas clinched its second national championship with a victory over Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl.

The Longhorns will play in memory of Street this week. Brown said Street and Royal — who died in November 2012 — changed the college football landscape with the wishbone formation and said they won’t be forgotten.

“James is very opinioned and strong willed, and coach Royal was the same way,” Brown said. “So they’ll be sitting in heaven watching our game critiquing, and I’m sure I’ll have to feel the heat from them.”

Street, who went on to a career in finance in Austin, is survived by his wife and five sons, including his son Huston, a pitcher for the San Diego Padres.

Former band director Vincent R. Dinino leads the Longhorn band in “The Eyes of Texas” and concludes the memorial service for Darrell K Royal at The Frank Erwin Center Tuesday afternoon. Song performances and speeches by friends of Royal such as current football head coach Mack Brown, Willie Nelson and President Bill Powers celebrated the former coach’s life and influence.

Photo Credit: Marisa Vasquez | Daily Texan Staff

Friends, family, former players and students came together to celebrate the life of former Texas football coach Darrell K Royal at the Frank Erwin Center Tuesday.

Head coach Mack Brown, UT President William Powers Jr., former player Marvin Bendele, Bill Little, special assistant to the head football coach for communication and former Texas golfer Ben Crenshaw, were among those who spoke at the memorial service. Willie Nelson, Royal’s friend of 50 years, performed “Healing Hands of Time” in his honor.

Royal served as head coach of the Longhorn football team for 20 seasons from 1956 to 1976. His record as head coach is 167-47-5, a school record that remains unbroken. Eulogizers spoke of his love for his football, golf, the University of Texas and, most importantly, his players.

“Coach Royal understood that all of this was never about him,” Little said. “It wasn’t about all of the victories and the championships. He loved the game, not only for the competition — and he was a fierce competitor — but because it taught the lessons of life. It was about character. It was about integrity.”

Royal mentored Brown and the two formed a father-son relationship. Royal taught Brown how to be a successful coach at the University of Texas. Brown told a story of when Royal called him at night after a tough loss.

“He said don’t get too high on those days you win because you didn’t play as good as everybody thinks you did, and he said don’t get as low as you are right now on the bad days because you are going to have some more,” Brown said. “That’s just part of it.”

Brown also told the story of when the Longhorns won the national championship in 2005. Brown sent Little to go get Royal and his wife, Edith, to bring them down to the field to celebrate. Royal won three national championships as the Texas head coach. He refused to go to the field and said,

“No, I’m not coming out there. It’s you time. You enjoy this.”

But Edith took a roll of tape to the bus that held the team’s equipment and where it read “three national championships” on the bus, she taped over the three with a four.

Brown said he once asked Royal what the best and worst things about being head coach were. He said Royal answered, “25 million people care every day about what you do,” to both questions.

Bendele spoke with testaments from former players. He said Earl Campbell, who was present at the memorial, describes the Royals as parental figures to him.

“Earl Campbell said he would always be indebted to coach Royal,” Bendele said. “Coach promised Earl and his mother that he would get a college degree and become the best athlete he could be. Earl said coach was honest and always kept his word.”

Powers spoke of Royal’s importance in creating the University of Texas brand. He was the one who determined that Texas’ colors would be burnt orange and white, not just orange. He also was the first to put the Longhorn silhouette on Texas’ helmets. Powers said what made Royal such a beloved figure was his success on and off the football field.

“A great coach, yes of course, but even more, he was an inspiring man and an inspiring leader,” Powers said.

To close the ceremony, the UT marching band played Royal a farewell “The Eyes of Texas” tribute.

He was buried privately in the Texas State Cemetery in East Austin, an honor reserved for “legendary Texans who have made the state what it is today.”

—Additional reporting 
by David Maly

Printed on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 as: Remembering DKR: memorial commemorates coach

An auction employee holds up a framed memorabilia from the Royal Collection on Sunday at the Austin Auction Gallery.

Photo Credit: Ricky Llamas | Daily Texan Staff

Members of the public got a chance Sunday to take home memorabilia that belonged to legendary former head football coach Darrell K Royal.

Items auctioned included Alamo Bowl and 2006 Rose Bowl rings, a 1973 photo of Darrell K Royal and his wife Edith Royal with Willie Nelson and Lady Bird Johnson and a photo of Charles Duke, lunar module pilot on the 1972 Apollo 16 mission, attempting to form a Hook ‘em hand gesture on the moon.

Darrell K Royal died Wednesday of complications of cardiovascular disease at the age of 88. Ross Featherston, spokesperson for Austin Auction Gallery, said planning for the auction began in late August, and Edith Royal wanted to continue with the auction after her husband’s death for several reasons.

“This is about sharing their personal collection with the public, with his fans,” Featherston said. “She wanted people to have the opportunity to buy some of those things. There are 243 pieces here that they can [bid on], and they are related to Coach Royal.”

Amy McMurrough, spokesperson for public relations firm McMurrough and Associates, that assisted in publicizing the auction, said Edith Royal also wanted to continue with the auction to take some of the strain off her family.

“She didn’t want to burden her family with the difficulty of having to figure out what to do with things after he passed,” McMurrough said.

She said roughly 600 people placed bids during the auction, with 300 in-person and 300 via internet or telephone.

She said the highest bid was made by a UT alumnus, whose name was not available, for the 2006 Rose Bowl ring at $105,000, roughly $120,000 with buyer’s premium, a tax charged by the auction house. McMurrough said the later bids on that ring produced a lively competition between two bidders.

In addition to the Royal’s items, the auction included pieces from Beau Theriot, an Austin furniture designer.

Featherston said a portion of the proceeds taken in by Featherston and Edith Royal will be given to the Darrell K Royal Fund for Alzheimer’s Research.

He said Darrell K Royal’s passing received national publicity, undoubtedly contributing to the auction’s success.

Articles about Darrell K Royal’s death appeared in the Austin-American Statesman, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Daily Texan and more than a dozen other publications.  

Darrell K Royal served as head coach of the Longhorn football team from 1956 until 1976. His record as head coach is 167-47-5, a school record that remains unbroken.

At Saturday’s game against Iowa State the Longhorns ran the first play from wishbone, a formation introduced to college football by Darrell K Royal in 1968, and gained 47 yards with the play. The Longhorns won the game 33-7.

There will be a public memorial for Darrell K Royal at noon Tuesday in the Frank Erwin Center’s basketball arena. He will be buried privately in the Texas State Cemetery in East Austin, an honor reserved for “legendary Texans who have made the state what it is today.”

Printed on Monday, November 12, 2012 as: Historical DKR memorabilia goes on auction

Quandre Diggs, Cedric Reed and Adrian Phillips bring down Iowa State’s Jerome Tiller on Saturday afternoon. The Longhorns put together their most complete game of the season with 609 yards of total offense while holding the Cyclones to 277 yards.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns wore Darrell K Royal’s initials on their helmets to honor the former coach who died Wednesday. Flags flew at half-mast and it was a somber day at the stadium named after him. But the way that Texas played was also a tribute to Royal.

Despite struggling in early games this season, the Longhorns found their rhythm on both sides of the ball and defeated Iowa State 33-7.

The Texas offense was balanced throughout the game thanks to a dominant offensive line. David Ash had a good game, going 25-of-31 with two touchdowns and 364 yards, a career high. He completed his first 11 passes.

“Our job was to try to spread them out a little bit by putting the ball on the outside and utilizing the wide receivers,” co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said. “They’re a very difficult team to run the ball on consistently so you have to mix it up, and that’s what we did tonight.”

Mike Davis has become Ash’s go-to target; both Davis and Jaxon Shipley stepped up and combined for 250 receiving yards.

Running back Malcolm Brown played for the first time in six games, but Joe Bergeron and Johnathan Gray retained their ownership of the backfield. Bergeron had 86 yards and Gray had 75 yards and two touchdowns. The offense had 609 yards of total offense.

Texas began the game by honoring Royal, lining up Royal’s wishbone formation. Ash pitched the ball to Shipley, who threw it to back to Ash, who threw it to tight end Greg Daniels for a 47-yard gain.

“All the coaches said, ‘It’s Wednesday, and we don’t have [a tribute to Royal]. So what are we going to do?’ So these crazy young coaches come back to me with a double-reverse pass,” Brown said.

The Longhorns didn’t score on the drive, but the first quarter gave the Longhorns a big advantage.

Texas went up by two scores after a five-yard touchdown run by Gray and a 61-yard touchdown pass from Ash to Davis. In the second quarter, Ash hit Barrett Matthews for a three-yard touchdown on the tight end’s first reception of the season.

Brown was happy with the defense’s play in the game, but was not pleased with the timing of Iowa State’s touchdown. 

Quarterback Steele Jantz found wide receiver Quenton Bundrage for a 14-yard touchdown with 41 seconds left in the half to make the score 20-7.

Texas’ defense continued its solid play and held the Cyclones to 277 yards; they were three of 12 on third-down conversions. The Texas offense went 8-for-14 on third downs.

“To me, the game was about third down,” said defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. “They couldn’t get us off the field and they couldn’t stay on the field when it got to third down.”

The biggest play the defense allowed was a 23-yard pass from Jantz to Chris Young. Cornerback Carrington Byndom caught his third interception of the season and Josh Turner also had one at the end of the game. Defensive end Alex Okafor had nine tackles.

Nick Jordan replaced Anthony Fera at kicker and scored a 37-yard field goal for the only points of the third quarter. With the help of the field position gained after an incredible 38-yard catch by Jaxon Shipley that deflected off Iowa State’s cornerback, Gray scored his second touchdown of the game on a 13-yard run. Jordan concluded scoring in the game with a 25-yard field goal with 1:23 left in the fourth quarter.

Texas now holds a four-game winning streak heading into its bye week. This game was more than just getting Texas its eighth win.

“We really needed to win this game, not only for us but for [Royal],” Shipley said. “We needed to dedicate this game to him and I think that played a key part and really motivated us.”

Printed on Monday, November 12, 2012 as: Horns dominate Cyclones: complete game propels Texas past overmatched ISU

 

The Longhorns line up in Darrell K Royal’s wishbone formation to start the game. David Ash threw for 47 yards with this play.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Everyone knew the Longhorns were running a play out of the wishbone in their first play from scrimmage. No one thought it would be a play like this.

With his unit backed up inside its 10-yard line, co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin put a 21st century twist on the formation that the late Darrell K Royal used to help Texas capture three national titles during his legendary 20-year tenure as the Longhorns’ head football coach.

David Ash motioned fullback Ryan Roberson to his right before the snap and tossed the ball to receiver Jaxon Shipley, who lined up as a running back off-set behind Roberson. Shipley threw it from one side of the end zone to the other back to Ash, who hit a wide open Greg Daniels for a 47-yard gain.

“Coach [Royal] said, ‘When you throw a pass, three things can happen, and two of them are bad,’” head coach Mack Brown said. “So I thought if you throw it twice, that means two good things can happen. That was the only way I could figure out how to make it work.”

A perfect tribute to Royal, who died last Wednesday, when Brown said he “just sat down on the floor and cried.”

But it wasn’t just his team’s opening play that honored Royal, the program’s all-time winningest football coach. The Longhorns went on to pummel an overwhelmed Iowa State team that embarrassed them in Austin two years ago — a 33-7 victory reminiscent of many from the Royal era.

Ash threw for two touchdowns and a career-high 364 yards, his second straight stellar performance since his struggles against Kansas. Texas’ running game was productive and its defense put on a display that would leave Royal smiling.

Royal once described linebacker Tommy Nobis as someone who would “laugh and jump right in the slop for you.” That’s what the Longhorns did this weekend, limiting the Cyclones to a lone touchdown in the final minute of the first half and 64 yards on five second-half drives.

“When I got up Wednesday morning and found out that we’d lost Coach [Royal], I just wasn’t ready for it,” Brown said. “I should have anticipated something like that ... I think, whether I realized it or not at the time, Coach Royal filled a void in my life when I lost my dad and my granddad four months before I came here. He’s just been such a great friend.”

Texas dedicated everything it could to Royal — the first play from scrimmage, the decals on the helmets and the logo at midfield, numerous festivities and even a fourth-quarter rendition of “Wabash Cannonball.” It would have been impossible to honor Royal and the legacy he built over decades in just a few days.

But the way the Longhorns played Saturday came close.

Printed on Monday, November 12, 2012 as: Horns honor Royal with wishbone play

Texas running back Jonathan Gray celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

The Longhorns wore Darrell K Royal’s initials on their helmets to honor the former coach who died on Wednesday.  Flags flew at half-mast and it was a somber day at the stadium named after him. But, the way that Texas played was also a tribute to Royal.

Despite struggling with inconsistency this season, especially in early games, the Longhorns found their rhythm on both sides of the ball and defeated the Iowa State, 33-7.

The Texas offense was balanced throughout the game, thanks to the dominating play of the offensive line. Quarterback David Ash had his best game of the season and went 25-for-31 with two touchdowns and 364-yards, a season high.  He didn’t have an incompletion until his twelfth pass.

“Our job was to try to spread them out a little bit by putting the ball on the outside and utilizing the wide receivers,” said offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin. “They’re a very difficult team to run the ball on consistently so you have to mix it up and that’s what we did tonight.”

While Mike Davis has become Ash’s go-to target, both he and Jaxon Shipley stepped above the rest of the wide receivers and the two combined for 250 receiving yards.

Running back Malcolm Brown played for the first time in six games, but Joe Bergeron and Johnathan Gray retained their ownership of the backfield.  Bergeron had 86-yards and Gray had 75-yards and a touchdown.  The offense had 609-yards of total offense.

Texas began the game by honoring Royal by lining up in the wishbone formation. Ash pitched the ball to Shipley, who lateral it to back Ash and he threw it to tight end Greg Daniels for a 47-yard gain.  Head coach Mack Brown was determined to incorporate a play with the wishbone formation in the game.

“All the coaches said, ‘It’s Wednesday, and we don't have one.  So what are we going to do?’ So these crazy young coaches come back to me with a double-reverse pass,” Brown said.

The Longhorns didn’t score on the drive, but the first quarter gave the Longhorns a big advantage.

Texas went up by two scores after a 5-yard touchdown run by Gray and a 61-yard touchdown pass from Ash to Davis.  In the second quarter, Ash hit Barrett Matthews for a three-yard touchdown on the tight end’s first reception of the season.

Brown was happy with the defense’s play in the game.  But, he was not pleased with the timing of Iowa State’s score.  Quarterback Steel Jantz found wide receiver Quenton Brundrage for a 14-yard touchdown with 41 seconds left in the half to make the score 20-7.

Texas’ defense continued its solid play and held the Cyclones to 277-yards and they were three of 12 on third down conversions.  The Texas offense went eight of 14 on third downs.

“To me the game came was about third down,” said defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. “They couldn’t get us off the field and they couldn’t stay on the field when it got to third down.”

The biggest play the defense allowed was a 23-yard pass from Jantz to Chris Young.  Corner back Carrington Byndom caught his third interception of the season and Josh Turner also had one at the end of the game. Defensive end Alex Okafor had nine tackles. 

Kicker Nick Jordan replaced Anthony Fera at kicker and scored a 37-yard field goal for the only points of the third quarter.  With the help of the field position gained after an incredible 38-yard catch by Jaxon Shipley that deflected off Iowa State’s cornerback, Gray scored his second touchdown of the game on a 13-yard run.  Jordan concluded scoring in the game with a 25-yard field goal with 1:23 left in the game.

Texas now holds a four-game winning streak heading into its bye week.  This game was more than just getting Texas its eighth win. 

“We really needed to win this game, not only for us but for him,” Shipley said. “We needed to dedicate this game to him and I think that played a key part and really motivated us.”

From the Archives: 1963 Cotton Bowl

“Darrell, that was a beautiful game- and there’s no damn doubt who’s Number One…” The leathery old admiral shoved through the maze of sports writers to congratulate Texas Coach Darrell Royal.  The Navy had sunk, 28-6.

Wayne Hardin, the fleet field mentor who had blasted off like the big guns on the battleship Arizona, had fired his last shot just before kickoff.

“When the challenger meets the champion, and the challenger wins, then there is a new champion.”

These were convincing words- and had sailing been considerably better, Hardin might have been some kind of prophet.

That Other Side

But as Sonny Liston said to Floyd Patterson, there’s another side to the coin.  When the challenger meets the champion and the champion bursts the little bubble of the challenger, then there ain’t no new champ.

Or to put it in Darrell Royal’s words: “We’re ready…”

The story ironically ends where it began.  On the hard, sunny field at Dallas most people call the Cotton Bowl.  Navy has other names for it.

It was here that Roger Staubach met an inspired SMU team that matched him score for score- winning 32-28, and knocking Navy from the unbeaten ranks.  The next day a team from the South silenced other roars of confidence and became the nation’s top team.

No Doubt Now

Only Hardin and eastern sportswriters, who believe the rest of the football world exists only to provide slaughter lambs for their babies, had any doubt to Texas’s right to be there.  Truly it should be hard to doubt now.

For seven tension-filled weeks Texas clung to that position.  The Steers had been here twice in successive years- and each time went down.  This time there would be no falling.

The ire of the east might have been justified by a weak performance on national television against A&M, except that their pet, Navy, should by all rights have been beaten by Army.

But Texas was lambasted as “fraud,” “unable to pass,” and generally not what it was cracked up to be.

Staubach was shadowed

Roger Staubach, Navy’s great quarterback, was plainly shadowed by Duke Carlisle.  But the real victory came not in Carlisle’s usual great play, but in the same old thing that won for Texas all year.

Staubach, great as he might be, has considerable trouble scoring when he doesn’t have the football.  And he also has problems when he’s sitting on the barnacles of Navy blue and gold.  That latter of course, has also to do with Appleton, Brucks, McWilliams and their cohorts sanding on top of him.

As to the game itself, Navy jostled things just a little with an eight-man line.  That clogged up the middle and seemingly said to Carlisle, “Go ahead, you can’t throw.”  But he did.

Harris Scampered

And Phil Harris, the Duke’s chief receiver last spring in the intra-squad game, circled under the first toss, left a Navy defender searching for his bell-bottoms, and scampered away to touchdown.

The sheer shock was enough to upset even most Texas fans, but there it was, 58 yards in one long bomb that struck seamen amidships.

Navy still had hopes on making it another scoring battle when the Middies got the ball.  Staubach would show them.

But the vicious rush by Texas started a bad, bad afternoon for Jolly Roger. He gained eight yards, lost 55 and ended up -47.

And the Navy’s not famous for retreating.

Appleton was the main glory gainer- but the whole charging defense really killed Staubach.  Early in the game, however, one got the feeling Appleton was playing Staubach alone.  He would seemingly watch his every move, even in the huddle.  This should, to say the least, have been unnerving.

…Think I’ll Run

Somewhere along here the quarter ended, and Carlisle tried the other end of the field.  This time Harris took the ball off defender Pat Donnelly’s hand, saw Donnelly fall and looked around as if to say “I believe I’ll run with it…”  He did, and 63 yards later it was 14-0.  That includes two boots from Tony Crosby, who ended a perfect season at the PAT department.

By this time Navy was sinking slowly, but Carlisle added another tally on a nifty scamper on the option.  That made it 21-0, and as Navy marched upfield, TV announcers, trying to keep from losing their audience, heralded Staubach as “finding himself, and ready to really come back in the second half.”  He didn’t.

Fact was, Texas was giving up the short pass to keep from yielding the home run pass.

Wade warmed up

All this time, Royal had Tommy Wade, his star passer, warming up on the sidelines, just in case Navy let an aerial get away.

Rudely ruining the dreams of the nation’s television guys, Texas slowed Staubach’s comeback by taking the ball away from him, scoring again.

Finally Roger shoved his men across, but the try for two points failed.  Royal, now playing the fourth and fifth teams, let everybody have a chance.

Late in the final period, however, Navy started moving.

Enough nonsense, thought Texas, and in came the first team line.

The extent of the confidence was shown when Navy, having pushed deep into Texas territory, was caught offsides.

To accept the penalty would have made it first down and 15, a rejection made it second and five.  Texas declined, almost as if to say, “Okay Rog, make it if you can…” He couldn’t.

Texas took over, and shoved the ball to the six-inch line before time stopped the butchering.

Therefore it ended, just as it had started, Texas with the ball, cramming it down Navy’s throat.

Writers sing praises

Sportswriters across the nation sang the praises of the nation’s number one team.  There was no question now.

And Texas?  It was pretty calm about the whole thing.  Quiet contentment riled most of the players.  The thought seemed to be if anyone else questioned, let them come down here, too.  And there were no takers.

The Navy-the East- the world would have done well to heed the words of a St. Louis writer- penned two days after Navy’s first defeated.

“Who’s Number One?”

“It’s Texas, podner-and smile when you say that…”