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Texas honors Darrell Royal on first play against Iowa State

November 10, 2012|By Chris Dufresne
  • Texas lines up in the wishbone formation to run its first play from scrimmage against Iowa State on Saturday in honor of former coach Darrell Royal.
Texas lines up in the wishbone formation to run its first play from scrimmage… (Michael Thomas / Associated…)

Texas' first formation from scrimmage against Iowa State on Saturday was developed in 1968 and had been scripted for days.

The Longhorns, from their own 6-yard line with 10:51 left in the first quarter, lined up in the wishbone formation to honor former coach Darrell Royal, who died this week at age 88.

Royal introduced the triple-option attack in 1968 and it helped the Longhorns win 30 straight games and two national titles. The Wishbone was largely developed by Texas assistant Emory Bellard and was borrowed by several other college football programs in the 1970s.

Royal would have loved what Texas did Saturday, with one exception. Instead of running the straight option out of the Wishbone, the Longhorns opted for a razzle-dazzle throw back play to quarterback David Ash, who completed a 47-yard pass to Greg Daniels.

Royal coined a lot of phrases in his day, including "Dance with the one that brung ya." He was not, at least most of his career, a big fan of throwing the ball.

It was Royal who said about passing: "three things can happen and two of them are bad." 

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