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College football spotlight

Texas salutes its football Royalty

Longhorns begin game Saturday in the wishbone, the formation popularized by coaching legend Darrell Royal, who died this week. But they give it a modern wrinkle.

November 11, 2012|By Mike Hiserman, Los Angeles Times
  • 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…)

What a Royal and rollicking way to start a football game. Texas paid homage to former football coach Darrell Royal on Saturday, lining up in the formation he introduced — the wishbone — even though it was operating from its own six-yard line on its first play from scrimmage against Iowa State.

Royal, who died Wednesday at 88, was credited for bringing the wishbone to major college football in 1968, though it was largely developed — which Royal acknowledged — by Longhorns assistant Emory Bellard. The current Texas staff added its own a wrinkle in honoring Royal.

Quarterback David Ash pitched the ball to receiver Jaxon Shipley, who had lined up in the backfield. Shipley took a few steps to his right, then threw a short backward pass to Ash, who fired a pass to tight end Greg Daniels for a 47-yard gain that nearly went for a touchdown.

Royal surely would have appreciated the gesture and the big gain, but probably not the choice of a pass. A highly intelligent man who was quick with a quip, Royal subscribed to the adage about passing, "Three things can happen and two of them are bad."

Love it

South Carolina has not forgotten about Marcus Lattimore, the running back who suffered a gruesome, career-threatening injury to his right knee two weeks ago.

Lattimore, a team captain, is respected throughout the college game for his talent, humble nature and the work he put in coming back from a serious injury to his left knee last year.

He is also much-loved by South Carolina students and fans, which was expressed by the school band before Saturday's game against Arkansas when it spelled out: "We ♥ 21" in a message that stretched nearly the length of the field.

Hate it

What it is about Texas Tech coaches? First football coach Mike Leach is fired amid allegations he mistreated an injured player, then basketball coach Billy Gillispie left after allegations that he had mistreated players and bullied staffers.

Now it's football Coach Tommy Tuberville who should be in hot water after he violently yanked the headset off an assistant, knocking the coach's hat from his head, after the Red Raiders were hit with back-to-back penalties in the third quarter of their 41-34 double-overtime win over Kansas. Tuberville continued to berate graduate assistant Kevin Oliver, following him as he picked up his hat and headset and walked away.

Tuberville's postgame explanation didn't fit what television cameras showed. Tuberville said he was not angry with Oliver; he was angry because the Red Raiders had 12 players on the field, then followed that with a delay-of-game infraction.

"He was on the field and I reached to grab him and pull him off," he said of Oliver. "When I pulled, I missed his shirt and I grabbed his face mask and his microphone ripped off his head. . . . I mean, it wasn't anything to it."

Uh-huh. Geez, remember the good old days when Texas Tech hired calm, cool-headed coaches like Bobby Knight?

Having a Ball

Montee Ball scored three touchdowns for Wisconsin in a 62-14 win over Indiana, giving him 77 in his career, one shy of the Football Bowl Subdivision record held by Travis Prentice of Miami Ohio.

Ball rushed for 198 yards in 27 carries against a defense that looked defenseless no matter who was running. James White added 161 yards, Melvin Gordon 96 and Curt Phillips 68 as the Badgers ran for 564 yards and averaged 8.8 yards per carry.

One-liners

James Sims surpassed 100 yards rushing for a sixth consecutive game — a first for a Kansas running back since 1961. Sims had 127 yards and two touchdowns in 30 carries; running mate Tony Pierson had 202 yards in 16 carries against a Texas Tech rushing defense that had been ranked No. 28 in the nation. . . . Oklahoma defeated Baylor, 42-34, for Coach Bob Stoops' 146th career victory with the Sooners — 11 shy of Barry Switzer's record for the most in school history. . . . Louisiana-Lafayette senior Brett Baer converted from 49 yards and 22 yards against Florida to become the most accurate kicker in major college history — he's now 40 for 45, 88.9%.

mike.hiserman@latimes.com

Times staff writer Chris Dufresne and wire services contributed to this report.

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