Top 5 moments: Honoring Darrell Royal

December, 14, 2012
12/14/12
10:30
AM ET
HornsNation is counting down the top five moments of Texas’ 2012 season this week.

[+] EnlargeTexas Longhorns
Brett Davis/US PresswireTexas opened in the wishbone vs. Iowa State, a tribute to former coach Darrell K Royal, who introduced the formation in 1968.
Play No. 1

The game: Days before the Iowa State game, Mack Brown knew he wanted to honor the recently deceased Darrell K Royal. And the Texas coach told the world the Longhorns would do just that against the Cyclones. Brown’s team, which had been Royal’s long before Brown arrived, would line up in the wishbone on the first play of the first drive. It was a tip of the cap to the man who made Texas football and who made Brown feel at home in the program.

The play: The wishbone was famous for its multiple options. Texas had just one on this day. Backed up at their own 6-yard line, the Longhorns lined up in the wishbone and hoped for the best.

"When we were backed up [co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin] said, 'What do you think?' " Brown said. "And I said, 'Heck run it. What the heck -- he’s watching. He’s got enough spunk, he’ll like the fact that we took a shot at it.' And you could tell it was going be open from the beginning, so it was a fun play and maybe had a little intervention from up above on that one."

The play Texas ran was a double pass to tight end Greg Daniels for 47 yards. And, no, it was not meant to been an additional homage to 52 veer because it went to the tight end, it just worked out that way.

"I got a lot of emails that said 52 veer pass, and I thought Bryan doesn’t know what 52 veer pass is, but that’s about as close as we could get," Brown said.

Instead Brown asked his coaching staff to come up with something that was run out of the wishbone. And he asked them on Wednesday, three days prior to the game.

"So these crazy young coaches come back to me with a double-reverse pass," Brown said. "And I said, 'You are kidding. That would make [Royal] madder than anything if we do that.'

"So we decided that the only way I could justify the double-pass was that Coach [Royal] said, 'When you throw a pass, three things can happen, and two of them are bad,' " he added. "So I thought if you throw it twice, that means two good things can happen. So, that was the only way I could figure out how to make it work."

Texas went on to have 609 yards of offense, the most it had produced in Big 12 play since 2005.

Carter Strickland | email

Reporter, HornsNation

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