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Two ways to win a ball game
Alfred Wright
October 24, 1960
The complexities of modern football are such that a coach, to win consistently, must be at once imaginative and superbly organized. Two of the best planners are Frank Broyles of Arkansas and Darrell Royal of Texas, whose teams met Saturday in one of the season's most thrilling games. One Sports Illustrated reporter, Morton Sharnik, and another, Jimmy Banks, stayed with Broyles and Royal, respectively, all last week. Here is their diary of the secret days preceding the game and, finally, the story of how the coaches' strategies worked
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October 24, 1960

Two Ways To Win A Ball Game

The complexities of modern football are such that a coach, to win consistently, must be at once imaginative and superbly organized. Two of the best planners are Frank Broyles of Arkansas and Darrell Royal of Texas, whose teams met Saturday in one of the season's most thrilling games. One Sports Illustrated reporter, Morton Sharnik, and another, Jimmy Banks, stayed with Broyles and Royal, respectively, all last week. Here is their diary of the secret days preceding the game and, finally, the story of how the coaches' strategies worked

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The quarterbacks went over the quarterback book. "We must prepare to run at Texas," it said. "Last year our 41-49, 44-46 counter, 24-26 trap, the swing pass and the jump pass were our most effective plays."

" Texas uses a three-deep defense," the book said. "Its weakness is in the flats. We must take advantage of this." The book suggested a 15-play repertoire emphasizing the counter-flow pass, the swing screen and a series of inside running plays. Before practice ended Broyles decided that he would have to have a new formation ready to spring on Texas should his offense break down. He adopted an unbalanced line with one end split, a formation he had used successfully in the Gator Bowl January 2, and one he hoped Royal had forgotten.

Texas, Tuesday: Royal looked over his defensive coaches' plans and approved them. For the rest of the morning the coaches watched films.

Royal's biggest decision concerned the monster. He deduced, correctly, that the monster's main function was to scare the other team into running into the side of Arkansas' greater strength. The Arkansas line, the Texas coaches had noted, charges to the opposite side of where the monster stands. Royal decided to run right at him. If the strategy worked, the Arkansas line would be moving in the direction that would make the Texas blocks easier.

To offset Arkansas' gang-tackling Royal decided on throw-back plays. The quarterback would move into the line, stop and toss the ball back to an end. And to take advantage of the tendency of the Arkansas halfbacks to drift to the outside, Royal decided on quick short passes to the ends in the middle. This, generally, would be the Texas offensive.

After lunch, Royal held a 45-minute meeting with his quarterbacks shortly before practice, explaining basic plans and plays. He also explained the basic ideas briefly to the entire squad at the start of a two-hour workout. The team split into groups by positions and worked on the new adjustments.

Arkansas, Wednesday: Broyles was still disturbed about his injured players. Two scrubs might have been brought up to varsity status to make the Austin trip.

The main planning was over. For the rest of the week the players would perfect their skills and go over their assignments until they could do them by reflex. The enthusiasm for Saturday's game began to mount.

"Hit, hit, hit," urged Coach Dixie White, as the players worked on the blocking sled that afternoon. There was an urgency in his voice. Defensive backs worked on passes they expected Texas' Bobby Gurwitz to throw. A quarterback fumbled the snap, and everyone yelled "fumble." Six men pounced on the ball.

Texas, Wednesday: The Coaching staff seemed more relaxed and even found time for a few laughs—but not many. Movie projectors were going full blast most of the morning, with the coaches concentrating on last year's Texas-Arkansas game.

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