So does Darrell Royal. Though unaccustomed to losing games ( TEXAS is 40-3-1 over the past four seasons), Royal knows that, were it not for two one-point losses to the Razorbacks, he would have had seven conference championships in the last eight years, and two national titles, for Texas would have successfully defended its No. 1 rating a year ago. Defeat came in the last minute and a half when Royal gambled everything—the conference title, the national crown, a 15-game winning streak—on a two-point conversion play, and failed.
Instead of ramming the ball at or around Arkansas, something Texas does best, Royal ordered a flat pass from Quarterback Marvin Kristynik to a tiny tailback named Hix Green. Green had entered the game for Ernie Koy, and Frank Broyles, the Arkansas coach, knew he could be there for only one reason: to catch. Arkansas poured through on Kristynik, a debatable thrower at best, and swarmed Green in the flat. The pass fell two feet shy of the receiver's hands.
Royal had no criticism of Kristynik, however, for it was the 5-foot-10, 170-pound signal-caller who drove Texas to the touchdown that made the two-point attempt possible. And Kristynik is back again, now a senior. Like all previous Texas quarterbacks under Royal, Marvelous Marv can do nothing exceptionally well, except win. He runs the keeper, fakes, and stays out of trouble. "He's confident, and he moves our offense," says Royal. "Our coaches joke that we haven't had a good quarterback—by other people's standards—in so long they wouldn't recognize one if they saw him. But give me the guy with his jaw stuck out and his sleeves rolled up who swaggers back to the huddle. He's the guy who can do the job."
If Kristynik cannot move Texas swiftly enough by October, when the Longhorns must meet Oklahoma and Arkansas back to back, then perhaps Greg Lott can. Lott is a sophomore, but he is the most impressive quarterback Texas has recruited in many years. He is 6 feet, weighs 174 pounds, is a fine passer and, for whatever it is worth, is the godson of Bobby Layne, Texas' last quarterback of stature.
Everything else, Texas has. There are more good runners than ever, with Phil Harris moved from two years at wingback to running back. "I like Phil," says Royal. "He's a guy who can make you four yards on third and four." Tom Stockton should be the Southwest's best fullback, and for speed there are junior Jimmy Helms and sophomores Linus Baer and Robert Leach.
The line has more than Nobis—more pro prospects than Royal has been used to, in fact. Defensive End Pete Lammons, 6 feet 1 and 215 pounds, is a legitimate All-America candidate, and so is Tackle Diron Talbert. Royal insists that Frank Bedrick, teamed with Nobis, gives him the best pair of guards in the country.
A lot of sophomores will play for Texas, but they always do, and they are always good. Texas will platoon, like everyone else, but not exclusively, and it will throw more, or try to, with Kristynik's pumpkin ball or Lott's spirals.
Arkansas' season, like Texas', depends on what happens in Fayetteville the afternoon of October 16 when the giants meet before national television cameras. They have played some unbearable thrillers in the last few years, with Broyles winning by 24-23 and 14-13, and Royal, his off-season golfing pal, winning by such equally theatrical scores as 13-12, 7-3 and 17-13.
"If we can't find a passer, we don't have a chance," says Broyles. "Nobody, nobody, runs on Texas. We won last year with a punt return and a long pass. We don't expect to get the return again. We must throw, so our job is to find an arm early in the season."