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September 19, 1966
The Miracle
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September 19, 1966

A Wild Ride With The Mustangs

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Before anyone got settled in his seat for that one, TCU jumped in front by two touchdowns. Grim? "It might have been," said an SMU player, "except we had Walker." For a while it looked as if TCU had Walker too, all bottled up as he was trying to pass. It was precisely at moments like this, however, that Walker was most to be feared. "It gets the defense all scattered out," he said. "Then when you decide to run, you can take up the problem of tacklers one at a time." Twice TCU had Walker trapped. Trap Walker? Fat chance. Putting on his best display of start-and-stop of the season, Walker feinted and sprinted. When TCU finally did find Walker standing still, it was 61 yards downfield—across the goal line.

Very exciting, but with 90 seconds to play SMU was still behind by a touchdown. TCU kicked off—to exactly the wrong man, Walker. Not only did he return the ball 56 yards, but in the process he raced past his own bench yelling: "Send in Johnson." Bell did, and Johnson hit Walker on the nine-yard line.

There were still 20 seconds to go and a touchdown to be had if SMU was to win the title. On the next play Walker sprinted for the goal followed by almost the entire team. Walker never made it, but then he didn't have to. With all that empty space on the other side of the field, Johnson had no trouble spotting Halliday alone in the end zone. Touchdown and the game and the title.

There are no Doak Walkers at SMU this year. There is one at Texas, though, and plenty to cheer about at Arkansas, the Conference favorite. Mustang followers might as well relax and enjoy the excitement.

The Best

Every night it was the same, and not all the warm milk in ARKANSAS could change things. Jon Brittenum looks desperately downfield in the hazy world of unwanted dreams for Bobby Crockett—the All-America who always makes the plays that win the game that gives the national championship (and 14 brand-new folk songs) to Arkansas—and what does the scrambling quarterback see? Four huge LSU defenders surrounding Crockett, leering and winking and daring him to throw the pass. Brittenum does, and in an instant Arkansas has lost the game that ruins the perfect season that gives the championship to Alabama.

Hoo boy! What a way to get a night's sleep. Not only Brittenum, but Coach Frank Broyles, the team and the state of Arkansas are stuck with it, and the only known cure for such nocturnal unrest is another 22-game winning streak. It's possible, of course. Any team that has Brittenum and Harry Jones (certainly one of the best of the breakaway types) in the same backfield is going to win games. But all of them? Not likely. One good reason Arkansas led the country in scoring last season (32.4 points a game) was an offensive line that simply demolished anyone audacious enough to line up in front of it. Another was Bobby Burnett, a quick, powerful tailback who used to slam off tackle up to 40 times a game, taking the pressure off Jones's outside razzle-dazzle. A third was Crockett.

Well, say goodby to all that. And say hello to some of the best teams the Southwest Conference has had in years. Yes, Texas fans, Arkansas can be beaten—occasionally. Before organizing any wild celebrations, however, take a long, grim look at what Broyles has left besides Brittenum and Jones. There stands Loyd Phillips at left tackle, a moody ruffian who left the dorm in a huff last spring when some of the freshmen (of all people) began teasing him about a minor injury. Phillips eventually came back and Broyles is again breathing regularly. The entire defensive line, in fact, is as strong and fast as ever, and when the Razorbacks do get into deep defensive trouble. Tommy Trantham will race back to his old position in the secondary. Trantham, a big-play man on defense last season, won Crockett's job at split end with a series of spectacular catches during the spring game.

On the face of it, this looks much like the same old Arkansas except for that loss in the Cotton Bowl, not to mention the loss of a kicker, a punter, a tailback, the end and part of the offensive line. As Broyles himself pointed out: "These things just have a way of ending."

Absolutely no one knows that better than TEXAS Coach Darrell Royal, the former resident enfant terrible of the SEC, director of national champions and, at present, the coach most likely to cut his throat if he loses four games again this season. The question is: How did this losing sort of nonsense happen in the first place?

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