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TEXAS BY AN EYELASH
Dan Jenkins
December 15, 1969
For most of the game, the Longhorns looked like No. 101 to Arkansas' No. 1, but in the fourth quarter James Street rallied his teammates to a 15-14 victory and the right to be called the best in the nation
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December 15, 1969

Texas By An Eyelash

For most of the game, the Longhorns looked like No. 101 to Arkansas' No. 1, but in the fourth quarter James Street rallied his teammates to a 15-14 victory and the right to be called the best in the nation

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All week long in Texas the people had said the Hogs ain't nuthin' but groceries and that on Saturday, in the thundering zoo of Fayetteville, the No. I Longhorns would eat—to quote the most horrendous pun ever thought of by some Lone Star wit—"Hog meat with Worster-Speyrer sauce."

This is not exactly what Darrell Royal's team dined on up there in those maddening Ozark hills, of course. What Texas had was one hell of a hard time winning the national championship 15-14 from a quicker, more alert Arkansas team that for three quarters made the Longhorns look like your everyday, common, ordinary whip dog Baylor or Rice.

Texas fans, buoyed by the knowledge that their team had buried all six of its common opponents by much fatter scores than the Razorbacks had, and Haunting dozens of those wonderful statistics, had forgotten what this game always is. which is close and psychotic. They strolled around like Ohio State enthusiasts before the Michigan debacle, an event which made this spectacular possible, uttering absurdities like "42 to 7 and bring on Notre Dame." Terrific, just terrific.

"We're beginning to develop some difficult fans," said Royal. "They don't understand that there's no such person as King Kong, and that when you start thinking there is, you can get ready to wipe your bloody nose."

For three quarters, as probably 30 million viewers must have seen on television, Arkansas did practically all of the bloodying. Bill Montgomery, a marvelous quarterback most of the day, passed and ran the Longhorns into a state of shock and his own team and fans into their loudest afternoon of any year ever. A furious Arkansas defense swarmed on Texas to cause four fumbles and two interceptions while Montgomery and his roommate-end. Chuck Dicus, combined to bedazzle their visitors for 14 points and what seemed like the safest lead since Orval Faubus rode in a motorcade.

Watching the emotional Razorbacks bounce Texas around on its AstroTurf for 45 minutes—blasting out those fumbles and picking off those interceptions with their hard hitting—one could think only of Royal's sober warnings of the day before.

"They're gonna come after us with their eyes pulled up like BBs," Darrell said. "And they'll be defending every foot as if Frank Broyles has told 'em there's a 350-foot drop just behind 'em into a pile of rocks. If you believe that, you're pretty hard to move around."

Arkansas was certainly that. Until the first play of the fourth quarter, the closest Texas had driven was to the Arkansas 31-yard line, and most of the time it hadn't been able to get across mid-Held. The Razorbacks were doing exactly what Broyles had said they had to do—stay put and don't miss tackles—against the second-best rushing team, statistically, at least, that ever played college football.

Meanwhile, Montgomery, so cool and clever he even impressed that former second-string tackle from Whittier, Richard Nixon, was hurling a 21-yard pass to John Rees to set up a touchdown in the first quarter and a 29-yard touchdown to Dicus early in the third quarter to suggest that this might be dear old Ann Arbor all over again.

Unlike Ohio State, however, Texas had been behind 14-0 before against a team, Oklahoma, which on that October day, at least, was higher than your usual astronaut collecting gray rocks. Just as Arkansas was last Saturday until the fourth quarter when Texas' little quarterback, James Street, finally got himself and his gang going. Street is not an especially good passer, and he has never been compared to O.J. Simpson or even Jim Bertelsen in the open field, but James Street is a winner. He had never lost a football game in 18 straight since becoming the Texas quarterback in the third game of last year. And now he was about to make it 19 straight—somehow, someway, in the midst of all of that chaos in the Ozarks.

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