All season Street and Burkhart got the job done, and last week both did it one last time. Burkhart, who lost one of his contact lenses during the first half, completed several key passes, including one for the game's only touchdown. Street's performance was a bit more spectacular because he operated under a greater strain—that of being No. 1. It was Street, we must recall, who almost singlehandedly got Texas by an Arkansas team playing its game of a lifetime in Fayetteville with a President and the whole world watching. A handsome, dapper senior with sideburns and a gabby personality, Street, who will get no closer to the pros than a 50-yard-line seat, just jabbered and ran and passed and gambled until Arkansas was beaten.
It was the same against Notre Dame. Street had already driven the Longhorns 74 and 77 yards to get back in the game, and now, behind 17-14, he was being required to do it again, flawlessly, because there was no time left for mistakes.
The Texas players say that in moments of crisis Street has a habit of babbling incoherently, saying things like, "It's guts up time.... Gotta get 'em.... No holdin' now.... No fumblin'.... Everbody get their man.... Let's gut it up..." And he's apt to continue until somebody like Bob McKay, the big tackle, says, "Aw, James, shut up and call the play."
On that last drive Street hit a sideline pass to Speyrer for a big gain, but the rest of the time he faked and pitched to his strong backs, Worster, Ted Koy and Jim Bertelsen, for the usual chunks of short yardage. Worster would tear inside, sometimes smothered so deep by Notre Dame defenders that all you could see was a moving heap of jerseys. But it moved enough.
There was a great big time out at the Notre Dame 20-yard line when Texas faced fourth down and two to go with only 4:26 remaining. Street went to the sideline to see Royal, and Bob Olson went to his sideline to confer with Parseghian. Meanwhile 73,000 hearts asked for a transplant. Texas was in field-goal range, but what would a tie do? Make Penn State, which would beat Missouri, or USC, which would beat Michigan, the No. 1 team?
Royal stayed with his triple-option offense, an attack that had made Texas the second alltime rushing team in college football during the regular season. Street faked Worster into the midsection, wiggled down the line and pitched to Ted Koy, who got the two yards by an eyelash just as Bob Olson arrived.
Now three more running plays found Texas at the Notre Dame 10. It was fourth-and-two again, 2:26 to play and another time out. Street went to Royal, and Olson went to Ara. It was a reprieve for the field goal, but Royal has always said, "When you're No. 1, you've got to try to stay that way or get carried out feet first."
The whole stadium was on its feet, and the bands were blaring out a couple of fairly familiar fight songs, while Street and Olson talked to their brains.
Street said, "How 'bout the counter option fake to the short side?"
Royal mulled it over.