- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Neely fixed Whitmore with a cold stare. "B-e-e-a-l-l," he drawled, "if theah's one thing weah not runnin' around heah it's a pop-you-lar-ity contest."
At Texas A & M, Coach Jim Myers greeted his freshman players this year with a nice little obstacle course, reminiscent of wartime toughening-up installations. Myers feels that high school kids aren't as rugged as they used to be because of cars and other modern conveniences. So he has built walls, fences, jumps, crawl-unders and rope-climbs. "It will be so tough maybe all or half of the freshmen can't do it," Myers said as the freshmen began to come in, "but they will learn how." The varsity, it seems, is excused except for a few familiarization laps. Myers feels it's too late to start them on a full-scale obstacle-course program.
Needless to say, coaches in the conference like very much to win. Twelve years ago when Frank Broyles, head man at Arkansas, started his coaching career at Baylor, he frequently sat in the press box to analyze opponents' strategy. Once, when Baylor was playing Southern Methodist at Dallas, Broyles left the press box a few minutes before the half and jumped into the elevator to arrive ahead of the team in the dressing room. As he emerged from the elevator, a tremendous roar hit his ears. Broyles rushed over to a fan coming out of the stands, grabbed him and asked what happened.
"Aw," growled the fan, "those indelicacies scored."
"Yeah," blurted Broyles, "but which indelicacies?"
Historically a conference of wild and woolly offensive tactics, the Southwest tempered its headlong style a bit and made a stab at becoming defensive-minded when Paul (Bear) Bryant, high priest of defense, coached Texas A & M for four years. When Bryant left for Alabama after the 1957 season the teams began opening up again. This fitted in nicely with the trend away from the split-T formation which began several years ago.
Texas Christian and Texas U. ran almost exclusively from the wing T in spring training; Texas Tech will have it in their bag of offensive tricks.
Darrell Royal, coach of the Long-horns (whose 15-14 victory over Oklahoma last season tickled all Texans pink), made the switch to counter a defensive trend.
"When the split-T quarterback moves down the line," Royal says, "11 men start moving with him. What we're trying to do is freeze the defense so it can't mass to meet the ball carrier. If you can reduce the ratio from 11 to 1 to 5 to 1, then you're going to spring some backs loose for long gains instead of the three- and four-yard split-T gains.
"With its reverses and bootlegs, the wing T immobilizes the defense and brings the 5-to-1 ratio a lot closer. The wing T cuts down pursuit, which is what killed the split-T."