Royal Retrospective: Longhorns begin Royal era

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Original date of publication: Aug. 9, 1957


Texas this year under new Coach Darrell Royal will likely stack up like this:

It will be mainly a running team, with emphasis on quickness of attack: it will pass primarily on pass-run option plays; the Texas players will be chosen with defense comprising “at least” fifty percent of their section.

That quite briefly is the pattern outlined by Coach Royal recently. If it sounds familiar it should. He’s tearing a page directly from Coach Bud Wlkinson’s OU notebook.

Just how well Coach Royal has done at adapting the Wilkinsonian pigskin philosophies to his own uses may be best seen by his successes at Mississippi State and the University of Washington. His collegiate record for three years of coaching at these two schools is 17 victories and 12 defeats.

At each of these two schools, Royal set up quick, tough ball clubs in short order. He has many people around these parts hoping he can do the same here. Chances are good that he will. And soon enough.

But not necessarily this year. As he points out, “you can’t take a team that won one of ten games the year before and make a winner out of ‘em all of a sudden.

“I would say that it would be an extremely optimistic estimate to say that Texas would win half of its games this year.” But generally speaking, and based on his current estimates of the Texas manpower, Coach Royal termed the Longhorns on a pair of somewhat better than five 1957 opponents.

Although, as he points out, “it is extremely risky business to see us as on a par with anyone.”

The five teams the coach feels superior to Texas are Oklahoma, A&M, Baylor, Arkansas, and probably South Carolina. That leaves the Orange on more or less equal footing with Georgia, Tulane, Rice, TCU, and SMU.

Turning to the training of the some 65 gladiators expected to turn out for drills in September, Royal advised that he intends to “at first work to fill four teams, and then boil this down near game time to two teams, all the time working to polish up a third unit.”

Read the third Royal Retrospective, "Horns win first title," here.