AUSTIN, Texas — The wishbone formation on Texas’ first play honored the memory of former coach Darrell Royal. The sound whipping of an overmatched opponent looked like a result straight out of Royal’s days on the sideline as well.
David Ash passed for 364 yards and two touchdowns and No. 19 Texas rolled over Iowa State 33-7 on an emotional day when the university paid tribute to the coach who won two national championships, a share of a third and 11 Southwest Conference titles from 1957 to 1976. Royal died Wednesday at age 88.
“Bless his heart. We miss him,” said Texas coach Mack Brown, who was very close to Royal and said he “sat on the floor and cried” when he learned Royal had passed.
Brown had announced Wednesday his team would honor Royal by lining up in the wishbone for the first play. That Texas uncorked a pitch-back reverse pass for 47 yards caught everyone by surprise and conjured memories of the “Right 53 Veer Pass” that Royal used to beat Arkansas in 1969 in the “Game of the Century.”
Ash had his second stellar game after getting pulled late in Texas’ win over Kansas two weeks ago. Against Iowa State, he rarely had to throw into coverage because Longhorns wide receivers seemed to get wide open on almost every play.
Jaxon Shipley had eight catches for 137 yards and Davis had seven for 113, including a 61-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Johnathan Gray also ran for two touchdowns for the Longhorns (8-2, 5-2 Big 12), who have won four in a row.
Royal coached Texas to national championships in 1963 and 1969, a share of a third in 1970. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.
Flags flew at half-staff inside the stadium that bears his name and Royals’ “DKR” initials were on burnt-orange logos at midfield and on the Texas players’ helmets. Brown said Royal’s widow, Edith, would be presented with the game ball.