On the Road

                                                                                              I have nothing to offer except my own confusion
-Jack Kerouac

When I typed the title for this column I said to myself, “Oh yeah, that’s the title of that Kerouac book. I read “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac about 25 years ago and thought it was mostly gibberish.  I think Truman Capote opinion of the book said it best, “That’s not writing that’s typing.” 

Anyway, after a bye week, Texas plays their first road conference game of the year Saturday at West Virginia.  I’m weary of the phrase “trap game” so let’s go with, “take care of business game.”  This is a “take care of business game” for the Longhorns. Though West Virginia is 3-1, the consensus is that they’re not very good (Texas is favored by 11) but wins over North Carolina State and Kansas in Lawrence looks pretty respectable to me. Like most conference road games, if the Longhorns don’t start quickly, the game will likely still be in doubt into the fourth quarter. 

Run on the Road

Against Oklahoma State, 17 of Texas’ first 20 plays were runs, resulting in a 14-3 lead for the Horns. From my seat on the 15 yard line at the northeast end of the stadium, on a Keaontay Ingram carry, right in front of me, I watched the Texas offensive line push the entire OSU defensive line back five yards paving the way for a 14 yard gain.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a Texas offensive line do that.

A heavy, heavy dose of the running game is the best prescription for success on the road and I hope that’s what Tom Herman and Tim Beck prescribe for the offense in Morgantown.

It says here Sam Ehlinger will make sure the Horns “take care of business” Saturday afternoon. I’m calling it, Texas 41-16.

Speaking of Ehlinger, he’s eleventh nationally in yards passing per game, tenth in passing efficiency, and sixth in passing touchdowns. Don’t let yourself forget what a luxury it is to have him.

 50 Year Anniversaries

It’s been a banner year for 50 year anniversaries with countless articles, essays, and documentaries commemorating the moon landing and Woodstock. It’s also the 50th anniversary of Texas’ second national championship. The highlights of that championship are well trod ground but I thought it would be interesting to take a brief look at a game Texas played during that season 50 years ago today.

Navy versus Texas October 4, 1969

Navy’s football program had fallen a long way since their glorious 1963 season when Roger Staubach won the Heisman Trophy and they were ranked # 2 with a 9-1 record before the getting trampled by the Longhorns 28-6 in the 1964 Cotton Bowl.   From 1964 through 1968, they were 18-28-4 and had lost their first two games of the ’69 season to Penn State and Boston College before traveling to Austin. Texas was 2-0, beating Cal 17-0 and Texas Tech 49-7.

It was a pleasant 81 degrees with 18 mile per hour winds out of the south, southeast at the 7 p.m. kickoff for the near sellout crowd of 63,500 in 65,000 seat Memorial Stadium.

Playing its second game ever on the newly installed Astroturf, Texas opened the scoring at 13:22 in the first quarter with a 43 yard touchdown run by Jim Bertelsen. Ted Koy scored two more touchdowns for the Horns in the first quarter with runs of one and three yards. 

James Street, Terry Collins and Eddie Phillips scored on runs of six, two, and 15 yard runs in the second quarter. Texas led at halftime 42-3.

Eddie Phillips added a seven yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Tommy Asaff scored for the Horns on a one yard run in the fourth quarter after which Rob Lane, Texas’ backup kicker—the son of Bobby Lane—kicked the extra point to complete the scoring for Texas.

The final score was 56-17 Texas and it was Texas’ 12th straight win of a winning streak that would stretch to 30.

For the game, Texas ran the ball 83 times for 523 yards. Jim Bertelsen was the leading rusher with 99 yards on eight attempts. Eddie Phillips added 81 yards on nine attempts. Paul Robichau (you remember Paul) had 79 yards on 13 attempts.

Future all Southwest Conference quarterback Donnie Wigginton was Texas’ leading passer completing five passes in eight attempts for 51 yards.

Randy Peschel was Texas’ leading receiver catching four passes for 46 yards.  None of his catches came on a “53 Veer Pass.”

Few college football games were televised in 1969. As I recall, usually there were only two games televised in a given television market on Saturdays and often only one. Navy versus Texas wasn’t on television anywhere. During Texas’ National Championship run in 1969, only three of their games were televised during the regular season.  Until 1969—except for the Orange Bowl—college football night games were rarely televised. Preempt Lawrence Welk for a college football game?  It just wasn’t done, until 50 years ago on the same night Navy played Texas.

1969 Ole Miss vs. Alabama Still Legendary


Good Luck to the Astros and all you “Astro Buddies” out there!

It’s a great of time of year.

Hook ‘Em,


West Virginia Over/Under

  • Tiebreaker: required

    Pick the winners against the line

    Baylor +1.5 @ Kansas State
  • TCU +3.5 @ Iowa State

8 Comments to “On the Road”

  1. I would have been perfect on my picks but forgot to enter.
    So you all are lucky

  2. I believe it was recommended in the reader’s notes, and spoken like a true Redskins hater but you needn’t worry about a Redskins run in the division. Snyder should fire himself as the owner.

  3. WE, you read “On the Road” 15 years too late. It’s meant for the young and the male who are still impressionable and unsettled in their lives, i.e. me 40 years ago, when I read it (and it was influential). Once you dig in, I suppose it sounds like nonsense. Well, here’s to the beat generation, and let’s beat West Virginia in my backyard over here. Speaking of my yard over here, Colt McCoy will start for the moribund Redskins this Sunday against the Patriots. Say a little prayer for him.

    • You must have been high at the time 😀

      Love Colt but go Pats!

  4. The “What Say You?” comments are always the best. Thanks fellow WE readers. I’ll just add a couple thoughts:

    (Dr.) Ted Koy was our veterinarian in Georgetown for 12 years. Three quick thoughts:

    –Yes, he is a veterinarian with a graduate DVM from Texas A&M, one of the finest vet schools around. He wore his T Ring in graduate school there and always said, “You can graduate with a great education from Texas A&M and not become an Aggie.”

    –He had the largest, strongest hands I ever shook.

    –I loved going in his office which reflected the kind of humility once pretty common among some of the best of the best in team sports. Not a shrine but rather a lot of vet books and a couple of game balls from Texas, a few Texas game photos, his helmet, his degrees from Texas and A&M, and two black and white framed 8x10s with O.J. Simpson. While this was post-white Bronco days, he still had them. The first was Koy and O.J. postgame sporting the fashions of the early 70s, clinking a couple of highball glasses (quick nod to our parents who used that term) while seated in an airplane being served by a flight attendant in the Braniff-style boots and miniskirt. The other was a game photo in the snow of Koy blocking for Simpson. It was not the record-breaking run. It was just a really good image.

  5. From John Scott:
    Speaking of Paul Robichau, he was a senior at Kelly High School in 1967. Kelly was a catholic high school. I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade at St. Anne’s, a catholic elementary school. Kelly was very good that year and Robichau was the star. I was at their last game of the year where they lost to Houston St. Thomas on penetrations. Robichau signed with Texas but never played much unless Texas was far ahead. Nevertheless, to have a private school kid sign with Texas was a big deal. He was in the class with Worster and Spreyer. In any event, to get to the point of my story, if you had asked me how big Robichau was, I would have said he was at least 6-2 and 220 lbs. Then, about 15 years ago, I had a deposition in Beaumont and the video operator gave me his card and it was Paul Robichau. He was about 5-9, maybe 170 lbs and bald. I confirmed he was THE Paul Robichau. He was very nice and talked about the 67 game against St. Thomas. I know, cool story bro, but I was quite surprised that one my childhood idols was much smaller than I had imagined for much of my life.

    John P. Scott

  6. I can’t believe Mom did that.

  7. I was there, of course, for that 1969 Longhorns-Navy game, sitting , if memory serves, not too far from I sit today in Section 27. Had a white shirt and tie on (oh my, how times changed) and a date with a lovely pixie from Klute named Donna Klenk. Dated off and on throughout my freshman year and, as you might assume, became known as Frink and Klenk. Went pretty well, including a suggestive letter over Xmas break that promised certain favors based on points scored in an intramural semi-final basketball game scheduled when school resumed. Fun letter right up til the time my mother rifled my bedroom desk looking for it (she had gotten the mail that day), found and read it. She was less than thrilled, but hey, I was 18 and not what you’d call innocent. Oh well, the Chi Phi boys won that game over Acacia, I had 13 points to lead the scoring and … well … Donna’s still out there somewhere. Ended up marrying a fraternity brother and divorcing years later. Here’s to you, Donna Klenk, wherever you are.

What Say You?