The Texas football program dates back to 1893. Each day, we look at a little piece of Longhorn history. We’re starting by looking at each Longhorn football season.
Spoiler alert: One thing you won’t see in any of the posts during the Darrell Royal era is a losing season. He never had one, not even when he wasn’t at Texas. Royal’s worst season was one 5-5 year at Washington, and he was only there for a one season.
His 1958 season at Texas yielded a 7-3 record overall and a 3-3 Southwest Conference campaign that landed Texas at fourth-place.
Royal’s second season could be painted as a mild disappointment by some fans. Texas was ranked No. 11 in the AP preseason poll but was left out of the final rankings. However, season two was better than his first season, as Texas increased its win total. Royal improved to 2-0 against Texas A&M, as Texas shutout the Aggies, who had a new coach (Jim Myers) after Bear Bryant left for Alabama.
Royal also landed his first blow to Oklahoma in 1958. The Sooners had gone 52-1 over the last few years entering the game, a span that included a 47-game winning streak that was snapped by Notre Dame the previous season. Texas hadn’t beaten the Sooners since 1951 after basically owning Oklahoma during the 1940s.
This was a giant win for Royal for many reasons, but also because Oklahoma was ranked No. 2 in the nation at the time. Bobby Lackey connected with Bob Bryant in the fourth quarter for Texas pull off the 1-point win, 15-14.
One of famed Oklahoma head coach Bud Wilkinson’s first quarterbacks was Darrell Royal, who had started in this game 10 years earlier. Royal would go on to own his former coach, beating him sixth straight times before Wilkinson retired in 1963.
Texas jumped from No. 16 in the nation to No. 7 following the win. They rose as high as No. 4, but a jaw-dropping 34-7 loss at Rice followed by a 26-10 loss to SMU dropped Texas from the rankings.
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