The Roundup jumps into the wayback machine for a Throwback Thursday featuring recent Texas Sports Hall of Fame Inductee Fred Akers and the 1977 Texas Longhorns. The Horns take on the Baylor Bears in their annual blood letting, this time at Memorial Stadium.
All brought to you by Schlitz, remember kids, if you don’t have Schlitz, you don’t have gusto. Damn Right.
To the Bullets.
- Fred Akers has never gotten credit he’s actually due for his time on the 40 acres. He followed the legend Darrell Royal who never fully supported Akers and had enough pull to make Akers’ time in Austin a bit rough.
- Akers flirted with the National Title 3 times at UT, this 1977 team would finish 11-1, losing only in the National Title matchup against Notre Dame. His 1981 team finished 10-1-1 and his 1983 team has been well chronicled here.
-Akers was ushered out in 1986 after his only losing season at Texas. A&M was on the come and boosters in Austin were frustrated with UT’s loss of ground to their agricultural rivals to the East.
- Texas was led by the Tyler Rose, Earl Campbell. Campbell won the Heisman in 1977 after leading the conference in rushing yards, attempts, touchdowns, and yards per carry.
- Quarterback play is always an interesting proposition looking back. Texas was led primarily by Randy McEachern, a Pasadena Dobie product who wanted to attend TCU but the Frogs wanted McEachern to attend a JC for two years then enroll. Akers offered McEachern a scholarship and the rest is history.
- McEachern threw the ball a total of 89 times in 1977 completing 50%. Baylor’s starter Greg Wood hit on 50% as well in just 46 attempts. Coaches clearly adopted the Royal axiom that when you throw 3 things can happen and two of them are bad.
- Then again you could just hand the ball to Earl Campbell and watch the path of destruction.
- Sam Ansley got the start for Texas on this day, and filled in admirably. I.E. he turned and located Campbell and handed him the ball.
- Both teams relied on multiple quarterbacks in 1977, Texas used four while Baylor used three.
- A couple of things of note, first this is the #1 team in American and the crowd looks a bit sparse, particularly in the end zone.
- Also the great Frank Broyles is on color commentary. His voice is like a warm glazed donut and a cuddle with a kitten on a Saturday morning.
- Baylor came into this game having won 2 of 3 from UT, a historic stretch at the time.
- Baylor wore the most basic of all football jerseys and they were beautiful.
- Eventual Chicago Bear great and later wrestler Steve McMichael handled both defensive tackle and kicking duties for the Longhorns.
Let’s all grab a Schlitz, hold tight to our gusto and enjoy this 1977 Baylor/Texas game.