The Top 10 Moments at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium

Many of the greatest moments in Texas football history occurred far from the Forty Acres: the 1969 National Championship win against Arkansas with President Nixon in the crowd, Vince Young’s electric performance to win the 2006 BCS National Championship in Pasadena, California, and Justin Tucker’s exclamation point, walk-off field goal to conclude the Texas A&M rivalry in 2011 in College Station come to mind. But as Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium is set to undergo some rather major reconstruction, we take a look at the most miraculous, breathtaking, and exhilarating moments here at home.

Oct. 21, 1939
The Renaissance Game
In 1939, Texas football was in the gutter, following four straight losing seasons. Coach Dana X. Bible had a 3-1 record heading into the annual Arkansas game, but with only 30 seconds left, the Razorbacks were leading 13-7. Jack Crain then took a dump-off pass 67-yards for a score. Fans rushed the field as Crain crossed into the end zone, but there were a few seconds left on the clock. After a short delay, Crain himself came back onto the field to kick the extra point and win the game, which has since been referred to as “The Renaissance Game,” as it represented the start of a new era in Texas football.

 

Nov. 28, 1940
The Impossible Catch
In 1940, former Texas A&M coach Bible was trying to build on the strength of the 1939 season when undefeated, No. 2 Texas A&M, looking to repeat as national champions, visited Austin for the annual game. Before kickoff, Bible passed out copies of “It Couldn’t Be Done,” by Edgar Guest, and read the poem aloud to his team. The game’s only score was from Noble Doss, in a play known as “The Impossible Catch.”

 

Oct. 20, 1962
The Tackle
The undefeated, No. 1 Longhorns hosted the rival No. 7 Razorbacks during the fifth week of the 1962 season. After three quarters, Arkansas led 3-0, and both teams were rushing for fewer than three yards per play. With eight minutes left, and the Razorbacks on the Longhorns’ goal line, Johnny Treadwell and Pat Culpepper knocked the ball loose, and Texas recovered. Texas would fumble, but again stopped Arkansas in the red zone before pushing the ball 85 yards the other way and scoring on a Tommy Ford touchdown run. The forced fumble is sometimes called “The Tackle” by Texas fans.

 

Oct. 3, 1970
Phillips to Speyrer
After convincing wins over California and Texas Tech to open the 1970 season, the defending national champion Longhorns looked poised to repeat, and were on a 22-game winning streak. No. 13 UCLA had other plans. The Bruins shut down Texas’ passing attack, and scored two straight touchdowns heading into the fourth quarter while clinging to a four-point lead. But on 3rd and 19 with less than a minute remaining, Eddie Phillips heaved a pass over the middle. It dropped into split end Cotton Speyrer’s arms, and he sprinted down the left sideline to put Texas up ahead with only 12 seconds left. The game extended Texas’ win streak to 23 games, the longest in conference history, and helped the Longhorns win its second-straight national championship.

 

Sept. 23, 1972
The Freddie Steinmark Scoreboard
During the 1969 season, beloved Longhorn Freddie Steinmark’s leg was amputated following a cancer diagnosis. He triumphantly returned on the sidelines of the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day 1970, but he died on June 6 of the following year. During pregame against Miami in 1972, the Texas scoreboard was dedicated to Steinmark. Though it was eventually torn down, the moment cemented Steinmark’s legacy. Players ceremoniously place their hands on a Steinmark plaque on their way out of the tunnel onto the field, and in 2015, the Texas scoreboard was rededicated to Steinmark and his family.

 


Oct. 21, 1995
Phil Dawson Into the Wind
On a windy day in Austin, No. 16 Texas hosted No. 14 Virginia in what would become the battle of the kickers. As the game wound down, Texas sophomore Phil Dawson was on the losing end. Dawson had already missed kicks of 52 and 57 yards, and with three minutes left, his counterpart Rafael Garcia nailed a 56-yarder that put the Cavaliers up 16-14. Texas responded, and with three seconds left, Dawson redeemed himself with a 50-yard field goal into the wind. As it fell through the goalposts, it became Texas’ first-ever game-winning field goal as time expired.

 

Nov. 27, 1998
Run, Ricky, Run
With Tony Dorsett in attendance, Ricky Williams needed only 11 yards to break the former Pitt running back’s NCAA career rushing record near the end of the first quarter. Instead, Williams ripped off a 60-yard touchdown run, after which Williams was received by Dorsett and given the game ball. He’d go on to finish with 259 yards in a Texas upset of No. 6 A&M.

 

Nov. 6, 2004
The Comeback
An embarrassed Texas team slumped into the locker room at halftime against Oklahoma State, down 35-14, where a fired-up Mack Brown gave a rousing speech in which he promised that Texas would score on its first drive and win the game 42-35. “I apologized to them at the end of the game because I underestimated them,” Brown said after the 56-35 Texas victory. The come-from-behind victory extended a winning streak that wouldn’t end until the second week of the 2006 season.

 

Aug. 30, 2008
Vince is Immortalized
Only six football players have ever had the distinction of having Texas retire their jerseys. In 2008, Young became the fifth, during the season opener against Florida Atlantic in front of 98,053 fans, then the record for largest attendance at a football game in the state of Texas.

 

Sept. 4, 2016
Texas is Back?
This one is bittersweet for Texas fans because it was the harbinger for Texas being back. Even casual fans know that wasn’t the case. After vanquishing No. 10 Notre Dame to open the 2016 season in double overtime, which propelled the unranked Longhorns to No. 11, it turned out that Notre Dame wasn’t very good, ending the season at 4-8. Texas would also finish with a losing record, at 5-7. But when Tyrone Swoopes took the shotgun snap standing on the 11 yard line and punched it in to send the Irish packing, Texas gave fans the type of clutch victory over another powerhouse that they’d been craving for years.

 
 
 

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