Upon the news Wednesday morning of the passing of legendary Texas Longhorns coach Darrell K. Royal, one of the first thoughts many had was that the Longhorns should line up in the wishbone formation created his offensive coordinator Emory Ballard back in 1968.
On Wednesday afternoon, head coach Mack Brown tweeted that his team would indeed honor DKR by starting the first play against Iowa St. in his trademark formation:
Today we mourn the loss & Sat we celebrate. We'll wear a DKR decal on our helmet & we'll honor coach by lining up in wishbone to start game— Mack Brown (@UT_MackBrown) November 7, 2012
It will be an incredible tribute that will surely leave few dry eyes in the stadium on Saturday morning.
Will Texas actually run a play out of the formation or merely motion out of it?
The Longhorns did use the Diamond formation to good effect against Baylor before abandoning it the last two weeks, but it shouldn't be hard to tweak those plays to come from the Wishbone set.
There's also some triple option in the Texas playbook, surprisingly enough, which co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin has shown maybe once or twice this season, motioning DJ Monroe into the backfield and into a pitch relationship with David Ash, while reading a defensive end on the typical zone read.
With the glut of running backs on the roster, many fans during the offseason were wistfully calling for the formation's return. It looks like that will finally happen for one play, even though it has come about for such a sad reason.