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Death of a Magician

 
 
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 07:47 pm
I hadn't learned about Jack Mildren dying until about a week ago; I was looking for old Oklahoma football games on Youtube...

Like J.C. Watts, Mildren once held the ultimate high pressure job ever devised by the mind of man, i.e. wishbone quarterback, and some view Mildren as the greatest ever to hold that job. Oklahoma had three outstanding guys at the position in Mildren, Steve Davis, and Watts.

This was the closest thing I ever saw to an amateur version of a sport outgrowing the pro version. The wishbone was a running game so powerful it neutralized the idea of zone pass defenses. Youtube appears to have several items which give a flavor for it but I'd recommend these two:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPL1KsFmepk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U91NHKRXlRU&feature=related

The folks at Auburn obviously saw films of that Texas game and one or two others like it and determined to stop Greg pruitt at all costs, and Mildren and Leon Crosswhite the fullback ran over them roughshod.

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gungasnake
 
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Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 03:00 pm
About a half dozen or so of these on youtube, do searches on "Oklahoma 1971".

One thing that jumps out at you if you watch these is that when Mildren threw the ball, there was never more than one defender anywhere close to the receiver; the same held true for Alabama's two most notable wishbone quarterbacks Richard Todd and Jeff Rutledge. When opponents needed nine or ten guys on the line of scrimmage to have any hope of stopping the wishbone ground game, there was no such thing as a zone pass defense.
Rockhead
 
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Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 03:05 pm
@gungasnake,
Those were the beginnings of a very dark time in Kansas football history, but I remember those guys...
gungasnake
 
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Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 03:12 pm
@Rockhead,
You remember the OU/K State game of 71 by any chance? I mean every second or third play from scrimmage for OU was some sort of 20 - 40 yard run and it was something like 50/zip at halftime.
Rockhead
 
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Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2008 03:16 pm
@gungasnake,
rather vaguely, I was 6.

Steve Davis appeared at our church after his college career (I mighta been 10), and did a video presentation. Most of my memories come from that and ESPN.

I follow sports a bit...
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