The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, October 18, 1978, Image 14

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the sports
Cowboys hope for emotional spark
United Press International
DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys
have been looking for a spark all sea
son and until last Sunday’s overtime
win over the St. Louis Cardinals
they had not stumbled onto one.
There is general hope on the club
that the emotional 24-21 decision —
brought about by a 47-yard field
goal from Rafael Septien — might
give the team some encouragement
for the second half of the season.
“I hope that win helps,” coach
Tom Landry said Tuesday. “I think
we enjoyed winning the game the
way we did. The locker room was
emotional which is unusual for us.
The players tend to take winning for
granted. So maybe that was a good
sign. ”
But no matter how many good
signs show up for the Cowboys, the
one Landry would like to see most is
a sign that the club’s running attack
is making progress.
The Cardinals shut down Dallas’
running attack last Sunday to the ex
tent that wide receiver Drew Pear
son was the team’s leading ground
“To have a solid football team,”
Landry said, “you have to have a
solid running attack. We have a lot
of weapons, but to be sure you are
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going to win week after week you
have to have a good running attack. ”
Thus far the chief culprit in Dal
las’ lack of running success appears
to have been the offensive line.
“Last week the offensive line did
not have as good a performance as
they have in the past,” Landry said.
“Tony Dorsett didn’t have any holes
to run through. Basically the trouble
was the offensive line and the Car
dinals. They played as tough a game
against us as any team has all year.
They came out wanting to win and
they played like it.”
On the injury front Landry said
center John Fitzgerald, who is suf
fering from back trouble and missed
the St. Louis game, was still ques
“He is having radiations — that is
he is feeling pain in his leg radiating
from his back,” Landry said. “It
probably has to do with a disc. You
never know how long it will take for
a back to get well.
“I had the same problem last
January so I know what he is going
through. But he may come back
quicker than I did because he is a
little younger than I am.”
Meanwhile, a question has been
raised as to whether or not Cowboy
fullback Robert Newhouse’s mouth
protector partially responsible for
the Cowboys’ loss to the Washing
ton Redskins three weeks ago.
The Cowboys aren’t sure. But one
thing is certain, Newhouse won’t be
wearing the mouthpiece anytime in
the future.
While watching Dallas’ 9-5 loss to
Washington on Monday night foot
ball, Richard Woldow, a sports pro
ducer for WBBM in Chicago,
noticed that the Cowboys’ fullback
seemed to let his white mouthpiece
dangle on passing plays. On running
plays, he inserted it into his mouth.
He wondered if Washington, who
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H 807 TEXAS AVE. _
was in the process of shutting down
Dallas’ strong rushing game to only
109 yards in 33 carries, was also
aware of the idiosyncrasy.
The next Tuesday he and station
sportscaster John Morris watched
replays to confirm their suspicions.
Morris, who once played on the
Chicago Bears with Cowboys re
ceiver coach Mike Ditka, tele
phoned the Cowboys and warned
them of the habit.
“When I got the call, I just told
Robert about it and he agreed to
stop wearing a mouthpiece,” Ditka
said. “John Morris is a good friend of
mine and I appreciate it very much
that he called me.”
Newhouse has not worn the
mouthpiece for the past two games.
He said he doesn’t plan to wear one
in the future.
“Maybe I was doing that, but I
really don’t know,” Newhouse said.
“When you are out on the football
field, you don’t think about things
like your mouthpiece. It’s an uncon
scious thing.”
Woldow was a former investiga
tive reporter for the CBS affiliate
specializing in crime and fraud.
T guess that’s the reason that I
watch things that closely,” he said.
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Why does the Aggie fan have to be so humiliated whentheL
football team gets so severely beaten? How much longer w®
Aggie fan be subjected to lopsided losses of “big games?” j
When will the Aggies ever go into a big game where almostej
thing is on the line and win it?
The Aggies’ big game history is pitifully in favor of the losscolj
Not only do the losses outnumber the wins, the point spreads in (|!
big games show that the Aggies were not even in some of them,
The answers to all these questions do not lie with the fJ
players. The Aggies have had a great recruiting program over|
years and have corralled some of the best athletes around.
This year is no different. The Ags have the fastest playerinj
country in halfback Curtis Dickey. They have probably the fai
quarterback in the nation in Mike Mosley, who can run theopfa
perfection. They have a big experienced offensive line leadbyQ
Risien, Doug Holmes and Ed Pustejovsky. They have a quick sit
linebackers and solid defensive line anchored by Eugene Sandersi
Jacob Green.
In short, the Aggies have the goods to be a potential champioi
The answers to all of the questions must be answered by the
who is supposed to motivate and prepare these Aggie athletesi
tally for the big games.
It’s true that in his six seasons at Texas A&M, head coach Elm
Bellard has brought the University’s athletic program into thei
tional limelight. He has guided the Aggies to a share of the South®
Conference title and three howl appearances while compiling a41
record. He also has the best five-year record of any coach
That is all fine and very admirable. But during his six-year teiii
in Aggieland, Bellard has lost some very big games by very big;
Saturday typified the situation the Aggies have been in before,
Aggies rolled into Houston ranked sixth in the country. They plf
16th ranked Houston and had the perfect opportunity tomoveuj
the polls with a win. Earlier in the day, fourth ranked Michigan!
lost to Michigan State and second ranked USC would lose to Ain
State out on the West coast before the night was over. If TexasAi
won, the team would probably be at least fourth nationally.
It was not to he.
In fact, the loss catapulted the hapless Ags all the way downtoj
and moved the Cougars up to 11th.
More important than the rankings, the Ags had lost theirl
conference game of the season with a long, long road ahead of tin
A road which includes surprising SMU, Arkansas, Texas and
almost-winner, Baylor.
The Aggies had their first big test Saturday and failed it miseral
I’m sure it wasn’t a case of not knowing what was going to be on
test because the coaches and players both knew that Houston o
It was more a case of the teacher not preparing his studentsra
tally for a team that would certainly come into its own hack)
blowing smoke
The worst part of some of the Aggies’ big game losses is the pi
spread. It would be understandable and bearable if the Aggiesi
lost to Houston by three points or even a touchdown. But 33poil
That total was only topped by last year’s 41-3 loss to MicM
which at the time was the No. 1 team in the nation. The Aggies*
No. 4 and had the perfect chance to move to the top oftheti
pole. Once again, the Ags were humiliated. The only difference!
that the whole nation watched Bellard take his biggest defeat
he’s been at A&M.
The Ags traveled to Arkansas three years ago to wrap up the
ference championship but hobbled back home,with a 31-10
The Aggies have come so close, so very close in other biggs
The athletes are there. They need only to be taught whatitislil
play and win under pressure.
The Ags have had and will have great records and will probf
come close again. But then, close only counts in horseshoes, In
grenades and atomic bombs.
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