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Darr's pick spurs big Tech upset

Posted: June 14, 2012 - 2:43pm  |  Updated: June 15, 2012 - 12:38am
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Gene Darr
Gene Darr
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Gene Darr had one interception during the three seasons he lettered at Texas Tech, so it’s not difficult for the former defensive tackle to remember the details of the play.

The Red Raiders were 1-5 in the Southwest Conference when they hosted No. 6 Arkansas in 1966. Lubbock might have been an afterthought in the season finale for the Razorbacks, who were well on their way to a Southwest Conference title.

But in the third quarter, with Arkansas at its own 24-yard line, Darr caught a glimpse of quarterback Jon Brittenum’s eyes as he faded back to pass.

“I hit my guy and went inside between the guard and the center,” Darr said, “and saw Jon’s eyes and knew he was going to pass. I got ready when he did.”

Darr, then a 220-pound junior from Cisco, tipped the pass into the air and it fell right back into his arms. Only Ernest Ruple got a hand on Darr on his way to the end zone.

“I got mauled by my teammates,” Darr said. “They nearly smothered me.”

The 20-yard touchdown return proved to be the winning score in a 21-16 Tech victory, later labeled the upset of the decade by the Associated Press.

Tech had fallen behind 10-0 in the first quarter and it appeared the Red Raiders would have a long day in store.

Darr said someone actually sent a wreath to the team’s locker room at halftime. After watching the wreath get stomped to pieces, the team took the field with a different attitude, to say the least.

“We came out of the locker room with blood in our eyes,” Darr said. “We were ready to kill somebody.”

The Arkansas loss dropped the Razorbacks from the rankings and propelled Southern Methodist to the league crown.

Darr played one more season in Lubbock and then competed in a Texas football league while he earned a Master’s in wildlife science at Tech.

He hung up his cleats after that season and spent the next 10 years selling farm equipment for Allis-Chalmers. Darr then took a job with Southwestern Public Service in 1981 and moved to Levelland, where he has lived ever since.

Darr, 66, has two daughters, Darinda McWhirter and DeEtte Edens, and seven grandkids who keep him plenty busy in his retirement.

He said he is seldom, if ever, asked about the interception that became such a cherished part of Texas Tech football lore.

“That was the only interception I had,” he said. “It was a lineman’s dream to intercept a pass and run it back for a touchdown in a big game like that.”

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Great Story

Glad to know Gene Darr did fine.

Also, it proves that not every member of that team suffered from incurable narcissistic personality disorder and later foisted the despicable trait on all Techsters.



Many a half time show by the goin band is all we could look forward to when we played the Hogs. I was at this game sitting on the grass. It was flag day at half time. It was a great memory. FactsRfacts.give it a rest. You should be ashamed of high jacking a great story of a grewat raider. You & your agenda should hit the road.



By all means, facts, let's not cloud things with the truth.



True or not. Your agenda has no place in this story. Your constant hi-jacking to support your agenda is juvenile.


Big D

By all means, lets not cloud things with the truth.


Sure glad Kent Hance didn't blow this game

I was at this game. If someone would have let Kent Hance come out of the stands in his cheerleader uniform we would have lost.

Fire Kent Hance now and take his name off that awful chapel and RaiderPower.com, his mouthpiece.



Gave up 66 points twice, losing home record, no national tv, broke a 10 straight year bowl streak, promise of immediate improvement on defense and the opposite occurred. Ask yourself. Are we better off now?

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