A Weekend in Time –VI

This feature discusses the results of one weekend of college football action from the past.

1943 SEC Football Season - I
LSU Coach Bernie Moore
Bernie Moore
Georgia Coach Wally Butts
Wally Butts
LSU TB Steve Van Buren
Steve Van Buren
Georgia B Johnny Cook
Johnny Cook
Georgia Tech B Eddie Prokop
Eddie Prokop
Frank Filchock
Frank Filchock
Notre Dame QB Angelo Bertelli
Angelo Bertelli
By the start of the 1943 football season, United States participation in World War II was in full force.
  • The American military fought major wars on two fronts - Europe and the Pacific.
  • The U.S. Army grew from 5.4 million at the end of 1942 to 7.5 million twelve months later.

Colleges both benefitted and suffered from the rapid growth of the military.

  • Both the Army and Navy (the Air Force not existing yet as a separate branch) set up training programs at various colleges to meet their demands for junior officers and soldiers with technical skills.
  • However, the two branches took opposite approaches to participation in football and other sports by their trainees. The Army, with 100,000 soldiers at 209 colleges, ruled out any participation in athletic programs as distracting from the task at hand. Navy and Marine officials, on the other hand, approved athletics for 77,000 bluejackets and leathernecks at 181 colleges with V12 preflight programs because of the contri­bution to physical and mental fitness.
  • As a result, colleges with no V12 windfall faced a choice of supporting teams com­posed of 4Fs (candidates found unfit for mililtary service after physical and mental examinations) and 17-year-olds or dropping football for the near future.

Examples of the effect of the war on football programs across the nation:

  • Paul Brown's Ohio State Buckeyes, defending Big Ten champions, lost 100 players from its combined varsity and freshman squads.
  • A large number of Rice's 1942 football team enlisted en masse in the Marines. Many of them were sent to Southwestern Louisiana Institute in Lafayette, "an obscure V12 beneficiary" that had the best season in its history in 1943.
  • Texas A&M had 30 players from big-time schools on its campus for its A12 program but could use none of them on the gridiron.
  • Over a dozen former Wisconsin lettermen enrolled at Michigan, which fielded a dream backfield of potential all-Americas: Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch (Wisconsin), FB Bill Daley (Minnesota), and Michigan's own Paul White.
  • Approximately 300 schools abandoned football for 1943 including Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State, and Washington of the Pacific Coast Conference, Boston College, Fordham (1942 Sugar Bowl champions), Michigan State, and Syracuse.
  • Only four of the twelve SEC schools fielded teams for 1943:
    Georgia Tech
    The only one of the four that didn't have a Navy training program was LSU.
  • On the other hand, some military base football teams played regular college teams as well as each other. The most prominent of these was the Iowa Pre-Flight Sea­hawks, a separate team from the Iowa Hawkeyes on the same campus. Another formidable military aggregation represented the Great Lakes Naval Air Station on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago. The Associated Press decided to include ser­vice teams in its weekly football rankings for the '43 season.
  • Aware of the shortage of manpower, the NCAA prior to the 1942 season had rescind­ed its rule prohibiting freshmen from playing on varsity teams. Without that conces­sion, even more colleges would have thrown in the football towel.
  • The vast majority of teams ran the traditional single wing offense. Stanford had demonstrated the great potential of the T formation during its undefeated 1940 sea­son, but coaches had their hands full during the war trying to field a team without installing a new system.

Schools that decided to field teams had to scramble to complete their schedules.

  • Some schools filled vacancies with military teams, but many played fewer than the standard 10 games.
  • Some teams, like LSU and Georgia, resorted to playing each other twice, home and home, a la the NFL.

LSU Coach Bernie Moore had an almost entirely new squad from the 1942 crew that fin­ished 7-3.

  • Two of his stars from that team now played at other Louisiana schools with V12 pro­grams: HB Alvin Dark at SLI and HB Dub Jones at Tulane.
  • Only four veterans returned, just one a lineman - 210 lb T Joe Hartley. The others were Steve Van Buren, an E converted to HB who had looked great in spring drills, FB Bill Montgomery, and sophomore WB Joe Nagata.
  • The other 45 players listed on Moore's roster were freshmen. The most promising of them were Gene "Red" Knight, a running and passing star from Bossier City who would alternate with Van Buren at TB, Carol Griffith, a TB from North Little Rock, and FB Bill Schroll from Jesuit in New Orleans.

Georgia started its season first.

  • Wally Butts' Bulldogs won the Rose Bowl following the 1942 season led by Heisman Trophy winner Frankie Sinkwich and another outstanding back in Charlie Trippi. But that duo plus other key players were gone either to graduation or the military.
  • Little Johnny Cook and Billy Rutland would try to fill Sinkwich's shoes at TB. Butts suffered a setback when FB and punter George Papach was ruled ineligible.
  • Georgia opened its season with an easy 25-7 victory over Presbyterian on Septem­ber 17.

Two other SEC teams kicked off their seasons on September 25.

  • LSU scored a surprising 34-27 victory over Georgia under the lights in Tiger Stadium. The Tigers never trailed, but the visitors scored 14 straight points to tie the game at 27 with less than two minutes to play. But LSU moved smartly to the UGa 23 from where Van Buren tossed an incomplete pass to Nagata. But officials flagged Cook for interference, placing the ball at the spot of the foul. From there, Steve charged across with the wining score.
  • Georgia Tech started Bill Alexander's 24th season as head coach with a 20-7 home victory over North Carolina. Expected to bow by two TDs after losing its captain, C George Manning, and two other key players to injury, Tech astounded its fans by capitalizing on fumble recoveries for two TDs. The other score came on a spectacular 80y run by Eddie Prokop of Cleveland OH after the Jackets turned back a Q4 UNC drive that threatened to tie the score.
  • Games of note on the national scene included Iowa Pre-Flight beating Ohio State 28-13 and Notre Dame (a V12 school) plastering Pitt 42-0. The two service acade­mies, which benefitted from the war effort since their students wouldn't head to the front lines until after graduation, both won easily, Army over Villanova 27-0 and Navy over North Carolina Pre-Flight 31-0.

Tulane finally started its season October 2.

  • The Memphis Naval Air Tech Blues, led by the passing of Frank Filchock, former Indiana and Washington Redskins back, smothered the Green Wave 41-7 before 25,000 fans in Sugar Bowl Stadium. TU's only TD came in Q2 when Billy "Dub" Jones ran around E to climax a 31y drive after a fumble recovery. Former Baylor C Buddy Gatewood played well for Tulane but overall the Green forward wall was no match for the big Memphis line. The Blues amassed 173y rushing and 236 passing.
  • LSU continued its winning ways with a 20-7 home win over Rice before 22,000. Van Buren scored two of the three TDs, netting 113y in 19 tries. The Tiger line bottled up the Owls star back Bucky Sheffield.
  • Georgia Tech ended talk of being a national championship contender after its visit to South Bend where Frank Leahy's powerhouse trampled the Yellow Jackets 55-13. Angelo Bertelli threw four TD passes and FB Jim Mello scored three times. Bertelli had to make hay while he could because he was scheduled for transfer to the Parris Island Marine base after the October 30 game with Navy. Tech hung with the Irish through the first half, trailing only 21-13.
  • Georgia rested Saturday after clobbering Tennessee Tech 67-0 Friday night.
  • Nationwide, Michigan won at Northwestern 21-7, Army scored its second straight shutout, 42-0 over Colgate, and Navy beat Cornell 42-7.

Continued below ...

1943 SEC Football Season - II
October 8-10
  • Georgia defeated Wake Forest 7-0 in Athens Friday night. After scoring 119 points in their first three games, the Bulldogs found the going tough against the Deacons, but an 80y drive that ended with a score on the first play of Q2 proved enough as Wally Butts's D held Wake to 86y on the ground and 45 in the air.
  • LSU hosted its third straight game, this one against Texas A&M, called "an eleven man track team in football toggery" by the AP report on the game. 25,000 saw Athe visitors outsprint and outpass the powerful but slower Tigers 28-13. After running through and around Rice and Georgia, Steve Van Buren had trouble finding running room. He did break free for a 38y jaunt down the sideline for a TD after finding no pass receiver open.
  • Tulane traveled to Houston to overpower Rice 33-0 before a crowd of 12,000. Monk Simons' Green Wave outrushed the Owls by a whopping 262-23 thanks to the speed of Bill "Dub" Jones, Jim Shiver, "Valdosta GA halfpint who scored two touchdowns," and "Joltin' Joe" Renfroe. Like former Tiger Jones, Shiver transferred to Tulane from Auburn to participate in the naval training program. The defeat was the worst administered by either team in their 37-year rivalry.
  • Georgia Tech met a team from Athens, but it wasn't the Bulldogs. Instead, the Georgia Preflight team provided the opposition, falling 35-7 in front of 12,000 at Grant Field. The best player on the Marine team was Pat Harder, the former Wisconsin star who arrived as a gunnery instructor on Friday in time to provide big help on the Skycrackers' defense. But he wasn't enough to stop Tech star Eddie Prokop, the pride of Cleveland OH, who threw a 39y TD pass and dashed 19y unmolested to pay dirt.
  • Across the nation, #1 Notre Dame beat #2 Michigan 35-21 while #3 Army registered another shutout, 51-0 over Temple. #4 Navy edged #5 Duke 14-13. #6 Pennsylvania also won by a scant point, 7-6 over Dartmouth. #7 Purdue defeated Camp Grant 19-0.

October 16

  • Tulane had the week off, but the other three SEC elevens met military foes.
  • LSU had scheduled a game for this date with the Naval Air Technical Training Center team, but the navy wouldn't allow the team to travel for a game. So Bernie Moore hastily arranged a match with the Army Specialists Training Unit stationed on his own campus. 3,500 watched the afternoon tilt with all proceeds going to the Good Fellows' annual Christmas fund. Van Buren scored 21 points in the 28-7 victory. The only TD and PAT big Steve didn't score were made by Joe Nagata in the last quarter. The sparkplugs of the army team were Wren Worley, a freshman star at LSU the year before, and Larry Hatch of Washington.
  • Georgia traveled to Augusta to meet the Daniel Field army air base team. The Fliers proved to rude hosts, winning 18-7. Former Temple QB Tony DiTomo ran for one TD and passed for the other two
  • Tech met the 300th Infantry of Fort Benning GA on wind-swept Grant Field. The crowd of 10,000 saw Prokop spark the 27-0 romp over the infantry, who remained winless despite deploying three-fourths of Tennessee's Sugar Bowl backfield.
  • Top-ranked Notre Dame ripped war-depleted Wisconsin 50-0, and #2 Army won at Columbia by almost the same score (52-0). Penn State gave #3 Navy a tough time before bowing 14-6. #4 Penn beat the Lakehurst Naval Air Station 74-6. In the Big Ten, #5 Purdue beat Ohio State 30-7 in Cleveland.

October 23

  • LSU and Georgia met for the second time, this one at Columbus GA. The Tigers, 34-27 victors on September 25 in Baton Rouge, prevailed by an even larger margin this time, 27-6. 16,000 came out to see if Van Buren was as good as his press clippings, and he didn't disappoint, with three TDs and a couple of PAT boots. He also punted beautifully, placing one kick out of bounds in the coffin corner. LSU was helped by the absence of Georgia back "Rabbit" Smith, who gave them trouble in the earlier game. He witnessed the game from the sidelines after being crippled in the previous game.
  • Back in Louisiana, Tulane won a ragged nip-and-tuck game against SMU 12-6 before 20,000 in ideal weather. Three ex-Baylor players, C Buddy Gatewood, E Aubrey Bailey, and Jim Jackson, sparked the Green Wave. Shiver's 61y INT return in Q4 allowed TU to survive a late Mustang TD.
  • Georgia Tech traveled to Baltimore to meet Navy. The #3 Midshipmen, like the Army Cadets, profited from the war effort because their students received a four-year deferment from the draft while they completed their degrees. As a result, both service academies fielded top-notch football teams. The Middies moved their record to 6-0 with a 28-14 victory before 56,223. The difference was two TDs in the final 15 minutes, the first culminating a drive that started with a 78y kickoff return by "a stocky little bundle of energy named Hal Hamberg." He finished what he started by tossing a TD pass from the 23 with two Yellow Jackets clinging to his legs. As an example of the vagaries of wartime football, Tech lost eight V-12 players after the game because of transfer to other training stations.
  • The Fighting Irish had no trouble with Illinois, 47-0. Army yielded its first points but won at Yale, 39-7. The Boilermakers rambled on, 32-0 over the Badgers. USC, risen to #5, beat California 13-0 for its sixth straight.

SEC Records after games of October 23

  • LSU 4-1 (2-0 SEC)
  • Tulane 2-1 (0-0 SEC)
  • Georgia Tech 3-2 (0-0 SEC)
  • Georgia 3-3 (0-2 SEC)

Continued below ...

Tulane Coach Monk Simons
Tulane Coach Monk Simons

Pat Harder
Pat Harder

1943 LSU-Georgia Action
LSU-Georgia action (Tigers in white)

1943 Tulane-SMU Action
's Jim Shiver runs against SMU.

1943 Tulane-SMU Action - 2
More Tulane-SMU action

1943 SEC Football Season - III

Duke Coach Eddie Cameron
Eddie Cameron

Duke HB Spook Murphy
"Spook" Murphy

LSU TB Gene "Red" Knight
Red Knight

October 29-30

  • Playing another Friday night game, Georgia trampled Samford 39-0.
  • The next day, Georgia Tech hosted the Duke Blue Devils, two years removed from the Rose Bowl. Basketball coach Eddie Cameron (for whom Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium is named) took over in 1942 when legendary coach Wallace Wade entered military service. With the game tied at 7 in Q4, Gordon Carver snared one of Eddie Prokop's passes on Tech's 36. Former Mississippi State star "Spook" Murphy, assigned to Duke's V-12 program, fired to Carver on the goal line two plays later for the winning TD.
  • The Georgia Preflight Skycrackers traveled to New Orleans to meet Tulane and came away with a hard-fought 14-13 victory. Gene Filipowicz, a second-team All-American back at Fordham, threw a TD pass in the first quarter and another second-team All-American, Pat Harder from Wisconsin, kicked the point to tie the game 7-7. Billy "Dub" Jones had thrown a 32y TD to E Ken Tarzetti in the first four minutes of play. In Q3, Gene connected with Harder for the go-ahead TD, and Pat again booted true. "Joltin' Joe" Renfroe rambled 41y on a reverse for a TD in Q4, but Jim Shiver, a transfer from Auburn, missed the PAT.
  • Saturday night, LSU defeated TCU for the first time in five tries before 18,000 fans in Tiger Stadium. After a scoreless first half, Steve Van Buren finally got untracked and led an 80y drive for a 7-0 lead. Red Knight took over the TB duties in Q4 and spearheaded a drive that started with his 28y punt return. The freshman capped the march with a 7y run untouched into the EZ to complete the 14-0 triumph.

November 5-6

  • Georgia opened the weekend with another easy win over an inferior foe. This time, Presbyterian fell for the second time that season, 40-12.
  • LSU traveled to Atlanta for a conference game with the Yellow Jackets. Prokop, 200 lb FB, led the Engineers to a 28-7 halftime lead, then sat out the last half of the 42-7 romp. The defeat probably knocked the 5-2 Bayou Bengals out of a possible bowl bid. LSU's offense was dealt a tough blow in Q2 when Van Buren injured his leg on a TD-saving tackle. He entered for three plays in the second half before retiring for the afternoon. Steve scored the only Tiger score in Q2 from 10y out and added the EP. But five of Tech's six TDs came on INTs and miscues in which the LSU star handled the ball.
  • Tulane took the week off to prepare for Tech's visit.

November 12-13

  • The Green Wave D bogged down Prokop, Frank Broyles, & Company for the first period and a half. But the visitors then switched to their trickery - hidden ball stuff, spinner plays, and fake reverses - to start clicking. After leading only 6-0 at the half, Tech exploded for 20 points in Q3 and added 7 more in the final period for a 33-0 victory.
  • With Tech out of town, Georgia traveled to Atlanta to play VMI. Little Johnny Cook, 17-year-old, pint-sized successor to Heisman Trophy winner Frankie Sinkwich, entertained the sparse crowd of 3,000 by scoring 24 points. He started by running back the opening kickoff 79y to set up the first of his three Q1 TDs. He added another six in Q2 before letting his teammates enjoy the 46-7 rout.
  • LSU used its week off to get ready for its annual finale with Tulane. Coach Bernie Moore hoped that Van Buren would recuperate in time to play.

SEC Records after games of November 13

  • LSU 5-2 (2-1 SEC)
  • Tulane 2-3 (0-1 SEC)
  • Georgia Tech 5-3 (2-0 SEC)
  • Georgia 6-3 (0-2 SEC)

Continued below...

1943 SEC Football Season - IV
The four SEC teams that played football in 1943 entered the last weeks of their season.
  • All five bowls planned to stage games despite wartime travel restrictions.
  • The Rose Bowl, after playing its game following Pearl Harbor in Durham NC, had returned to Pasadena the next season.
  • The other four bowls looking for teams were the Sugar in New Orleans, Orange in Miami, Cotton in Dallas, and Sun in El Paso.
  • With so many colleges not fielding teams and Notre Dame and the Big Ten adhering to long-standing policies against bowl games, the SEC teams all hoped to play in a postseason game.

November 20

LSU traveled to New Orleans for the annual season-ending clash with Tulane.

  • The Tigers had won the last three games of the series but faced an uphill battle competing against the Green Wave, whose Navy V12 program had attracted transfers from other schools.
  • The 1940 Republican presidential candidate, Wendell Willkie, was among the 40,000 who watched Tulane romp 27-0 following a scoreless first half.
  • Afterwards, the Greenies revealed that they had played the game for "Mr. Monk," their coach, Claude "Monk" Simons, whose father, "Big Monk," died several weeks earlier.
  • Oddly, Tulane came to life after a call went against them early in Q3. "Dub" Jones, former Tiger, tossed a short pass to Leonard Finley, who twisted loose from several tacklers and raced to pay dirt to complete an apparent 67y TD. But the play was nullified by clipping on the LSU 25. Five plays later, the Wave broke the scoring ice on Jim Jackson's 2y plunge. Then, five minutes later, the home team scored again when Jones scored standing up over RT on the first play following recovery of a blocked punt on the 2.
  • Before the period ended, the Green Wave made it 21-0. A fumble recovery on the LSU 24 set up another short drive that ended with Jones's 10y run. Jim Shiver wrapped up the scoring early in Q4 on another 2y run.

The Tigers received a surprise visitor in their locker room after the game.

  • A. A. Ungar, president of the Orange Bowl sponsoring committee, invited LSU to play in its New Year's Day game.
  • AD T. P. Heard accepted the bid and told the press that he had no inkling his team was being considered before the dressing room visit.
  • Ungar: The Orange Bowl has been, since inception, an institution of college football. In these troublesome times of war, when all efforts are unselfishly given for the successful conclusion of this terrible conflict, our committee is most anxious to lend every co-operation and not disturb the training programs. Many great educational institutions have carried on and aided immeasureably in the preservation of college football and it is our opinion some recognition should be given for this effort.
  • The committee took note of the fact that all three games that LSU's "all-civilian" team had lost came at the hands of V12 schools.
  • LSU's opponent was not yet determined. The list of possible teams was believed to include Penn State, Franklin and Marshall, Wake Forest, Holy Cross, Tulsa, and Arkansas.
  • Although tickets for the game were being sold only in the Miami area, 2/3 of the 30,000 seats in Roddy Burdine Stadium were already accounted for.

November 27

The other two SEC teams played their rivalry game after enjoying an off week.

  • Georgia Tech was expected to spank Georgia and earn an invitation to the Sugar Bowl. Tech also wanted payback for what happened the year before.
  • In '42, Georgia, coming off its first loss of the season, to Auburn 27-13, upset the undefeated Engineers 34-0 to earn a Rose Bowl bid and wrap up the Heisman Trophy for QB Frankie Sinkwich. The Bulldogs then beat UCLA 9-0 in Pasadena.
  • The Yellow Jackets got their revenge in spades, romping 48-0 before a sellout crowd of 30,000 at Grant Field. TB Eddie Prokop scored three TDs, one on a 68y INT return. Frank Broyles did Eddie one better by taking an INT back 80y. The defeat was Georgia's worst in the series.
  • Afterwards, Coach W. A. Alexander revealed that Tech had quietly accepted a Sugar Bowl bid two weeks earlier without knowing the opponent. But Tulsa, which slaughtered Arkansas 61-0 on Thanksgiving, earned the other slot.

Dub Jones
Dub Jones with Cleveland Browns

1943 Tulane-LSU Action
Jim Shiver carries for Tulane against LSU.

Frank Broyles, Georgia Tech
Frank Broyles

Georgia Tech Coach W. A. Alexander
W. A. Alexander

Georgia Tech-Georgia Action
1943 Georgia Tech-Georgia Action - 1 1943 Georgia Tech-Georgia Action - 2
Georgia Tech won the SEC championship, defeating each of the other three conference teams by at least 33 points.

Nationwide, Notre Dame finished first in the final AP poll despite losing to Great Lakes Naval Training Center 19-14 in its final game.

  • Purdue and Michigan shared the Big Ten title with 6-0 records.
  • Oklahoma won the Big 6 crown, defeating all five competitors.
  • Out in the Pacific Coast Conference, USC whipped Cal and UCLA twice each to gain a berth in the Rose Bowl. Its opponent would be fellow PCC member Washington, which played only four games, all victories against military teams.
  • Duke claimed the Southern Conference championship with a 4-0 record (8-1 overall). However, the Blue Devils did not go bowling.
  • Texas won the annual grudge match with Texas A&M 27-13 to cop the Southwest Conference crown and earn the host spot in the Cotton Bowl. The Aggies finished second to earn a rematch with LSU in the Orange Bowl.

Continued below ...

1943 SEC Football Season - Bowl Games

Tulsa Coach Henry Frnka
Henry Frnka

Georgia Tech Coach Bill Alexander
Bill Alexander

The five bowls that had been staging contests planned to invite teams following the '43 season just as they had done in '42. However, wartime travel restrictions would limit their choices to a restricted geogaphical radius around the host city.
  • The Rose Bowl (first game in 1901, then 1915 on) invited two West Coast teams, USC and Washington. Even though they were a member of the Pacific Coast Conference, the Huskies had not played a single conference game.
  • The Sugar Bowl (1934) chose #13 Georgia Tech and #15 Tulsa.
  • The Sun Bowl (1934) selected Southwestern University in Georgetown TX and New Mexico.
  • The Orange Bowl (1934) decided on a rematch between Texas A&M and LSU.
  • The Cotton Bowl (1936) went with #14 Texas against Randolph Field, an air force base just outside of San Antonio.
  • A new post-season game, the Oil Bowl, invited Southwestern Louisiana to play Arkansas A&M (now Arkansas-Monticello) in Houston.

So two of the four SEC teams that fielded teams for the '43 season capped their seasons in bowls.

  • Even though Tulane beat LSU to post a 3-3 record, the Green Wave were not attractive to bowls because their Navy V-12 players would not be available after the regular season.
  • No bowl had a spot for 6-4 Georgia.

Orange Bowl

The Tigers got revenge on the Aggies, 19-14. Read about the game.

Sugar Bowl

The Tulsa Golden Hurricanes of the Missouri Valley Conference finished their seven-game schedule undefeated.

  • Henry Frnka's offensive-minded club won six games by a minimum of 13 points. Their tie came against Southwestern, which enjoyed its best season on the gridiron thanks to its Marine V-12 program that young Texas Congressman Lyndon Johnson obtained.
  • Frnka's club had given mighty Tennessee a run for their money in the 1943 Sugar Bowl, losing only 14-7. We are at full strength and ready. I haven't talked to anyone who tought Tulsa would win. Coach Alexander has himself a fine football team, and that's no secret, mister. The oddsmakers agreed with the folks Henry talked to as they installed Tech as a 5-to-8 favorite.
  • Bill Alexander also proclaimed his 7-3 Yellow Jackets "in good shape. ... We have no injuries to speak of ..." He expected a tough game.
  • Pregame talk centered around whether star QB Eddie Prokop of Tech would play football in the fall of '44 and, if so, where? As a member of the V-12 program, he was expected to leave with a naval detachment at the end of the semester to either Columbia or Notre Dame.
When 70,000, including 20,000 service men and women as guests, gathered for the kickoff at 2:50 PM Central War Time, they saw one of the most thrilling of the ten Sugar Bowls played so far as Prokop led two dynamic second half drives to pull out a 20-18 victory. The weather began to turn cold shortly after noon and the biting north wind made the crowd shiver.

First half

  • Tulsa's QB Clyde Leforce battled toe-to-toe with All-American Eddie. It was Clyde's brilliant 33y run and his great pass of 31y to Ed Shedlosky that set up the Hurricanes for a TD just three minutes into the game. The score came when Leforce faked a placekick, then tossed a screen pass to Shedlosky in the right flat. Leforce's PAT kick failed, a trend that would cost Tulsa the game.
  • Tech got going late in the opening period and charged down to the 20 only to be held on downs.
  • The Hurricanes struck again on the first play of Q2 when Jim Ford eluded the whole Tech defense for a 76y TD. The conversion failed again, but it didn't seem to matter as the "four-effers" from Tulsa looked like champions.
  • But the boys from the Peach Tree State responded with a 100y drive if you count Mike Logan's 28y kickoff return from his goal line. A pass from Frank Broyles to Bill Kilzer gained 26, and a shorter throw from Prokop to P. R. Tinsley for 8y to make it first-and-goal on the 6. It took three line plunges but Broyles rammed over from inside the 1. Prokop kicked goal to make it 12-7.
  • But the Hurricanes weren't through. They got a big break following Ford's punt out of bounds on the 6. A wild pass from C was recovered by Barney White of Tulsa on the 1. A 5y walkoff for delay of game didn't deter the Hurricanes in the least as Leforce dodged off RT into the EZ. Clyde maintained his consistency on EP tries, and the Oklahomans left the field shortly afterward with a surprising 18-7 halftime advantage.
1944 Sugar Bowl pictures from Georgia Tech Yearbook
1944 Sugar Bowl Action - 1 Sugar Bowl Action - 2
L: Mike Logan gains yardage for Tech. R: Hurricanes tackle a Tech ball carrier.
Sugar Bowl Action - 3
Eddie Prokop skirts the Tulsa E.
1944 Sugar Bowl 1944 Sugar Bowl
L: Frank Broyles scores Tech's first TD. R: Tech defenders swarm Bob Smith. Notice Navy uniforms in the crowd.
1944 Sugar Bowl Action - 4 1944 Sugar Bowl - 5
L: Broyles plunges; R: Bill Kilzer (64) reaches for a pass.
Second half
  • After an exchange of punts, Tech took possession on their 11. Prokop and Broyles shared the ball-toting duties to advance to the Tulsa 47. With the defense lulled to sleep, Eddie lofted soft pass to Tinsley, who gathered it in on the run and dashed to pay dirt. Prokop's kick went awry to leave the score 18-13.
  • With the Canes continuing to find the going tough against the Engineer D, the fray rocked back and forth into the final period until Tech stopped a 4th down try on their 20.
  • Prokop lateraled to Logan who went wide for 13. Then Mike added 6 through the center. Prokop tried a pass but, finding his receivers covered, gained 4. Then Ed Scharfswerdt bucked for 6. Eddie added 9 and, after an incompletion, called a trick play. He pitched to Logan who transferred the ball to Scharfswerdt for a gain of 12 to the Tulsa 29. With the defense wearing down, Tech kept pounding the ball on the ground: Ed up the middle for 10, Prokop for 9 off T, then Scharfswerdt again to the 3. Tulsa dug in and stopped Prokop at the 1. But that just delayed the inevitable as Ed plunged over on the next play. Prokop's placement made it 20-18.
  • That ended the scoring but not the thrills. Broyles immediately raised the blood pressure of Tech fans by kicking off out of bounds at the 35. To make matters worse, the Jackets were offside. So the Hurricanes started on their 40. Facing 4th-and-3, Tulsa lined up to go for it, but an offside penalty made them change their minds. So Ford punted only to the Tech 33. Prokop unwisely ran out of bounds on the first play, then risked catastrophe with a double lateral that gained a first down on the 44. Two plays later, Eddie lateraled again, but this one went astray into the arms of Butterworth of Tulsa on his own 47. Given new life, Leforce fired a 20y aerial to White to the 34. But Clyde's next pass ended up in the hands of Broyles on the 10. He ran it back to the 35. After each team took a 5y penalty for calling an excessive timeout, Tech returned to their straightahead ground game to push to the Oilers 24 and run out the clock.
1944 Sugar Bowl Action - 6
Prokop kicks a crucial PAT.
1944 Sugar Bowl
Smith tries to elude defenders. Note face mask on #42.
1944 Sugar Bowl - 7
Logan fights off Hurricanes from all directions.
1944 Sugar Bowl1944 Sugar Bowl
L: Tinsley pulls down Prokop's pass. R: Two Hurricanes corral Broyles.
Here's what happened in the other bowls.
  • In Dallas, 15,000 braved "foxhole conditions" to watch Texas and the Randolph Ramblers fight to a 7-7 tie. One report said: The Cotton Bowl was a forest of umbrellas as the fans, military and civilian, witnessed the annual New Year's Day football classic with chattering teeth. The crowd could have gone home at halftime had they known there would be no further scoring in the last 30 minutes. Glenn Dobbs, who had starred for Tulsa in '43, threw a TD pass to Tex Aulds for the airmen's score, but the Longhorns responded with a scoring toss of their own from Ralph Ellsworth to George McCall. Dobbs' 68y punt was another feature of the action. Texas Coach Dana X. Bible graciously consented to Randolph Field taking home the three-foot silver team trophy since his team had captured the award by winning the '43 game. He did ask that the bowl provide a suitable smaller trophy that Texas could display.
    1944 Cotton Bowl action
    Randolph Field (white jerseys) battles Texas in the 1944 Cotton Bowl
  • Alvin Dark, who starred for LSU in '43 as a sophomore, led Southwestern Louisiana Institute to a solid 24-7 win over Arkansas A&M. Al kicked a FG, scored a TD, passed for another, and booted three PATs. The same weather system that made Dallas miserable provided rain and a muddy field in Houston also.
    Alvin Dark runs for SLI in Oil Bowl.
    Alvin Dark runs in the Oil Bowl.
  • Further west in El Paso, Southwestern of Texas tallied the only TD of the day on a 32y toss from FB R. L. Cooper to R. W. MacGruder with four minutes left to turn back the underdog New Mexico Lobos in the Sun Bowl. Attendance was 18,000.
  • The most lopsided game of the day was the 29th annual Rose Bowl in Pasadena, where the USC air attack routed Washington 29-0 before 75,000. All four TDs came through the air with QB Jim Hardy throwing three.
    1944 Rose Bowl action
    1944 Rose Bowl action


Randolph Field QB Glenn Dobbs
Glenn Dobbs



1943 SEC Football Season - I

1943 SEC Football Season - II

1943 SEC Football Season - III

1943 SEC Football Season - IV

1943 SEC Football Season - Bowl Games


Weekend in Time - I

Weekend in Time - II

Weekend in Time - III

Weekend in Time - IV

Weekend in Time - V

Weekend in Time - VII


Football Magazine

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