Clash of Titans
Games featuring a future Hall of Fame coach on each sideline.
November 18, 1916: Washington @ California
Gil Dobie vs Andy Smith
The University of California began playing American football in 1886. Six years later, they played rival Stanford University for the first time. The game became in­creasingly violent as evidenced by the fact that 18 deaths and 159 injuries were re­ported during the 1905 season.
Whereas most US schools accepted the extensive rule changes for 1906 that in­cluded legalization of the forward pass, Cal, Stanford, and other West Coast univer­sities decided to eliminate football and replace it with rugby, a sport considered "less barbaric."
The California student body voted to return to American football for the 1915 sea­son. The former rugby coach, Jimmie Schaeffer, coached the team that season. But the school needed a "real football" coach for 1916. The game had changed conside­rably since Schaeffer played freshman football at Cal ten years earlier.

Gil Dobie
Schaeffer volunteered to find the best football coach possible for California. But first he had to learn more about the game. Aiming high, his first stop was the Univer­sity of Washington in Seattle where Gil Dobie had just led the Huskies to eight straight undefeated seasons. Sur­prisingly, the dour Dobie gave him what amounted to a three-day seminar on football fundamen­tals.
Schaeffer then took a train to Minneapolis to speak to Dr. H.L. Williams, a Yale graduate who had coached Minnesota for 15 years. Williams was polite but unre­ceptive, but he suggested Schaeffer talk to Bob Zup­pke, the third-year coach at Illinois.
The trip to Champaign-Urbana paid off but not in the way Schaeffer hoped. Zuppke was of little help. Dis­couraged, Schaeffer went to a bar near the Illinois cam­pus. The bartender listened to his visitor's plight and gave him some advice. "What you ought to do, Jimmie, is go on down to Purdue and talk to the coach there, Andy Smith. He's doing a great job."
So Schaeffer took a train to West Lafayette IN.
33-year-old Andrew Smith played fullback at Penn State for two years and then at Pennsyl­vania for two years. He made Walter Camp's All-America team his senior year. He con­tinued at Penn as an assistant for four years before be­ing named the head coach in 1909. His four Qua­ker teams won 30, lost 10, and tied three.
Purdue lured Smith away from Penn by of­fering him a big pay increase. The results were an improvement but perhaps not as good as Pur­due hoped. The Boil­ermakers' record the previous three seasons was 8-11-1. Smith's three-year mark was 12-6-3 overall but only 2-6-3 in the tough Western Conference.

Andy Smith
Schaeffer and Smith hit it off immediately, and Andy said he'd always wanted to coach in California. He was also intrigued by the challenge of teaching the game to inexperienced players.
When Smith's contract at Purdue expired on New Year's Day 2016, a contract with California was ready that stipulated a salary of $4500, $1500 more than Smith's 1915 contract at Purdue.
But in the meantime, Schaeffer had to coach Cal's first American football team since 1905 for the 1915 season.
Cal's Return to American Football
Since its archrival, Stanford, stuck with rugby, California needed a replacement for its annual season-ending "Big Game." So Schaeffer had to look to the North for a new major opponent since the schools in the Northwest had not stopped playing the American game.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the King of the Northwest was Washington, which had not lost a football game since 1908, the year that Gil Dobie became coach. California and Washington agreed to play a pair of games each season, one in Berkeley and one in Seattle, starting in 1915.
California started its 1915 season with six warmup or practice games against independent "club" teams, winning five of them. Then they lost to St. Mary's 7-6 and USC 28-10 before beating St. Mary's again in the rematch 10-9.
Then the mighty Huskies came to Berkeley and slaughtered the Bears 72-0. But a funny thing happened on the way to Seattle a week later for the rematch. Benefitting from what they learned in the first game, and perhaps helped by overconfidence on the part of the Huskies, the Bears held Dobie's powerhouse scoreless for the first three quarters. Washington finally broke the tie with a touchdown in the final period only to have the Bears score one of their own to re-tie the game at 7-7. The Huskies squeezed over another touchdown with just forty seconds left to eke out the 13-7 victory.
California finished their season with two road victories. They routed Nevada 81-6, then turned the tables on USC 23-21 to complete the 8-5 season. Interim coach Schaeffer could be justly proud of the job he did in getting Cal back into the swing of American football. The new coach would be able to build on a strong foundation for 1916.
New Coach Takes Over in Berkeley
In addition to paying Andy Smith a hansome salary, the University of California dedicated the unheard-of sum of $12,000 per year in salaries to attract a coaching staff that would build the best football program on the West Coast. A. W. "Gus" Ziegler, the line coach at Penn State who had been a three-year All-American at Pennsylvania, and Eddie Mahan, an All-American fullback at Harvard for three years, became the backfield coach.
Given a tall task to turn a squad that had played American football just one year into a competitive team, Smith put his 95 players through "a training regimen of unpre­cedented rigor" in the history of California football. Practices routinely lasted three hours, ending under incandescent lamps after sundown.
Smith's first season coincided with the first for the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Ath­letic Conference, which consisted of Cal plus Washington, Oregon, and Ore­gon Agricultural (Oregon State). Conspicuously absent from the new league was Southern California, which had continued playing American football without interruption.
Cal began its 1916 season with two games each against the Olympic and Originals Athletic Clubs of San Francisco, scoring three victories and one tie. Then the Bears defeated Whit­tier College.
Conference play began with a 39-14 thumping at the hands of Oregon. Cal then lost to Occidental College 14-13.
However, the trip down the coast to Los Angeles produced a 27-0 win over USC before a crowd of 10,000. Then came a 48-6 clobbering of St. Mary's.
Huskies' Incredible Streak
The season ended with home-and-home games against Gil Dobie's Washington Huskies. Smith's first Cal aggregation had improved significantly during the course of the season. But would they be able to hang with Dobie's powerful squad?
As in each of Dobie's first eight seasons at Washington, the Huskies were unde­feated, with only a scoreless tie on "a sea of mud" at Oregon spoiling perfection. How­ever the Washington Tyee Yearbook wrote that the 1916 season was "the hardest job ever faced by Gilmour Dobie and the athletes under him. In no other season were so many factors working against success ..." Four key players from 1915 had graduated, and seven others were in the National Guard after President Woodrow Wilson order­ed 75,000 guardsmen to report to their nearest base for training in case they were needed to defend the US from attacks by the army of Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. But Dobie arranged car transportation for his guardsmen from their base south of Seattle to daily practice.
The Huskies made the long train ride to Berkeley, where they got in a couple of workouts. "Captain (Louis) Seagrave's ankles were far from well and (Ben) Mayfield was in poor shape to play."
Dobie said he feared the California team, but San Francisco reporters dismissed that as typical "Gloomy Gus" pessimism. After all, the Huskies had humiliated the Bears 72-0 the year before. Even with a new coach, they couldn't have improved that much.
Coach Smith was also pessimistic. He knew better than to take Dobie's claim of vulnerability seriously. Andy's big concern was whether his team would keep the score down to a respectable level against the mighty Huskies.
But as one reporter wrote the day after the game, "As it turned out, (Dobie) had more to be afraid of than we of the neighborhood suspected. The California team played up to the expectations of those who took the coaches' word that they were a greatly improved eleven."
Bears Hang Tough
The game was the first in which the play-by-play description was sent from the field by wireless. 3,400 people gathered at University Field to follow the game from the telegram reports. That was 1,400 more than the crowd at California Field watching the live action on a beautiful fall afternoon. 2,000 was the largest crowd to see a Wash­ington football game at that time.
The Cal defense was tested immediately when Washington received the kickoff, and the Bears performed admirably, stuffing three Husky runs to force a punt. Seve­ral kick exchanges later, the Bears got the ball on the Washington 30. Fred Brooks threw a beautiful pass to Leroy Sharp, who carried the ball to the 20. On the next snap, Sharp threw a pass to Brooks running behind the UW defense. But the sun was in the receiver's eyes, and he missed the ball, costing the Bears a sure touchdown.

Cy Noble recovers a fumble for Washington (light shirts).
University of California Blue and Gold Yearbook Class of 1918
Washington's Elmer "Cy" Noble recovered a fumble on the California 25. One report on the game the next day said, "Forward passing might have been prohibited for all the use the northerners made of this part of the game." But after two runs gained only 4y, the Huskies tried a pass that almost was intercepted. So Ted Faulk tried a dropkick from the 30, but the ball went under the crossbar. The Bears had survived the first Husky sortie.

Cal's captain Willis Montgomery tackles Cy Noble.
University of California Blue and Gold Yearbook Class of 1918
The Washington offense came alive late in the opening period. QB Clark "Ching" Johnson circled Cal's left end for 25y to the Bears 25. Bill Hainsworth gained 6y over tackle before 6'3" "battering ram" RHB Noble made a first down at the 10. But the Cal defenders made it difficult from there. Following Johnson's 5y run around left end, Noble was stuffed for no gain. When Noble gained only 2y on third down, Cal was on the verge of repulsing the Husky thrust. But Noble went through left guard and just pushed the ball past the goal line. Faulk's extra point attempt missed. Washington 6 California 0

Cal's Douglas Cohen tries to block Victor Morrison's punt.
University of California Blue and Gold Yearbook Class of 1918
The second period was only five minutes old when California scored. Running from the "short-punt" formation but never lining up twice in the same way, Cal mounted their biggest threat of the day. Starting from their 25 after a punt, the Bears moved into enemy territory. "A double pass and a forward pass," Daniel Foster to Leroy Sharpe to Willis Montgomery, netted 15y to the 44. After a 5y penalty against Washington, Foster bucked over right tackle for six. Then another double pass and a forward pass, Sharp to Foster to Fred Brooks, gained 25y to the 10. Following a 2y run, Cal threw two straight incompletions. So Montgomery kicked a field goal from a difficult angle at the 15. Washington 6 California 3

Cal's Fred Brooks plunges through the line.
University of California Blue and Gold Yearbook Class of 1918
Huskies Score Clinching TD
Washington scored again in the third period after blocking Brooks' kick and re­covering on the Cal 30. Hainsworth went through the center of the line to the 22. Ernie Murphy added 10y to the two. Hainsworth ran up the middle for the touch­down from there. Faulk kicked the goal. Washington 13 California 3
Neither team threatened the rest of the way.

Nobel plunges through the California line.
University of California Blue and Gold Yearbook Class of 1918
When the game ended, Dobie jumped up in excitement. He told the press, "We had the breaks in our favor and, but for these same breaks, I would have had a beaten team."
Smith agreed with that assessment. "With the breaks we'd have won. That's no alibi but a plain fact."
As both teams turned their attention to the rematch in Seattle, momentous events on the Washington campus during those 12 days would change West Coast football significantly.
To be continued ...
References:
University of California Berkeley Blue and Gold Yearbook, Class of 1918
University of Washington Tyee Yearbook, Class of 1917

Golden Bears: A Celebration of Cal Football’s Triumphs, Heartbreaks, Last-Second Miracles, Legendary Blunders and the Extraordinary People That Made It All Possi­ble, Ron Fimrite (2009)
From Orphanage to National Champion: Gilmour Dobie Pursuit of Perfection (Kin­dle), Lynn Borland (2010)
Go Huskies! Celebrating the Washington Football Tradition, W. Thomas Porter (2013)