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1912 Vanderbilt Commodores football team

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1912 Vanderbilt Commodores football
Vandy1912Football.jpg
SIAA champion
Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1912 record 8–1–1 (3–0–1 SIAA)
Head coach Dan McGugin (9th season)
Offensive scheme Short punt
Captain Lewie Hardage
Home stadium Dudley Field
Seasons
← 1911
1913 →
1912 SIAA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Vanderbilt $ 3 0 1     8 1 1
Texas A&M 2 0 0     8 1 0
Kentucky State 1 0 0     7 2 0
Auburn 6 1 1     6 1 1
Georgia 5 1 1     6 1 1
Sewanee 2 1 2     5 1 2
Georgia Tech 5 3 0     5 3 1
Alabama 3 3 1     5 3 1
Tulane 3 3 0     5 3 0
Mississippi A&M 3 3 0     4 3 0
Clemson 3 3 0     4 4 0
Ole Miss 2 2 0     5 3 0
Mercer 2 3 1     5 3 1
LSU 2 3 0     4 3 0
Mississippi College 1 4 0     3 4 0
Florida 0 2 1     5 2 1
The Citadel 0 3 0     2 4 0
Tennessee 0 4 0     4 4 0
Howard 0 4 0     1 6 0
  • $ – Conference champion

The 1912 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University in the 1912 college football season. The 1912 season was Dan McGugin's ninth year as head coach. Members of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA), the Commodores won their third straight conference title this year, posting a 8–1–1 win–loss–tie record (3–0–1 SIAA). The team played its home games at Dudley Field. It used the short punt formation as its offensive scheme.

Vanderbilt outscored its opponents 391–19. The team scored 100 points in each of the first two contests; the 105–0 victory over Bethel was the largest in Vanderbilt history.[1] The team posted seven shutout victories, being scored upon in only three games. The team's only loss came to national champion Harvard. The Commodores also played to a tie with the Auburn Tigers.

Several players received postseason honors. Halfback and team captain Lewie Hardage was selected a third-team All-American by Walter Camp, the fourth player from the South ever to receive such recognition, and was a unanimous first-team All-Southern selection. Center Hugh Morgan, end Enoch Brown, tackle Tom Brown, fullback Ammie Sikes, and guard Herman Daves also received All-Southern recognition.

Before the season[edit]

Vanderbilt faced its hardest schedule to date.[2] The team lost some varsity letter winners to graduation, including quarterback Ray Morrison, tackle Ewing Y. Freeland, and guard Will Metzger.[3] Aside from Morrison, Vanderbilt retained the rest of its backfield of the previous year, then voted best in the South by the Atlanta Constitution.[4] It included halfbacks Lew Hardage (the team's captain) and Wilson Collins and fullback Ammie Sikes.[2] Replacing Morrison at quarterback was renowned drop kicker Zach Curlin.[5]

The 1912 season saw the NCAA implement several rule changes to increase scoring. These included: the value of a touchdown increased from 5 points to 6, the length of the field was reduced to 100 yards, 10-yard end zones were added, the onside kick was eliminated, and unlimited use of the forward pass was introduced.[2]

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent Site Result Attendance
September 28 Bethel (TN)* Dudley FieldNashville, Tennessee W 105–0    
October 5 Maryville (TN)* Dudley Field • Nashville, Tennessee W 100–3    
October 12 Rose Polytechnic* Dudley Field • Nashville, Tennessee W 54–0    
October 19 at Georgia Ponce de Leon ParkAtlanta (Rivalry) W 46–0   4,500
October 26 Ole Miss Dudley Field • Nashville, Tennessee (Rivalry) W 24–0    
November 2 Virginia* Dudley Field • Nashville, Tennessee W 13–0   4,000
November 9 at Harvard* Harvard StadiumAllston, Massachusetts L 3–9    
November 16 Centre* Dudley Field • Nashville, Tennessee W 23–0    
November 23 at Auburn Rickwood FieldBirmingham, Alabama T 7–7    
November 28 Sewanee Dudley Field • Nashville, Tennessee (Rivalry) W 16–0   10,000
*Non-conference game. Source: sports-reference.com[6].

Season summary[edit]

Bethel[edit]

The season started with the largest win in school history, a 105–0 victory over Bethel College in pouring rain. Future Vanderbilt star Josh Cody played for Bethel.[7]

Wilson Collins began the scoring when he took a punt 45 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown.[8] Substitute quarterback Rabbi Robins was better suited to the mud than starter Zach Curlin.[8] At one point during the game, Robins returned a kick 70 yards for a touchdown.[8] Collins had five touchdowns, Enoch Brown three, Hardage, Robins and Morrison two each, and Reyer and Chester one each.[8]

The starting lineup for Vanderbilt was: Turner (left end), Covington (left tackle), Daves (left guard), Morgan (center), Huffman (right guard), T. Brown (right tackle), E. Brown (right end), Curlin (quarterback), Hardage (left halfback), Collins (right halfback), and Sikes (fullback).[1]

Maryville[edit]

Maryville at Vanderbilt
1 234Total
Maryville 0 003 3
Vanderbilt 27 162829 100

The Commodores then won by a 100–3 score against the Maryville Scots. Despite the first two games being like practice games, the large scores were a surprise, for in both the substitutes replaced the regulars by the second quarter.[10] Maryville's Badgett scored on a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.[11] One of Vanderbilt's scores was a 40-yard forward pass from Hardage to Brown.[9]

The starting lineup for Vanderbilt was: Turner (left end), Covington (left tackle), Daves (left guard), Morgan (center), Huffman (right guard), T. Brown (right tackle), E. Brown (right end), Curlin (quarterback), Hardage (left halfback), Collins (right halfback), and Sikes (fullback).[11]

Rose Polytechnic[edit]

Rose Polytechnic at Vanderbilt
1 234Total
Rose Poly 0 000 0
Vanderbilt 20 2077 54

The game with Rose Polytechnic was seen as the first real test of the season. The Commodores still managed a 54–0 victory, with substitutes replacing the regulars by the end of the first half.[10] The first score came on a 35-yard interception return by Lew Hardage.[12]

During the game's opening drive, Rose Poly tried a trick play with a player in civilian clothes and satchel receiving the ball.[12] He was caught by Vanderbilt defenders before he reached his own 30-yard line.[12]

The starting lineup for Vanderbilt was: Turner (left end), Shipp (left tackle), Daves (left guard), Morgan (center), Swofford (right guard), T. Brown (right tackle), E. Brown (right end), Robins (quarterback), Hardage (left halfback), Collins (right halfback), and Chester (fullback).[12]

Georgia[edit]

The Commodores easily defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 46–0 in the rain. Coaching the Bulldogs was McGugin product Alex Cunningham. The game was played on the infield and part of the right outfield of Ponce de Leon Park.[13] According to Vanderbilt University Quarterly, the score would have been higher but for the water and mud.[10] Georgia star Bob McWhorter was held in check; his best run went for 12 yards.[10]

Center Hugh Morgan

The first score of the game came when Wilson Collins got away for a 20-yard run, but fumbled. The ball was picked up by Zach Curlin and run in for a touchdown. When the game ended, Georgia men tried to steal the ball, and a fight broke out, broken up by coach McGugin and umpire Ted Coy.[13]

The starting lineup for Vanderbilt was: Turner (left end), Shipp (left tackle), Daves (left guard), Morgan (center), Huffman (right guard), T. Brown (right tackle), E. Brown (right end), Robins (quarterback), Hardage (left halfback), Shea (right halfback), and Chester (fullback).[13]

Mississippi[edit]

Vanderbilt beat Mississippi 24–0, the visitors showing a strong defense.[14] Morgan, Collins, and Sikes were on the sidelines for the whole game. Multiple times, the Commodores fumbled near the goal line.[15]

The starting lineup for Vanderbilt was: Milholland (left end), Shipp (left tackle), Daves (left guard), T. Brown (center), Swafford (right guard), Covington (right tackle), E. Brown (right end), Robins (quarterback), Hardage (left halfback), Shea (right halfback), and Turner (fullback).[14]

Virginia[edit]

Virginia at Vanderbilt
1 234Total
Virginia 0 000 0
Vanderbilt 6 700 13
  • Date: November 2
  • Location: Dudley Field • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Game attendance: 4,000
  • Referee: Selden (Sewanee)

Vanderbilt met Virginia for the first time since 1898.[17] It also won for the first time, 13–0.[16] Ammie Sikes scored first, after runs of 35 and 28 yards by Lew Hardage paved the way.[16] A 30-yard forward pass from Hardage to Enoch Brown got the second touchdown.[16] In the last period, Sikes broke loose, down to the 5-yard line when he was caught from behind by Buck Mayer.[16]

The starting lineup for Vanderbilt was: Turner (left end), Daves (left tackle), Huffman (left guard), Morgan (center), Covington (right guard), T. Brown (right tackle), Milholland (right end), Curlin (quarterback), Hardage (left halfback), Collins (right halfback), and Sikes (fullback).[16]

Zach Curlin drop kicked a field goal against Harvard.

Harvard[edit]

Vanderbilt at Harvard
1 234Total
Vanderbilt 0 030 3
Harvard 0 603 9

Vanderbilt suffered its only loss of the season on the road to coach Percy Haughton's national champion Harvard Crimson 9–3. Only Dartmouth played the Crimson closer. "As usual Harvard tried out the strength of its defense in the first period, kicking usually on the second down."[18] Harvard used mostly substitutes and scored a touchdown five minutes after the second period began.[18] Lew Hardage was injured and taken off the field.[18]

Vanderbilt's lone score was a 28-yard field goal from Zach Curlin early in the third quarter, after Harvard muffed a punt.[18] The Crimson added another field goal in the final period.[18]

In the last ten minutes, the Commodores tried their full repertoire of tricks, including a delayed forward pass in which the ball was handled by four men and netted a 22-yard gain from Rabbi Robins.[19] The International News Service reported: "Although defeated, Vanderbilt was not outplayed; for never was a gamer team seen in the Stadium."[20]

The starting lineup for Vanderbilt was: Turner (left end), Shipp (left tackle), Swafford (left guard), Morgan (center), Daves (right guard), T. Brown (right tackle), E. Brown (right end), Curlin (quarterback), Hardage (left halfback), Collins (right halfback), and Sikes (fullback).[19]

Centre[edit]

Vanderbilt playing with just four regulars and a new backfield beat the Centre Colonels 23–0.[21] Hardage stayed home in Decatur, Alabama due to an injury.[21]

The starting lineup for Vanderbilt was: Chester (left end), Daves (left tackle), Reyer (left guard), Huffman (center), Swafford (right guard), T. Brown (right tackle), Reams (right end), Robins (quarterback), Luck (left halfback), Shea (right halfback), and Milholland (fullback).[21]

Ammie Sikes

Auburn[edit]

Vanderbilt at Auburn
1 234Total
Vanderbilt 0 700 7
Auburn 0 070 7

The Auburn Tigers upset expectations and tied the Commodores 7–7. Ammie Sikes scored first for Vanderbilt.[22] Auburn scored after a Sikes fumble. The ball was kicked some fifteen yards down field clear of the melee, picked up by Kirk Newell, and run 55 yards to the end zone.[22]

The starting lineup for Vanderbilt was: Reams (left end), Shipp (left tackle), Daves (left guard), Moody (center), Covington (right guard), T. Brown (right tackle), E. Brown (right end), Curlin (quarterback), Hardage (left halfback), Collins (right halfback), and Turner (fullback).[22]

Sewanee[edit]

Sewanee at Vanderbilt
1 234Total
Sewanee 0 000 0
Vanderbilt 2 0014 16

Vanderbilt defeated rival Sewanee 16–0. In the first period, Sewanee had to punt from its own end zone. The pass to Jenks Gillem went wide, and before he could recover it he was downed by Enoch Brown for a safety.[23] Gillem had one punt of 58 yards that day.[n 1] Vanderbilt's game seemed to stagnate until Wilson Collins was hurt and replaced by Tom Shea in the third quarter.[25] Then two touchdowns came in the fourth period, one by Robins and another Turner.[23] In his last game, Lew Hardage played well despite his hurt left ankle.[26][27]

Vanderbilt had clamored for a rematch to decide a champion after its tie with Auburn, but Auburn was upset by Georgia 12–6, meaning Vanderbilt's victory over Sewanee secured the SIAA title.[28]

The starting lineup for Vanderbilt was: Reams (left end), Shipp (left tackle), Daves (left guard), Morgan (center), Swofford (right guard), T. Brown (right tackle), E. Brown (right end), Robins (quarterback), Hardage (left halfback), Collins (right halfback), and Sikes (fullback).[26]

Postseason[edit]

Lew Hardage

Awards and honors[edit]

Lew Hardage was selected third-team All-American by Walter Camp, the fourth ever Southern player to get such a recognition.[29][n 2] He was a unanimous All-Southern selection.[29] Innis Brown wrote: "Hardage has been rated as probably the most successful man in the south at making forward passes."[31] Ammie Sikes, Hugh Morgan, Tom Brown, and Enoch Brown all made composite All-Southern.

Championships[edit]

Vanderbilt won the SIAA title in football, baseball, and track.[32] According to Nathan Stauffer, Texas A&M was Vanderbilt's nearest challenger for best football team in the South.[33]

Personnel[edit]

Depth chart[edit]

The following chart provides a visual depiction of Vanderbilt's lineup during the 1912 season with games started at the position reflected in parenthesis.[3] The chart mimics a short punt formation while on offense, with the quarterback under center.

LE
Peck Turner (6)
Glen Reams (2)
Yunk Chester (1)
Whitey Milholland (1)
 
LT LG C RG RT
Cleveland Shipp (6) Herman Daves (7) Hugh Morgan (8) Swofford (4) Tom Brown (9)
Joe Covington (2) Chester Huffman (1) Tom Brown (1) Chester Huffman (3) Joe Covington (1)
Herman Daves (2) Swofford (1) Chester Huffman (1) Joe Covington (2) R. E. Lowe (0)
Pud Reyer (1) Herman Daves (1)
Darwin (0)
RE
Enoch Brown (8)
Glen Reams (1)
Whitey Milholland (1)
Kent Morrison (0)
 
QB
Zach Curlin (5)
Rabbi Robins (5)
LHB RHB
Lew Hardage (9) Wilson Collins (7)
Malcolm Luck (1) Tom P. Shea (3)
FB
Ammie Sikes (5)
Yunk Chester (2)
Peck Turner (2)
Whitey Milholland (1)

-

Varsity letter winners[edit]

Tom Brown

The lettermen were dubbed "Wearers of the V."[34] Team manager Frank Gilliland was also a letterman.[34]

Line
Player Position Games
started
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
Charles Brown guard 0 Unknown Unknown Unk. Unk. Unk.
Tom Brown tackle 10 Gallatin, Tennessee Unknown 6'2" 180 22
Joe Covington guard 5 Unknown Unknown Unk. Unk. Unk.
Carl T. Martin end 0 Mobile, Alabama University Military School Unk. Unk. Unk.
Hugh Morgan center 8 Nashville, Tennessee Unknown Unk. 216 19
Kent Morrison end 0 Unknown McTyeire School Unk. Unk. Unk.
Backfield
Player Position Games
started
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
Wilson Collins halfback 7 Pulaski, Tennessee Massey School 5'9" 165 23
Zach Curlin halfback 5 Luxora, Arkansas Webb School Unk. Unk. 22
Lew Hardage halfback 9 Decatur, Alabama Unknown Unk. 165 21
Rabbi Robins halfback 5 Tupelo, Mississippi McTyeire School Unk. Unk. 21
Scoring leaders
Player Touchdowns Extra points Field goals Safeties Points
Lew Hardage 11 27 1 0 96
Wilson Collins 11 0 0 0 66
Rabbi Robins 7 0 0 0 42
Enoch Brown 6 1 0 0 37
Zach Curlin 2 1 4 0 25
Kent Morrison 3 3 0 0 21
Yunk Chester 3 0 0 0 18
Glen Reams 3 0 0 0 18
Tom Shea 3 0 0 0 18
Ammie Sikes 2 0 0 0 12
Tom Brown 1 4 0 0 10
Malcolm Luck 1 0 0 0 6
Whitey Milholland 1 0 0 0 6
Pud Reyer 1 0 0 0 6
Peck Turner 1 0 0 0 6
N/A 0 0 0 2 4
Total 56 36 5 2 391

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gillem was later selected as the punter for the Associated Press All-Time Southeast 1869–1919 era team.[24]
  2. ^ Camp's teams had been historically loaded with players from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, and other Northeastern colleges.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Spick Hall (September 29, 1912). "Vanderbilt Makes The Largest Score In Her Football History". The Tennessean. p. 35. Retrieved September 21, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  2. ^ a b c Spick Hall (September 15, 1912). "Commodores Face The Hardest Schedule For Many Long Years". The Tennessean. p. 19. Retrieved June 17, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ a b Vanderbilt University, p. 259
  4. ^ Charles Weatherby. "Wilson Collins". The Miracle Braves of 1914: Boston's Original Worst-to-First World Series: 13. 
  5. ^ Vanderbilt University, p. 260
  6. ^ "1912 Vanderbilt Commodores Schedule and Results". sports-reference.com. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  7. ^ Walsh 2006, p. 121
  8. ^ a b c d Traughber 2011, p. 57
  9. ^ a b "Details of Scores Made Yesterday". The Tennessean. October 6, 1912. p. 2. Retrieved June 17, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  10. ^ a b c d Vanderbilt University, p. 261
  11. ^ a b "Commodores Win". The Courier-Journal. October 6, 1912. p. 35. Retrieved June 17, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  12. ^ a b c d e "Vanderbilt Smeared It On Rose Poly In Fine Form". The Tennessean. October 13, 1912. p. 8. Retrieved May 2, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  13. ^ a b c Percy Whiting (October 20, 1912). "Vandy Played A Great Game". The Tennessean. p. 8. Retrieved May 1, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  14. ^ a b Spick Hall (October 27, 1912). "Miss. Men Showed A Fierce Defense". The Tennessean. p. 8. Retrieved May 14, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  15. ^ Vanderbilt University, p. 262
  16. ^ a b c d e f Spick Hall (November 3, 1912). "Vanderbilt Victor Over Old Virginia". The Tennessean. p. 8. Retrieved May 14, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  17. ^ Vanderbilt University, p. 29
  18. ^ a b c d e f "Vandy Played A Great Game". The Tennessean. November 10, 1912. p. 8. Retrieved May 1, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  19. ^ a b "Crimson Team Is Victorious". The Courier-Journal. November 10, 1912. p. 35. Retrieved May 1, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  20. ^ Vanderbilt University, p. 263
  21. ^ a b c Spick Hall (November 17, 1912). "Central Had Lot of Grit and Vim". The Tennessean. p. 8. Retrieved May 13, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  22. ^ a b c d Spick Hall (November 24, 1912). "Auburn Holds Vandy To A Tie". The Tennessean. p. 14. Retrieved May 1, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  23. ^ a b c "Vanderbilt Downs Sewanee". Wilmington Morning Star. November 29, 1912. Retrieved May 1, 2016 – via Newspapers.compage=12.  open access publication – free to read
  24. ^ "All-Time Football Team Lists Greats Of Past, Present". Gadsden Times. July 27, 1969. 
  25. ^ "Commodores On The Desired End". Detroit Free Press. November 29, 1912. p. 8. Retrieved May 1, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  26. ^ a b "Commodores Are Again Victorious". The Tennessean. November 29, 1912. p. 10. Retrieved May 1, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  27. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 275
  28. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 274
  29. ^ a b "On the Gridiron and Diamond". The Kappa Alpha Journal. 30 (2): 211. 
  30. ^ Joe Williams, "Joe Williams Says", El Paso Herald-Post, p. 10 (November 12, 1935). Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  31. ^ "Innis Brown's All-Southern". Atlanta Constitution. December 1, 1912. Retrieved March 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  32. ^ Vanderbilt University, p. 210
  33. ^ Nathan Stauffer. "All-Southern Football Team of 1912". Spalding's Official Foot Ball Guide: 65. 
  34. ^ a b Vanderbilt University, p. 213

Bibliography[edit]