1941 Stanford Indians football team
|1941 Stanford Indians football|
|Conference||Pacific Coast Conference|
|1941 record||6–3 (4–3 PCC)|
|Head coach||Clark Shaughnessy|
|Offensive scheme||T formation|
|Home stadium||Stanford Stadium|
|1941 PCC football standings|
|#12 Oregon State †||7||–||2||–||0||8||–||2||–||0|
|#19 Washington State||5||–||3||–||0||6||–||4||–||0|
|† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll
The 1941 Stanford Indians football team represented Stanford University in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) intercollegiate competition during the 1941 season. Second-year head coach Clark Shaughnessy led the team to a 6–3 record. Before the season, Stanford, which the year prior had finished 10–0, was considered a favorite for the national championship, but three conference losses put it out of contention for a return to the Rose Bowl. After the season, Shaughnessy left Stanford to take over as head coach at the University of Maryland.
Before the season
The Indians lost two stars from the previous season, right halfback Hugh Gallarneau and fullback Norm Standlee, to graduation, but returned quarterback Frankie Albert. Shaughnessy made the "pessimistic" projection that the team would drop at least two games. Before and early in the season, expectations were high for Stanford, and alongside Minnesota, the Indians were considered among the frontrunners for the national championship. Throughout the course of the season, however, injuries hindered the team.
Neither Stanford nor Minnesota were considered overly impressive in narrow victories in their season openers. The Indians edged Oregon, 19–15. The International News Service reported that Stanford "was not the polished, meticulous outfit it was when it trimmed Nebraska" in the previous season's Rose Bowl. Stanford then routed UCLA, 33–0. The following week, Oregon State snapped Stanford's 13-game winning streak. The Associated Press credited Beavers center Quentin Greenough with leading Oregon State's defensive effort, which blanked Stanford's potent T-formation, 10–0. Greenough was injured in the fourth quarter and had to be carried out by stretcher.
Against Washington, Stanford scored two second-quarter touchdowns and turned back multiple Huskies' drives. The Indians had two additional touchdowns negated by penalties, but won, 13–7. On a mud-logged field, Stanford back Pete Kmetovic scored five minutes into the game against Santa Clara. Later in the first quarter, Buck Fawcett broke free for an 84-yard touchdown run, and before halftime, Kmetovic returned an interception 40 yards to put the Indians back in position for a third score. Stanford's defense held Santa Clara at bay for the remainder of the game, and turned back two Bronco drives on the four-yard line for a final result of 27–7.
After defeating USC, 13–0, the Indians fell in their penultimate game against Washington State. The result tied Stanford, Washington, and Oregon State for first-place in the Pacific Coast Conference with two losses each, and all still vying for a berth in the Rose Bowl. Stanford's loss to underdogs California, 16–0, in the finale put them out of contention for the postseason game invitation. The Indians finished with a 6–3 record.
After the season
In March 1942, Shaughnessy turned down a head coaching offer from Yale University, but said he was considering the same job at another Eastern school with little football tradition. A short time later, he resigned to accept the job at Maryland. According to Sports Illustrated in 1977, Shaughnessy's decision was based on his belief that Stanford would discontinue its football program during World War II.
|September 27, 1941||Oregon||Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CA||W 19–15|
|October 4, 1941||UCLA||Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CA||W 33–0|
|October 11, 1941||at Oregon State||Bell Field • Corvallis, OR||L 10–0|
|October 18, 1941||San Francisco*||Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CA||W 42–26|
|October 25, 1941||at Washington||Husky Stadium • Seattle, WA||W 13–7|
|November 1, 1941||Santa Clara*||Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CA||W 27–7|
|November 8, 1941||at USC||Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum • Los Angeles, CA||W 13–0|
|November 15, 1941||Washington State||Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CA||L 14–13|
|November 29, 1941||California||Stanford Stadium • Stanford, CA (47th Big Game)||L 16–0|
- Pessimistic Clark Shaughnessy Sees Team Losing Two Games, Eugene Register-Guard, September 14, 1941.
- Minnesota and Stanford Loom Again as Champions, The Milwaukee Journal, September 29, 1941.
- Clark Shaughnessy Not Interested In Yale, But May Move East, Eugene Register-Guard, March 12, 1942.
- Teams With Standout Backs Take Over Spotlight, St. Petersburg Times, September 29, 1941.
- USC, Huskies Are Underdogs, Eugene Register-Guard, October 10, 1941.
- Clark Shaughnessy Says Best Team Won, Eugene Register-Guard, October 12, 1941.
- Stanford Clips Huskies, The Pittsburgh Press, October 26, 1941.
- Stanford's T-Formation Rolls In Mud And Santa Clara Loses, The Miami News, November 2, 1941.
- Stanford, Texas Fall in Hectic Week-end, St. Petersburg Times, November 17, 1941.
- Oregon State In Rose Bowl, The Pittsburgh Press, November 30, 1941.
- Coaching Records Game by Game: 1941, College Football Data Warehouse, retrieved August 15, 2010.
- Clark Shaughnessy Moves To New Maryland University Job, Eugene Register-Guard, April 6, 1942.
- Ron Fimrite, A Melding Of Men All Suited To A T; Clark Shaughnessy was a dour theoretician, Frankie Albert an unrestrained quarterback and Stanford a team of losers, but combined they forever changed the game of football, Sports Illustrated, September 5, 1977.