1955 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

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1955 Alabama Crimson Tide football
Conference Southeastern Conference
1955 record 0–10 (0–7 SEC)
Head coach Jennings B. Whitworth
Captain Nick Germanos
Home stadium Denny Stadium
Legion Field
Ladd Stadium
Seasons
« 1954 1956 »
1955 SEC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#10 Ole Miss 5 1 0     10 1 0
#8 Auburn 5 1 1     8 2 1
#7 Georgia Tech 4 1 1     9 1 1
Tennessee 3 2 1     6 3 1
Vanderbilt 4 3 0     8 3 0
Mississippi State 4 4 0     6 4 0
Kentucky 3 3 1     6 3 1
Tulane 3 3 1     5 4 1
LSU 2 3 1     3 5 2
Florida 3 5 0     4 6 0
Georgia 2 5 0     4 6 0
Alabama 0 7 0     0 10 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1955 Alabama Crimson Tide football team (variously "Alabama", "UA" or "Bama") represented the University of Alabama in the 1955 college football season. It was the Crimson Tide's 61st overall and 22nd season as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team was led by head coach Jennings B. Whitworth, in his first year, and played their home games at Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Legion Field in Birmingham and at Ladd Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. They finished with a record of zero wins and ten losses (0–10 overall, 0–7 in the SEC).

On December 2, 1954, Harold Drew resigned as head coach of the Crimson Tide, and Jennings B. Whitworth was introduced as his successor.[1][2] Whitworth brought a new system that was more oriented towards the running game. As a result, senior quarterback Bart Starr and the other Tide seniors saw little playing time.[3] Whitworth, for his part, was only allowed to hire two assistants and required to retain the rest of Coach Drew's staff.[4]

Alabama football hit rock bottom in 1955, going 0–10, the worst season in school history. It was only the third winless season in the history of the Crimson Tide, the others being the 0–4 teams in 1893 and 1895 when the program was just starting. For the season, Alabama only averaged 4.8 points per game and the opposition averaged 25.6. The Tide was shutout four times, the opposition never scored fewer than 20 points and the smallest margin of defeat was 15 points in a 21–6 loss to Vanderbilt.

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result Attendance
September 24 at #13 Rice* Rice StadiumHouston, TX L 0–20    
October 1 at Vanderbilt Dudley FieldNashville, TN L 6–21   27,500
October 8 #8 TCU* Denny StadiumTuscaloosa, AL L 0–21   20,000
October 15 Tennessee Legion FieldBirmingham, AL (Third Saturday in October) L 0–20   35,000
October 22 Mississippi Statedagger Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, AL (Rivalry) L 7–26   28,000
October 29 at Georgia Sanford StadiumAthens, GA L 14–35   29,000
November 5 Tulane Ladd StadiumMobile, AL L 7–27   17,301
November 12 #11 Georgia Tech Legion Field • Birmingham, AL L 2–26    
November 18 at Miami* Burdine StadiumMiami, FL L 12–34   35,414
November 26 vs. #10 Auburn Legion Field • Birmingham, AL (Iron Bowl) L 0–26   45,000
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.
  • Source: Rolltide.com: 1955 Alabama football schedule[5]

Game notes[edit]

Rice[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 0 0 0 0
#13 Rice 0 0 0 20 20
  • Date: September 24
  • Location: Rice Stadium
    Houston, TX

To open the 1955 season, the Crimson Tide traveled to Houston and were shutout 20–0 by the Rice Owls of the Southwest Conference.[6][7] After being held scoreless for the first three quarters, the Owls scored all three of their touchdowns in the fourth quarter. King Hill scored first on a one-yard run, a 45-yard Page Rogers run and on a two-yard Hill run.[6] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Rice to 0–2.[8]

Vanderbilt[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 6 0 0 6
Vanderbilt 0 7 7 7 21
  • Date: October 1
  • Location: Dudley Field
    Nashville, TN
  • Game attendance: 27,500

At Dudley Field, the Crimson Tide were defeated by the Vanderbilt Commodores 21–6 to open conference play.[7][9] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Vanderbilt to 18–15–1.[11]

TCU[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#8 TCU 0 0 14 7 21
Alabama 0 0 0 0 0
  • Date: October 8
  • Location: Denny Stadium
    Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Game attendance: 20,000

In their home opener for the 1955 season, the Crimson Tide were shutout by the Texas Christian University (TCU) Horned Frogs 21–0 at Denny Stadium in what was the first all-time meeting between the schools.[7][12][13] After a scoreless first half, Jim Swink scored all three of the Frogs' touchdowns in the second half.[14] The scores came on runs of 65 and three-yards in the third and on a 10-yard run in the fourth quarter.[12]

Tennessee[edit]

Third Saturday in October
1 2 3 4 Total
Tennessee 0 7 0 13 20
Alabama 0 0 0 0 0
  • Date: October 15
  • Location: Legion Field
    Birmingham, AL
  • Game attendance: 35,000

In their annual rivalry game against Tennessee, Alabama was shutout for the third time in four weeks, and lost to the Volunteers 20–0 at Legion Field.[7][15] After a scoreless first, the Vols took a 7–0 halftime lead after Johnny Majors threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Roger Urbano on a fourth down play early in the second quarter.[15][16] A pair of touchdown runs in the fourth by Majors from two-yards out and by Lon Herzbrun from one-yard out made the final score 20–0 in favor of the visitors.[15][16] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Tennessee to 18–14–5.[17]

Mississippi State[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Mississippi State 6 7 7 6 26
Alabama 0 7 0 0 7
  • Date: October 22
  • Location: Denny Stadium
    Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Game attendance: 28,000

On homecoming in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide were defeated for the second consecutive year by the Mississippi State Maroons 26–7 at Denny Stadium.[7][18] The first State touchdown was set up after the Maroons recovered a fumble at their 37-yard line. Bill Stanton scored on a one-yard run five plays later to give State a 6–0 lead.[18] In the second quarter, William Morgan scored on a nine-yard run for the Maroons, but Alabama answered with a one-yard Clay Walls touchdown run to make the halftime score 13–7.[18] State then pulled away in the second half to win 26–7 after 14-yard Morgan run in the third and on a 27-yard Stanton pass to Morgan in the fourth.[18][19] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Mississippi State to 28–9–3.[20]

Georgia[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 0 7 7 14
Georgia 7 7 7 14 35
  • Date: October 29
  • Location: Sanford Stadium
    Athens, GA
  • Game attendance: 29,000

At Athens, the Crimson Tide lost to the Georgia Bulldogs 35–14 on homecoming at Sanford Stadium.[7][21][22] The Bulldogs took a 14–0 halftime lead after James Harper threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Laneair Roberts in the first and on a one-yard Robert Garrard run in the second quarter.[21][22] The Tide then scored the first touchdown of the second half on a six-yard Donald Kinderknecht run to cut the Georgia lead to 14–7.[21] However, the Bulldogs responded with a three-yard Henry Dukes run to make the score 21–7 at the start of the fourth.[21] In the final quarter, Conrad Manisera scored on a four-yard run and on a one-yard John Bell run for Georgia and on a one-yard Bart Starr run for Alabama.[21][22] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Georgia to 21–16–4.[23]

Tulane[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Tulane 7 0 7 13 27
Alabama 0 7 0 0 7
  • Date: November 5
  • Location: Ladd Stadium
    Mobile, AL
  • Game attendance: 17,301

Playing their annual home game at Ladd Stadium, the Crimson Tide lost 27–7 to the Tulane Green Wave in Mobile.[24][7] The game was tied 7–7 at halftime after Tulane scored on a 12-yard Al Cottrell run in the first and Alabama scored on a short Billy Lumpkin run in the second quarter.[24][25] After a one-yard Ronald Quillian run in the third to give Tulane a 14–7 lead, the Green Wave closed the game with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns o win 27–7.[24][25] The fourth quarter scored were made by Quillian on a five-yard run and by Cottrell on a 17-yard interception return.[24] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Tulane to 16–8–2.[26]

Georgia Tech[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
#11 Georgia Tech 12 7 0 7 26
Alabama 0 0 0 2 2
  • Date: November 12
  • Location: Legion Field
    Birmingham, AL

Against Georgia Tech, Alabama lost their eleventh consecutive game in this 26–2 defeat by the Yellow Jackets at Legion Field.[7][27] Tech took a 12–0 first quarter lead after they scored a pair of touchdowns in a 19 second span. The first came on a five-yard Richard Mattison run and the second on a 28-yard Kenny Thompson interception return.[27] The Yellow Jackets' third score was set up early in the second quarter after Thomas Rose blocked an Alabama punt at the Tide's 12-yard line. Two plays later, Tech took a 19–0 lead after Paul Rotenberry scored on a five-yard run.[27] After a scoreless third, in the fourth quarter Tech scored their final touchdown on a 34-yard Ronald Vann pass to Marion Ellis and Alabama got their only points on a safety in the final minute to make the score 26–2.[27] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Georgia Tech to 18–16–3.[28]

Miami[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 6 0 6 12
Miami 14 0 13 7 34
  • Date: November 18
  • Location: Burdine Stadium
    Miami, FL
  • Game attendance: 35,414

On a Friday evening in Miami for the second consecutive year, Alabama was defeated by the Miami Hurricanes 34–12 at Burdine Stadium.[7][29] The Hurricanes took a 14–0 first quarter lead on touchdowns scored by Don Bosseler on a four-yard run and by Whitey Rouviere on a 25-yard run.[29][30] The Crimson Tide responded in the second quarter with a Donald Kinderknecht touchdown run to make the halftime score 14–6.[29][30] Bosseler then gave Miami a 27–6 lead in the third quarter with his touchdown runs of two and 14-yards.[29][30] In the fourth quarter, Bart Starr threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Roy Forbus for Alabama and Ed Oliver scored on a four-yard touchdown run for Miami to make the final score 34–12.[29][30] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Miami to 3–2.[31]

Auburn[edit]

Iron Bowl
1 2 3 4 Total
#10 Auburn 0 13 0 13 26
Alabama 0 0 0 0 0
  • Date: November 26
  • Location: Legion Field
    Birmingham, AL
  • Game attendance: 45,000

For the second consecutive year, Alabama was shutout by the rival Auburn Tigers 26–0 at Legion Field and finished the season winless.[7][32][33] After a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers took a 13–0 halftime lead with second quarter passes of 23 and 10-yards from Howell Tubbs to Jerry Elliott.[32][33] Auburn then closed the game with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns on pair of short runs by Joe Childress and Tubbs to win 26–0.[32][33] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Auburn to 9–10–1.[34]

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

General

  • "1955 Season Recaps" (PDF). RollTide.com. University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 

Specific

  1. ^ "Red Drew out, Whitworth in". Daytona Beach Morning Journal (Google News Archives). Associated Press. December 3, 1954. p. 8. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Whitworth named Tide's head coach". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives). Associated Press. December 18, 1954. p. 1. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Scott, Richard (2004). Legends of Alabama Football. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 75. ISBN 1-58261-277-3. 
  4. ^ Stoddard, Tom (2000). Turnaround: Bear Bryant's 1st Year at Alabama. Black Belt Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-880216-89-7. 
  5. ^ "1955 Alabama football schedule". RollTide.com. University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Land, Charles (September 25, 1955). "Rice rallies in final period to top Tide, 20–0". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives). p. 10. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 1955 Season Recap
  8. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Rice". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 7, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Vandy rolls over Bama, 21–6". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives). October 2, 1955. p. 8. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Horton in 44-yard TD run as Vandy bops Bama 21–6". St. Petersburg Times (Google News Archives). Associated Press. October 2, 1955. p. 3C. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  11. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Vanderbilt". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c Land, Charles (October 9, 1955). "TCU throttles Alabama, 21–0". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives). p. 10. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  13. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Texas Christian". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ "T. C. U. overcomes Alabama, 21 to 0". The New York Times (nytimes.com). Associated Press. October 9, 1955. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c d Land, Charles (October 16, 1955). "Tennessee topples Crimson Tide for 20–0 win". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives). p. 10. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b c "Vols defeat Alabama by 20–0 count". The Miami News (Google News Archives). Associated Press. October 16, 1955. p. 6D. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  17. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Tennessee". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c d e Land, Charles (October 23, 1955). "State spoils Tide homecoming in 26–7 win". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives). p. 13. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "Maroons belt Alabama, jump into title race". St. Petersburg Times (Google News Archives). Associated Press. October 23, 1955. p. 3C. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  20. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Mississippi State". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f Land, Charles (October 30, 1955). "Georgia storms over Tide, 35–14". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives). p. 12. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b c d Butler, Vernon (October 30, 1955). "Georgia wallops 'Bama". The Florence Times (Google News Archives). p. 12. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  23. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Georgia". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c d e Bassett, Norman (November 6, 1955). "Tulane Greenies smash Tide in 27–7 victory". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives). p. 13. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  25. ^ a b c "Tulane Greenies throttle Alabama Crimsons, 27–7". Rome News-Tribune (Google News Archives). November 6, 1955. p. 12. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  26. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Tulane". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  27. ^ a b c d e "Tech hands Tide eleventh loss in a row". The Miami News (Google News Archives). November 13, 1955. p. 3D. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  28. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Georgia Tech". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  29. ^ a b c d e f Warner, Ralph (November 19, 1955). "'Bama puts U-M in mood for U-F". The Miami News (Google News Archives). p. 1B. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  30. ^ a b c d e Land, Charles (November 19, 1955). "Scarnecchia paces Hurricanes to 34–12 victory over the Tide". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives). p. 1. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  31. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Miami (FL)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b c d "Auburn rips Alabama in 26–0 game". The Daily Reporter (Google News Archives). November 27, 1955. p. 8. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  33. ^ a b c d Griffin, John Chandler (2001). "1955: Tubbs, Childress, James and Co. do it again". Alabama vs. Auburn: Gridiron Grudge Since 1893. Athens, Georgia: Hill Street Press. pp. 148–150. ISBN 1-58818-044-1. 
  34. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Auburn". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  35. ^ "All-Time Tide Football Lettermen". 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Record Book. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Athletics Media Relations Office. 2011. pp. 127–141. 
  36. ^ "All-Time Assistant Coaches". 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Record Book. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Athletics Media Relations Office. 2011. pp. 142–143.