1903 Clemson Tigers football team

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1903 Clemson Tigers football
1903 Clemson Tigers football team (Oconeean 1904).png
SIAA co-champion
Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1903 record 4–1–1 (4–0–1 SIAA)
Head coach John Heisman
Offensive scheme Jump shift
Captain Hope Sadler
Home stadium Bowman Field
Seasons
« 1902 1904 »
1903 SIAA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Clemson + 4 0 1     4 1 1
Cumberland + 4 1 1     6 1 1
Sewanee + 5 1 0     7 1 0
Vanderbilt + 5 1 1     6 1 1
Mississippi A&M 2 0 2     3 0 2
Texas 1 0 1     5 1 2
Georgia 3 2 0     3 4 0
Mississippi 1 1 1     2 1 1
Kentucky State 0 0 0     7 1 0
Alabama 3 4 0     3 4 0
Auburn 2 3 0     4 3 0
Tennessee 2 4 0     4 5 0
Georgia Tech 1 4 0     2 5 0
Tulane 0 1 1     2 2 1
Texas A&M 0 1 0     7 3 1
Mercer 0 1 0     0 1 0
Davidson 0 1 0     1 4 0
Nashville 0 2 0     2 2 0
LSU 0 4 0     4 5 0
  • + – Conference co-champions

The 1903 Clemson Tigers football team represented the Clemson Tigers of Clemson Agricultural College during the 1903 college football season. The team was a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) and played all its games on the road, compiling a 4–1–1 record.

Most notably, the team competed in an early conference championship game, tying Cumberland 11–11 in the contest. This is John Heisman's last season coaching Clemson. The Tigers thrashed Georgia Tech 73–0, leading to Heisman's later job-offer at Tech. The season's one loss was administered by North Carolina.

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent Site Result
October 10 at Georgia Herty FieldAthens, GA (Rivalry) W 29–0  
October 17 3:30 p. m. at Georgia Tech Atlanta, GA (Rivalry) W 73–0  
October 28 vs. North Carolina A&M Columbia, SC (Textile Bowl) W 24–0  
November 14 at North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC L 6–11  
November 21 at Davidson Latta ParkCharlotte, NC W 24–0  
November 26 vs. Cumberland Montgomery, AL (SIAA Championship Game) T 11–11  
*Non-conference game.

[1]

Season summary[edit]

Week 1: at Georgia[edit]

The season opened with a defeat of the Georgia Bulldogs 29 to 0. Clemson fumbled on a number of plays.[2]

The starting lineup was Sitton (left end), Forsythe (left tackle), McKeown (left guard), Garrison (center), Derrick (right guard), Cogburn (right tackle), Sadler (right end), Maxwell (quarterback), Furtick (left halfback), Wood (right halfback), Hanvey (fullback).[2]

Week 2: at Georgia Tech[edit]

Clemson at Georgia Tech
1 2 Total
Clemson 51 22 73
Ga. Tech 0 0 0

The Bulldogs offered Clemson a bushel of apples for every point over 29 it scored against rival Georgia Tech. Clemson would win 73 to 0, leading to Heisman's later job at Tech.[3] Sitton had to sit out the game.[4]

Jock Hanvey

Clemson as a team rushed for 615 yards, and fullback Jock Hanvey rushed for 104 yards in the first half.[5] The first score came on a 20-yard run by Hanvey.[6]

The starting lineup was Ellison (left end), Cogburn (left tackle), Derrick (left guard), Garrison (center), Forsythe (right guard), McKeown (right tackle), Sadler (right end), Maxwell (quarterback), Furtick (left halfback), Wood (right halfback), Hanvey (fullback).[6]

Week 3: North Carolina A&M[edit]

In the third week of play, North Carolina A&M was beaten by Clemson 24 to 0. Clemson used many trick plays.[7] Oliver Gardner played for A&M.

Week 4: at North Carolina[edit]

Clemson at North Carolina
1 2 Total
Clemson 6 0 6
UNC 11 0 11

The North Carolina Tar Heels handed Clemson its only loss of the season, 11–6. Carolina's Newton scored first, with a bloody nose.[8] He also scored the second touchdown. Clemson had one touchdown by Johnny Maxwell called back due to an offside penalty.[8]

The starting lineup was Sitton (left end), Cogburn (left tackle), Derrick (left guard), Garrison (center), Forsythe (right guard), McKeown (right tackle), Sadler (right end), Maxwell (quarterback), Wood (left halfback), Furtick (right halfback), Hanvey (fullback).[8]

Week 5: at Davidson[edit]

Clemson at Davidson
1 2 Total
Clemson 18 6 24
Davidson 0 0 0

Clemson won easily over Davidson 24–0. One writer noted "Clemson playing against eleven wooden men, would attract attention."[9] Carl Sitton had a 60-yard touchdown run.[9]

The starting lineup was Sitton (left end), Cogburn (left tackle), Derrick (left guard), Garrison (center), Forsythe (right guard), McKeown (right tackle), Sadler (right end), Maxwell (quarterback), Wood (left halfback), Furtick (right halfback), Hanvey (fullback).[9]

Postseason[edit]

"SIAA championship game"[edit]

Clemson vs. Cumberland
1 2 Total
Clemson 0 11 11
Cumberland 11 0 11

Clemson tied Cumberland 11–11 in a game billed as the "SIAA Championship Game." Cumberland rushed out to an early 11 to 0 lead. Wiley Lee Umphlett in Creating the Big Game: John W. Heisman and the Invention of American Football writes, "During the first half, Clemson was never really in the game due mainly to formidable line play of the Bridges brothers–giants in their day at 6 feet 4 inches–and a big center named "Red" Smith, was all over the field backing up the Cumberland line on defense. Clemson had been outweighed before, but certainly not like this."[10]

Quarterback John Maxwell returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

A contemporary account reads "The Clemson players seemed mere dwarfs as they lined up for the kickoff. To the crowd on the sidelines it didn't seem that Heisman's charges could possibly do more than give a gallant account of themselves in a losing battle."[10] A touchdown was scored by fullback E. L. Minton (touchdowns were worth 5 points).[11] Guard M. O. Bridges kicked the extra point. Halfback J. A. Head made another touchdown, but Bridges missed the try. After halftime, Clemson quarterback John Maxwell raced 100 yards for a touchdown. Clemson missed the try. Cumberland fumbled a punt and Clemson recovered. Cumberland expected a trick play when Fritz Furtick simply ran up the middle and scored.[12] One account of the play reads "Heisman saw his chance to exploit a weakness in the Cumberland defense: run the ball where the ubiquitous Red Smith wasn't. So the next time Sitton started out on one of his slashing end runs, at the last second he tossed he ball back to the fullback who charges straight over center (where Smith would have been except that he was zeroing in on the elusive Sitton) and went all the way for he tying touchdown."[10] Jock Hanvey kicked the extra point and the game ended in an 11–11 tie.

Fritz Furtick

The winning team was to be awarded the ball. Captain W. W. Suddarth of Cumberland wanted captain Hope Sadler of Clemson to get the ball, and Sadler insisted Suddarth should have it. Some ten minutes of bickering was resolved when the ball was given to patrolman Patrick J. Sweeney, for warning the media and fans to stay down in front and allow spectators to see the game.[12] Heisman pushed for Cumberland to be named SIAA champions at year's end[13] and the school claims a share of the title.[14][15] It was Heisman's last game as Clemson head coach.[16]

Marvin Bridges and Clemson players Jock Hanvey and Jack Forsythe all coached at Florida colleges the next season. Bridges coached at the University of Florida at Lake City, and Forsythe was the head coach of the Florida State College with Hanvey as his assistant. Forsythe went on in 1906 to be the first coach of the Florida Gators.

The starting lineup was Sitton (left end), Cogburn (left tackle), Derrick (left guard), Garrison (center), Forsythe (right guard), McKeown (right tackle), Sadler (right end), Maxwell (quarterback), Wood (left halfback), Furtick (right halfback), Hanvey (fullback).[17]

Personnel[edit]

Depth chart[edit]

The following chart provides a visual depiction of Clemson's lineup during the 1903 season with games started at the position reflected in parenthesis. The chart mimics the offense after the jump shift has taken place.

LE
Carl Sitton (4)
Gil Ellison (1)
LT LG C RG RT
H. L. Cogburn (4) Puss Derrick (1) W. D. Garrison (5) Pee Wee Forsythe (4) J. A. McKeown (4)
Pee Wee Forsythe (1) J. A. McKeown (1) Puss Derrick (1) H. L. Cogburn (1)
RE
Hope Sadler (5)
 
QB
John Maxwell (5)
RHB
Fritz Furtick (3)
L. S. Wood (2)
FB
Jock Hanvey (5)
LHB
L. S. Wood (3)
Fritz Furtick (2)

Line[edit]

Player Position Games
started
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
H. L. Cogburn left tackle
Puss Derrick left guard Chapin, South Carolina 195
Jack Forsythe right tackle Brevard, North Carolina
W. D. Garrison center
J. A. McKeown right guard
Hope Sadler right end York Co., South Carolina 154
Carl Sitton left end Pendleton, South Carolina 5'10" 170

Backfield[edit]

Player Position Games
started
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
Fritz Furtick left halfback Sandy Run, South Carolina 170
Jock Hanvey fullback Abbeville Co., South Carolina
John Maxwell quarterback
L. S. Wood right halfback

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/clemson/1903-schedule.html
  2. ^ a b "Clemson Tigers Win In A Walk". The Atlanta Constitution. October 11, 1903. p. 6. Retrieved May 9, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  3. ^ Mandle Parrish (October 31, 2000). "Clemson-Georgia Tech Series". 
  4. ^ http://www.clemsontigers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=210404499
  5. ^ Foster Senn (October 17, 1987). "This Day in Tiger Football". Clemson University Football Programs - Clemson vs Duke: 81. 
  6. ^ a b "Tech Slaughtered By Clemson Tigers". The Atlanta Constitution. October 18, 1903. p. 7. Retrieved May 9, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  7. ^ "Eighteen To Naught". News and Observer. October 29, 1903. p. 1. Retrieved May 9, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  8. ^ a b c "For Carolina The Tide Has Turned". News and Observer. November 15, 1903. p. 1. Retrieved May 5, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  9. ^ a b c "Clemson Defeats Davidson". The Charlotte Observer. November 22, 1903. p. 5. Retrieved May 9, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  10. ^ a b c Wiley Lee Umphlett. Creating the Big Game: John W. Heisman and the Invention of American Football. p. 67. 
  11. ^ Sam Blackman (December 15, 2014). "Clemson's "First Bowl Game"". 
  12. ^ a b Lou Sahadi. "24. 1903 Game With Cumberland". 100 Things Clemson Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. 
  13. ^ Langum, David J. From Maverick to Mainstream: Cumberland School of Law, 1847-1997. p. 95. 
  14. ^ "Football". 
  15. ^ "Cumberland Blues". May 17, 2013. 
  16. ^ John M. Heisman. Heisman: The Man Behind The Trophy. p. 138. 
  17. ^ "Clemson Tigers Tie Cumberland". The Atlanta Constitution. p. 1. Retrieved May 9, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read