1906 Florida football team
|1906 Florida Gators football|
|Head coach||Jack Forsythe|
|Offensive scheme||Minnesota shift|
|Captain||Thomas Guy Hancock|
The 1906 Florida football team was the first official varsity team fielded by the new University of the State of Florida (now known as the University of Florida); during the 1906 college football season. The team finished its inaugural season with a winning record of 5–3.
The 1906 Florida gridders were known as "Pee Wee's Boys" in honor of their coach, Jack "Pee Wee" Forsythe, a former Clemson Tigers lineman who played for coach John Heisman from 1901 to 1903.
- 1 Background
- 2 Schedule and results
- 3 Season summary
- 4 Players
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
Coach Forsythe employed the Minnesota shift and played on the team as an end. Florida has fielded a team every season since 1906, with the exception of 1943. During the early 1900s, the Florida football team competed in the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS), but was not affiliated with an athletic conference. The University of Florida did not adopt the "Florida Gators" nickname for its sports teams until 1911, and the early Florida football teams were known simply as "Florida" or the "Orange and Blue." The Florida football teams played their home games in a variety of locations, including the university's Gainesville, Florida campus.
Old FAC, pre 1905
After the Buckman Act in 1905, the modern University of Florida (still in Lake City) hired coach C. A. Holton and was ready to play its first season. The team played merely one half of football against the Julia Landon Institute of Jacksonville. The season was described by Tom McEwen as "lame duck, confusing, and troubled." Players were banned by Andrew Sledd from playing as they were behind in their studies.[n 1] The captain of the 1905 team was William M. Rowlett. Of all the players from the earlier predecessor teams of the Florida Gators, only tackle William Gibbs of the 1905 Lake City team is known to have played for the new university's team in Gainesville in the fall of 1906.[n 2]
At the end of 1905 football looked about to be abolished due to all of the reoccurring violence during games. Football was a sport that had degenerated into dangerous tactics such as: the flying wedge, punching, kicking, piling-on, and elbows to the face. Almost any violent behavior was allowed. Fatalities and injuries mounted during the 1905 season.[n 3]
As a result, the 1906 season was played under a new set of rules. The rules governing intercollegiate football were changed to promote a more open and less dangerous style of play. An intercollegiate conference, which would become the forerunner of the NCAA, approved radical changes including the legalization of the forward pass, allowing the punting team to recover an on-side kick as a live ball, abolishing the dangerous flying wedge, creating a neutral zone between offense and defense, and doubling the first-down distance to 10 yards, to be gained in three downs.
Schedule and results
|October 13||Gainesville Athletic Club||The Baseball Park • Gainesville, Florida||W 16–6|
|October 20||at Mercer||Central City Park • Macon, Georgia||L 0–12|
|October 26||3:15 p. m.||Rollins||The Baseball Park • Gainesville, Florida||W 6–0||150|
|November 2||Riverside Athletic Club||The Baseball Park • Gainesville, Florida||W 19–0|
|November 4||at Savannah Athletic Club||Savannah, Georgia||L 2–27|
|November 11||at Rollins||Winter Park, Florida||L 0–5|
|November 18?||at Athens Athletic Club||Athens, Georgia||W 10–0|
|November 30?||at Riverside Athletic Club||Jacksonville, Florida||W 39–0|
Primary source: 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide.
Gainesville A. C.
The University of Florida beat the Gainesville Athletic Club 16–6, the Gainesville team scoring on a fumble recovery in the second half.
In the second week of play, coach E. E. Tarr started Mercer's early winning streak over Florida with a 12–0 win. Florida played its first game in Macon. A fumble changed the momentum of the second half. Mercer's Dickey ran 40 yards around right end for the touchdown.
The starting lineup was Clarke (left end), Neilson (left tackle), Earman (left guard), Barrs (center), Wissen (right guard), Rodder (right tackle), Graham (right end), Thompson (quarterback), Forsyth (left halfback), Corbett (right halfback), Hancock (fullback).
"Pee Wee's Boys" beat the Rollins College Tars 6–0 in their first intercollegiate game played in Gainesville, Florida on October 26, 1906. The game was played on a baseball field just north of where Florida Field is today.
Riverside A. C.
Florida beat the Riverside Athletic Club of Jacksonville 19–0. Shands scored by catching a 15-yard forward pass. The goal was kicked by Forsythe. Hancock also scored a touchdown, and Gibbs snuffed out a trick play. Florida scored once more in the second half.
Savannah A. C.
Athens A. C.
Athens Athletic Club fell to Florida 10–0.
Riverside A. C.
Florida again beat Riverside Athletic Club 39–0.
|J. B. Earman||end|
|Pee Wee Forsythe||end|
|R. M. Whidden||guard|
|Roy Corbett||right halfback|
|Thomas Guy Hancock||fullback|
|Jim Shands||left halfback|
|T. C. Thompson||quarterback|
|A. C. Bennett|
|D. S. Bryan|
|H. B. Coe|
|A. I. Roe|
- Also, a state championship with Stetson never materialized due to disputes over location. It was scheduled to take place in Palatka.
- Forsythe himself said 2 men returned from the team of 1905.
- Union College halfback Harold Moore died of a cerebral hemorrhage after being kicked in the head while attempting to tackle an NYU runner. The Chicago Tribune referred to the 1905 football season as a "death harvest", as it resulted in 19 player deaths and 137 serious injuries.
- Carlson, pp. 7-11
- 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 107 (2015). Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- Horne, p. 105
- McEwen, p. 43
- Clemson Tigers Football, All-Time Starters, 1896–1905. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- 2008 Clemson Football Media Guide, Former Head Coaches, Clemson Athletic Department, Clemson, South Carolina, p. 170 (2008). Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- McEwen, p. 39
- McEwen, p. 34
- McEwen, pp. 36–37
- J. H. Forsythe (November 9, 1906). "Foot Ball at the University". The University News. Retrieved July 21, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Football Year's Death Harvest: Record Shows That Nineteen Football Players Have been Killed in 1905". November 26, 1905. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
- McEwen, p. 38
- "Football Rules Made At Last". Salt Lake Herald. April 2, 1906. p. 7.
- "Football". The University News. October 19, 1906. p. 4. Retrieved July 21, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Mercer Wins From Florida". The Atlanta Constitution. October 21, 1906. p. 1. Retrieved July 21, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "The First Game With Rollins". The University News. November 9, 1906. Retrieved July 15, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Mercer Football Historical Notes".
- "University on the Gridiron". The University News. January 5, 1907. p. 1. Retrieved July 21, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Universiy Defeated Rollins". Gainesville Daily Sun. October 27, 1906. Retrieved July 21, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- McCarthy, p. 12
- Mike Bynum. The Greatest Moments of Florida Gators Football. p. 2.
- "No. 95 - FLORIDA 6, ROLLINS 0
- "Foot Ball Game". The University News. November 9, 1906. p. 2. Retrieved July 21, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "University Victorious". Gainesville Daily Sun. November 5, 1906. p. 7. Retrieved July 21, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- McEwen, p. 40
- Rajtar, Steve (1 January 2007). "A Guide to Historic Gainesville". The History Press – via Google Books.
- "[No title]". The Ocala Evening Star. November 13, 1906. p. 2. Retrieved July 21, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- McEwen, p. 41
- Sandspur, Vol. 13 No. 01, 1907
- "Florida history: To travel forward with clarity, we must know where we've been".
- Carlson, Norm (2007). University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators. Atlanta, Georgia: Whitman Publishing, LLC.
- Horne, Larry E. (2012). Florida Gators IQ. ISBN 1-4499-8947-0.
- McCarthy, Kevin M (2000). Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
- McEwen, Tom (1974). The Gators: A Story of Florida Football. Huntsville, Alabama: The Strode Publishers. ISBN 0-87397-025-X.