1917 Auburn Tigers football team

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1917 Auburn Tigers football
AuburnTigers.svg
Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1917 record 6–2–1 (5–1 SIAA)
Head coach Mike Donahue
Base defense 7–2–2
Captain Carey Robinson
Home stadium Drake Field
Seasons
« 1916 1918 »
1917 SIAA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Georgia Tech $ 4 0 0     9 0 0
Auburn 5 1 0     6 2 1
Clemson 5 1 0     6 2 0
Mississippi A&M 3 1 0     6 1 0
Sewanee 3 1 1     4 2 2
Alabama 2 1 1     5 2 1
Tulane 2 1 0     5 3 0
Vanderbilt 3 2 0     5 3 0
LSU 2 3 0     3 5 0
Wofford 1 2 0     5 4 0
South Carolina 1 3 0     3 5 0
Furman 1 3 0     3 5 0
Florida 1 3 0     2 4 0
Ole Miss 1 4 0     1 4 1
Howard 0 2 1     0 2 1
The Citadel 0 2 0     3 3 0
Mississippi College 0 4 0     0 4 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • There were several SIAA schools that did not field a team due to World War I.

The 1917 Auburn Tigers football team represented Auburn University in the 1917 college football season. It was the Tigers' 26th season and they competed as a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA). The team was led by head coach Mike Donahue, in his 13th year, and played their home games at Drake Field in Auburn, Alabama. They finished with a record of six wins, two losses and one tie (6–2–1 overall, 5–1 in the SIAA).

Led by Walter Camp All-America Honorable Mention Moon Ducote, Auburn lost its two games to Davidson and Georgia Tech, widely regarded as the two best teams in the south.[1] Georgia Tech was the south's first national champion. Auburn held undefeated Big Ten champion Ohio State to a scoreless tie.

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent Site Result
October 6 Howard Drake FieldAuburn, AL W 53–0  
October 13 Camp Sheridan* Montgomery, AL W 13–0  
October 19 at Clemson Riggs FieldClemson, SC W 7–0  
October 27 Mississippi A&M Rickwood FieldBirmingham, AL W 13–6  
November 3 Florida Drake Field • Auburn, AL (Rivalry) W 68–0  
November 10 vs. Davidson* Atlanta, GA L 7–21  
November 17 at Vanderbilt Dudley Field • Nashville, TN W 31–7  
November 24 Ohio State* Soldiers Field • Montgomery, AL T 0–0  
November 29 at Georgia Tech Grant Field • Atlanta, GA (Rivalry) L 7–68  
*Non-conference game.
  • Source: 1917 Auburn football schedule[2][3]

Season summary[edit]

Howard[edit]

The season opened with a 53–0 defeat of Howard.

Camp Sheridan[edit]

In the second week of play, the Tigers beat Camp Sheridan 13–0.

Clemson[edit]

Auburn at Clemson
1 2 3 4 Total
Auburn 7 0 0 0 7
Clemson 0 0 0 0 0

Auburn beat Clemson on Riggs Field 7–0, in a close game. Ducote starred for Auburn and Stumpy Banks starred for Clemson.[4]

Auburn's starting lineup was Ducote (left end), Caton (left tackle), Samford (left guard), Rogers (center), Warren (right guard), Bonner (right tackle), Styles (right end), Robinson (quarterback), Donahue (left halfback), Creel (right halfback), Revington (fullback).[4]

Mississippi A&M[edit]

Mississippi A&M at Auburn
1 2 3 4 Total
Miss. A&M 6 0 0 0 6
Auburn 0 7 6 0 13

Auburn won a tough game with the Mississippi Aggies, winning 13–6. The Aggies score when their tackle, Horton, picked up a fumble and ran 95 yards for a touchdown.[5]

Auburn's starting lineup was Styles (left end), Caton (left tackle), Sizemore (left guard), Rogers (center), Warren (right guard), Bonner (right tackle), Gibson (right end), Ducote (quarterback), Donahue (left halfback), Trapp (right halfback), Revington (fullback).[5]

Florida[edit]

Florida at Auburn
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida 0 0 0 0 0
Auburn 14 19 21 14 68

Auburn's biggest win was 68–0 over Florida.[6]

Auburn's starting lineup was Creel (left end), Styles (left tackle), Sizemore (left guard), Caton (center), Warren (right guard), Bonner (right tackle), Gibson (right end), Ducote (quarterback), Donahue (left halfback), Trapp (right halfback), Revington (fullback).[6]

Davidson[edit]

Davidson vs. Auburn
1 2 3 4 Total
Davidson 0 7 7 7 21
Auburn 0 0 7 0 7
  • Date: November 10
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Referee: Lewis (Virginia)

Davidson, led by Buck Flowers, beat the Tigers 21–7 in an upset, one of the greatest in Southern history.[7][8] Flowers returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown, caught a pass for a second touchdown, set up a third touchdown with an 85-yard return to Auburn's two-yard line, and kicked all three extra points for the Wildcats. He also prevented Auburn from scoring with a tackle at the goal line.[9]

Auburn's starting lineup was Esslinger (left end), Styles (left tackle), Sizemore (left guard), Caton (center), Warren (right guard), Bonner (right tackle), Gibson (right end), Robinson (quarterback), Donahue (left halfback), Ducote (right halfback), Revington (fullback).[7]

Vanderbilt[edit]

Auburn at Vanderbilt
1 2 3 4 Total
Auburn 6 6 13 6 31
Vanderbilt 0 0 0 7 7

The Tigers defeated Dan McGugin's Vanderbilt Commodores 31–7.[10]

Auburn's starting lineup was Gibson (left end), Styles (left tackle), Sizemore (left guard), Caton (center), Warren (right guard), Bonner (right tackle), Creel (right end), Robinson (quarterback), Donahue (left halfback), Ducote (right halfback), Revington (fullback).[10]

Ohio State[edit]

Ohio State at Auburn
1 2 3 4 Total
Ohio St. 0 0 0 0 0
Auburn 0 0 0 0 0

Auburn held undefeated Big Ten champion Ohio State to a scoreless tie less than a week before the Tech game.[12] Ohio State, led by Chic Harley, had been favored 4 or 5 to 1.[13] Coach John Heisman (who previously coached at Auburn) and his players were at the game, rooting for the Tigers.[14] Auburn stopped Ohio State inside its 10-yard line five times.[15]

Auburn's starting lineup was Creel (left end), Styles (left tackle), Sizemore (left guard), Caton (center), Warren (right guard), Bonner (right tackle), Gibson (right end), Robinson (quarterback), Donahue (left halfback), Ducote (right halfback), Revington (fullback).[11]

Georgia Tech[edit]

Auburn at Georgia Tech
1 2 3 4 Total
Auburn 0 0 0 7 7
Ga. Tech 20 13 21 14 68

In the season's final game, Georgia Tech, for year's considered the South's greatest, Auburn 68–7. Tech piled up 472 yards on the ground in 84 rushes and 145 yards in the air.[17] Joe Guyon scored four touchdowns,[17] and Everett Strupper had a 65-yard touchdown run. According to the Atlanta Journal,

It was not the length of the run that featured it was the brilliance of it. After getting through the first line, Stroop was tackled squarely by two secondary men, and yet he squirmed and jerked loosed from them, only to face the safety man and another Tiger, coming at him from different angles. Without checking his speed Everett knifed the two men completely, running between them and dashing on to a touchdown.[17]

In the second quarter, Moon Ducote broke through the line toward the goal with blocking by Pete Bonner and William Donahue. After Guyon dove at Ducote and missed, Guyon gave chase and tackled him at the 26-yard line.[16] For Auburn's only score Ducote circled around end for 17 yards and lateraled to Donahue, who ran down the sideline for a six-yard touchdown.[14] Guyon was the star of the game,[18] accounting for four touchdowns and having his best day passing.[17] Strupper had touchdown runs of 62 and 50 yards.[17] Auburn's starting lineup was Gibson (left end), Martin (left tackle), Sizemore (left guard), Caton (center), Warren (right guard), Bonner (right ackle, Styles (right end), Robinson (quarterback), Donahue (left halfback), Ducote (right halfback), Revington (fullback)[16]

Postseason[edit]

Despite the lopsided loss to Tech, Auburn was considered a strong team. Ducote and Bonner were the only non-Tech, unanimous All-Southern selections.[19] Coach Donahue later said that Ducote was "undoubtedly the best ever."[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bernie McCarty (February 1988). "Georgia Tech's 1917 backfield, better than Four Horsemen" (PDF). College Football Historical Society. 1 (3). 
  2. ^ 2009 Auburn Football Media Guide (PDF). Auburn, Alabama: Auburn Media Relations Office. 2009. p. 185. 
  3. ^ "1917 Auburn University Football Schedule". Auburn University Athletics. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Clemson Tigers Lose To Auburn Plainsmen". The Atlanta Constitution. October 20, 1917. p. 14. Retrieved May 24, 2016.  open access publication - free to read
  5. ^ a b c "The Plainsmen Have Tough Game". The Atlanta Constitution. October 28, 1917. p. 3. Retrieved May 24, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  6. ^ a b c "Auburn Had Little Trouble Defeating The Light Gator Eleven". The Florida Alligator. November 7, 1917. 
  7. ^ a b c Dick Jemison (November 11, 1917). "Ralph Flowers, Demon Halfback, Defeats Auburn". Atlanta Constitution – via Newspapers.com.  Part 1 Part 2 open access publication - free to read
  8. ^ "Wildcat Origin". Archived from the original on May 2, 2016. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Renowned Athlete Buck Flowers Dies". Sumter Daily Item. April 11, 1983. p. 3A. 
  10. ^ a b c "Vady Beaten By Plainsmen; Count 31 to 7". The Atlanta Constitution. November 18, 1917. p. 3. Retrieved May 24, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  11. ^ a b "Auburn Tigers Play Ohio State To Scoreless Tie". November 25, 1917. p. 3. Retrieved July 12, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  12. ^ "1917 Auburn Tigers". 
  13. ^ Heisman & Schlabach 2012, p. 160
  14. ^ a b Heisman, John M.; Schlabach, Mark (2012). Heisman: The Man Behind The Trophy. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 161. ISBN 978-1-4516-8291-5. 
  15. ^ Phillip Marshall. Stadium Stories: Auburn Tigers. p. 12. 
  16. ^ a b c "Golden Tornado Wins Great Victory" (PDF). The Technique. December 4, 1917. p. 4. 
  17. ^ a b c d e McCarty, Bernie (May 1988). "Georgia Tech's 1917 backfield, better than the Four Horsemen: Part 2" (PDF). College Football Historical Society Newsletter. 1 (4): 16–17. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 2, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Georgia Tech Defeats Auburn Eleven 68 to 7". Greensboro Daily News. November 30, 1917. p. 13. Archived from the original on May 2, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  19. ^ Spalding Football Guide. 1918. 
  20. ^ see Gridiron Gasps, The Tuscaloosa News, January 10, 1933.