1917 Florida Gators football team

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1917 Florida Gators football
Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1917 record 2–4 (1–3 11th SIAA)
Head coach Alfred L. Buser
Assistant coach Rex Farrior
Captain Artie Fuller, Rowdy Bill Wilkinson
Uniform
1910sfloridauniform.png
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 4 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
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 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida during the 1917 college football season. The season was Alfred L. "Al" Buser's first of three as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. The 1917 season was a disappointment. Buser's 1917 Florida Gators completed their football season with an SIAA conference record of 1–3[1] and an overall record of 2–4.[2]

Before the season[edit]

Coach Buser was a former All-American lineman for the Wisconsin Badgers, and promised to bring a Midwestern power football style of play to revive the Gators after the winless 1916 season.[3] Captain "Rowdy Bill" Wilkinson was the team's only returning letterman.[4]

Schedule and results[edit]

Date Opponent Site Result
October 13 South Carolina University Field • Gainesville, Florida W 21–13  
October 20 Tulane University Field • Gainesville, Florida L 0–52  
October 27 Florida Southern* University Field • Gainesville, Florida W 19–7  
November 3 at Auburn Drake FieldAuburn, Alabama L 0–68  
November 17 Clemson Jacksonville, Florida L 7–55  
November 29 at Kentucky* Stoll FieldLexington, Kentucky L 0–52  
*Non-conference game.

Primary source: 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide.[2]

Season summary[edit]

South Carolina[edit]

South Carolina at Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
South Carolina 0 7 0 6 13
Florida 0 0 21 0 21

On opening day, Florida came from behind with three touchdowns in the third quarter to beat South Carolina 21–13, the season's only Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) victory.[3]

The starting lineup was Clemmons (left end), Wurtrich (left tackle), Connell (left guard), Wells (center), Swink (right guard), Brannon (right tackle), Thomas (right end), Fuller (quarterback), Wilkinson (left halfback), Ball (right halfback), Lightsey (fullback).[3]

Tulane[edit]

Tulane at Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
Tulane 7 20 18 6 51
Florida 0 0 0 0 0

Tulane overwhelmed the Gators 52–0,[5] several times skirting the ends for long gains.[6] The Gators were frequently penalized for offsides and hurdling.[6]

The starting lineup was Clemmons (left end), Wurtrich (left tackle), Connell (left guard), Wells (center), Otto (right guard), Brannon (right tackle), Thomas (right end), Fuller (quarterback), Wilkinson (left halfback), Ball (right halfback), Lightsey (fullback).[5]

Florida Southern[edit]

Florida Southern at Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
Southern 0 0 7 0 7
Florida 6 0 6 7 19

The Gators extended their winning streak over the Florida Southern Moccasins to four games, winning 19–7.[7] After the first ten minutes, Florida replaced its backfield with second-string men.[7]

The starting lineup was Clemmons (left end), Wutrich (left tackle), Swink (left guard), Dye (center), Cornell (right guard), Brannon (right tackle), Thomas (right end), Fuller (quarterback), Marshall (left halfback), Leifeste (right halfback), Lightsey (fullback).[7]

Auburn[edit]

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

Florida endured its sixth-straight loss to coach Mike Donahue's Auburn team. The Plainsmen had their biggest win on the season over Florida, 68–0.[8]

The starting lineup was Clemmons (left end), Wutrich (left tackle), Connell (left guard), Dye (center), Otto (right guard), Brannon (right tackle), Thomas (right end), Fuller (quarterback), Wilkinson (left halfback), Ball (right halfback), Fernald (fullback).[8]

Clemson[edit]

Clemson at Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
Clemson 21 7 20 7 55
Florida 0 0 0 7 7

Clemson defeated the Gators 55–7.[9] Florida's only score came on a forward pass, Loomis to Thomas.[9]

The starting lineup was Clemmons (left end), Wutrich (left tackle), Connell (left guard), Dye (center), Otto (right guard), Brannon (right tackle), Thomas (right end), Loomis (quarterback), Wilkinson (left halfback), Ball (right halfback), Lightsey (fullback).[9]

Kentucky[edit]

Florida at Kentucky
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida 0 0 0 0 0
Kentucky 13 13 20 6 52

On Thanksgiving, in the school's first-ever game against the Kentucky Wildcats, Florida lost 52–0.[10] Kentucky used its substitutes by the second half.[11]

The starting lineup was Clemmons (left end), Wuthrich (left tackle), Connell (left guard), Dye (center), Gunn (right guard), Brannon (right tackle), Thomas (right end), Loomis (quarterback), Wilkinson (left halfback), Ball (right halfback), Fernald (fullback).[10]

Personnel[edit]

Line[edit]

Player Position Games
started
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
Cutie Brannon Tackle 6 Gainesville 5'7" 170 21
Gordon Clemmons End 6 Plant City 5'10" 140 19
Harvey Connell Guard 6 Orlando 6'0" 180 19
Colonel Dye Center 4 Bradentown 5'11" 170 19
Rat Paul Hayman End Punta Gorda 5'7" 150 21
P. C. Swink Guard, tackle 2 Spartanburg, SC 5'10" 155 20
Clarence Thomas End 6 Gainesville 5'11" 160 18
Fats Wuthrich Tackle 6 Brewster 5'8" 170 20

Backfield[edit]

Player Position Games
started
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
Heinie Ball Halfback 5 Sanford 5'5" 155 20
Billy Canova Quarterback Lake City 5'6" 150 19
Fernie Fernald Fullback 2 Tarpon Springs 5'9" 155 18
Horace Loomis Quarterback 2 Plant City 5'9" 135 19
Alf Marshall Halfback 1 Clearwater 5'7" 145 21
Rowdy Bill Wilkinson Halfback 5 Gainesville 5'8" 145 25

Coaching staff[edit]

  • Head coach: Al Buser
  • Manager: W. E. Stone
  • Assistant managers: E. B. Casler, J. W. Dalton[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roger Saylor, "Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association," College Football Historical Society, The LA84 Foundation (1993). Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  2. ^ a b 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 107 (2015). Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Gators Smash Carolina Defense And Win Brilliant 21-13 Victory". The Florida Alligator. October 17, 1917. 
  4. ^ University of Florida, p. 73
  5. ^ a b c "Tulane Swamps The Alligators". The Florida Alligator. October 24, 1917. 
  6. ^ a b "Tulane 52, Florida 0.". The Atlanta Constitution. October 21, 1917. p. 4. Retrieved July 26, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  7. ^ a b c d "Southern Puts Up A Stiff Fight But Gators Prove Too Strong". The Florida Alligator. October 31, 1917. 
  8. ^ a b c "Auburn Had Little Trouble Defeating The Light Gator Eleven". The Florida Alligator. November 7, 1917. 
  9. ^ a b c d Roy L. Bishop (November 21, 1917). "Superior Weight of Clemson Eleven Enabled Them To Defeat Florida Team". The Florida Alligator. 
  10. ^ a b c "Florida Loses To Kentucky 52-0". The Florida Alligator. December 5, 1917. 
  11. ^ "State Wins Final Game". The Courier Journal. November 30, 1917. p. 7. Retrieved July 26, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  12. ^ University of Florida, pp. 72-77

Bibliography[edit]