1921 Alabama Crimson Tide football team

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1921 Alabama Crimson Tide football
Alabama Crimson Tide football team (1921).jpg
Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1921 record 5–4–2 (2–4–2 SIAA)
Head coach Xen C. Scott (3rd year)
Assistant coach Hank Crisp
Captain Al Clemens
Home stadium Denny Field
Rickwood Field
Seasons
← 1920
1922 →
1921 SIAA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Georgia Tech + 4 0 0     8 1 0
Georgia + 6 0 1     7 2 1
Vanderbilt + 5 0 1     7 0 1
Tennessee 4 1 1     6 2 1
Florida 4 1 2     6 3 2
Mississippi College 3 1 1     7 2 1
Sewanee 4 2 0     6 2 0
Furman 4 2 1     7 2 1
LSU 2 1 1     6 1 1
Transylvania 2 1 0     4 4 0
Auburn 3 2 0     5 3 0
The Citadel 2 2 1     3 3 2
Mississippi A&M 2 3 1     4 4 1
Tulane 3 4 0     4 6 0
Alabama 2 4 2     5 4 2
Oglethorpe 2 4 0     5 4 0
Mercer 2 5 0     3 6 0
Chattanooga 1 3 0     4 6 0
Louisville 0 1 0     2 2 1
Kentucky 0 2 1     4 3 1
Millsaps 0 3 1     0 3 1
Ole Miss 0 3 0     3 6 0
Georgetown (KY) 0 3 0     2 6 0
Wofford 0 3 0     2 7 0
Clemson 0 4 2     1 6 2
Howard 0 5 0     3 6 0
  • + – Conference co-champions

The 1921 Alabama Crimson Tide football team (variously "Alabama", "UA" or "Bama") represented the University of Alabama in the 1921 college football season. It was the Crimson Tide's 28th overall and 25th season as a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA). The team was led by head coach Xen C. Scott, in his third year, and played their home games at Denny Field in Tuscaloosa and at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. They finished the season with a record of five wins, four losses and two ties (5–4–2 overall, 2–4–2 in the SIAA).

In the opener, Alabama spotted Howard a 14–0 first-quarter lead before they rallied and won, 34–14. After a victory over Spring Hill in their second game, the Crimson Tide outscored Marion Military Institute and Bryson College by a combined 150–0 over their next two games en route to a 4–0 start to open the season. The fast start did not translate to winning for the remainder of the season as they lost four of their next five games.

In their first Rickwood Field game of the season, the Crimson Tide was shut out by Sewanee and followed the loss with a tie against LSU in their first road game of the season at New Orleans. Alabama returned to Rickwood in their next game, where they were shut out by Vanderbilt, followed by losses to Florida on homecoming in Tuscaloosa and then to Georgia at Atlanta. After they tied Mississippi A&M in their final home game of the year, Alabama upset Tulane at New Orleans and prevented their first losing season since 1903.

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent Site Result Attendance
September 24 Howard Denny FieldTuscaloosa, AL W 34–14   2,000
October 1 Spring Hill* Denny Field • Tuscaloosa, AL W 27–7    
October 8 Marion Military Institute* Denny Field • Tuscaloosa, AL W 55–0    
October 12 Bryson College* Denny Field • Tuscaloosa, AL W 95–0    
October 22 Sewanee Rickwood FieldBirmingham, AL L 0–17   7,500
October 29 at LSU Heinemann ParkNew Orleans, LA (Rivalry) T 7–7   4,000
November 5 Vanderbilt Rickwood Field • Birmingham, AL L 0–14    
November 11 Floridadagger Denny Field • Tuscaloosa, AL L 2–9   5,000
November 19 at Georgia Ponce de Leon ParkAtlanta, GA L 0–22    
November 24 Mississippi A&M Rickwood Field • Birmingham, AL (Rivalry) T 7–7    
December 3 at Tulane Second Tulane Stadium • New Orleans, LA W 14–7   4,000
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming.
  • Source: Rolltide.com: 1921 Alabama football schedule[1]

Game summaries[edit]

Howard[edit]

Howard at Alabama
1 2 3 4 Total
Howard 14 0 0 0 14
Alabama 0 13 21 0 34
  • Date: September 24
  • Location: Denny Field
    Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Game attendance: 2,000

As they had lost several starters from the previous season, Alabama entered their season opener against Howard (now known as Samford University) with much uncertainty.[3] Against the Bulldogs, the Crimson Tide trailed 14–0 after the first quarter, but rallied with 34 unanswered points and won 34–14.[2][4] Early in the first, Howard scored both of their touchdowns on fumble returns on successive Alabama possessions; the first came on a 60-yard and second on a 30-yard return.[2] The 14–0 deficit marked the first time Alabama ever trailed Howard at the end of the first quarter in the history of their series.[2]

Alabama responded in the second with a pair of 25-yard touchdown runs first by Lelias Kirby and then by Max Rosenfeld that made the halftime score 14–13.[2] The Crimson Tide then closed the game with three touchdowns in the third quarter that made the final score 34–14. Rosenfeld scored on runs of five and ten-yards and Charles Bartlett scored on a six-yard run.[2] The victory improved Alabama's all-time record against Howard to 10–0.[5]

Spring Hill[edit]

Spring Hill at Alabama
1 2 3 4 Total
Spring Hill 0 7 0 0 7
Alabama 0 7 7 13 27
  • Date: October 1
  • Location: Denny Field
    Tuscaloosa, AL

In what was their first all-time game against Spring Hill College, Alabama defeated the Badgers 27–7 at Denny Field.[4][6][7] After a scoreless first quarter that saw the Badgers drive to the one-foot line of the Crimson Tide before a turnover on downs, each team scored a second quarter touchdown that made the halftime score 7–7.[6] Poc Little scored first for the Crimson Tide on a five-yard run and the Badgers' Walet intercepted a Tom Newton pass and returned it 55-yards and tied the game 7–7 at halftime.[6] Alabama then closed the game with three one-yard touchdown runs and won 27–7. The first was by L. O. Wesley in the third and by Max Rosenfeld and William C. Baty in the fourth.[6]

Marion Military Institute[edit]

Marion Military Institute at Alabama
1 2 3 4 Total
Marion 0 0 0 0 0
Alabama 0 20 21 14 55
  • Date: October 8
  • Location: Denny Field
    Tuscaloosa, AL

Against Marion, Alabama shutout the Cadets 55–0 at Tuscaloosa for their third consecutive win to open the season.[4][8] Touchdowns were scored four times by Max Rosenfeld, twice by William C. Baty and once each by Al Clemens and Virgil Hawkins.[8] The victory improved Alabama's all-time record against Marion to 8–0.[9]

Bryson College[edit]

Against Bryson College (merged with Erskine College in 1929), coach Scott played two separate backfields in a game for the first time.[10] In the only game ever played between the schools, Alabama was dominant in a 95–0 victory at Tuscaloosa.[4][11][12] Touchdowns were scored three times by Max Rosenfeld and Al Clemens, twice by William C. Baty, Poc Little and Virgil Hawkins and once each by George Baker, Lewis and W. S. "Country" Oliver.[11] The 95 points remain the second most scored in a single game in the history of Alabama football behind a 110 performance against the Marion Military Institute to open the 1921 season.[10]

Sewanee[edit]

Sewanee at Alabama
1 2 3 4 Total
Sewanee 3 0 7 7 17
Alabama 0 0 0 0 0
  • Date: October 22
  • Location: Rickwood Field
    Birmingham, AL
  • Game attendance: 7,500

In the first Rickwood Field game of the season, the Sewanee Tigers shutout Alabama 17–0 for their first loss of the season.[4][13][14] After an early Al Clemens fumble gave Sewanee good field position, Fletcher Skidmore gave the Tigers an early 3–0 lead with his 40-yard field goal in the first quarter.[13][14] Both teams then played strong defense and the Tigers' maintained their slim lead into halftime.[13] Bauman scored on a short touchdown run that capped a 70-yard drive in the third quarter and extended their lead to 10–0.[13][14] William Coughlan then made the final score 17–0 with his short touchdown run in the fourth quarter.[13][14] The loss was the final one that the Crimson Tide ever lost to the Tigers and brought Alabama's all-time record against Sewanee to 4–10–2.[15]

LSU[edit]

Alabama at LSU
1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 0 7 0 7
LSU 0 0 0 7 7
  • Date: October 29
  • Location: Heinemann Park
    New Orleans, LA
  • Game attendance: 4,000

After their loss to Sewanee, Alabama scrimmaged both Cullman High School and Tuscaloosa High School as part of their preparation for their first road game of the season.[17] At Heinemann Park in New Orleans, Alabama tied LSU 7–7 after the Tigers scored a late touchdown in the fourth quarter.[4][16] After a defensive struggle in the first half, Alabama scored the first points of the game in the third quarter. The touchdown came on a three-yard Hulet Whitaker run that capped a 65-yard drive.[16] Clarence Ives then tied the game late in the fourth quarter on a short touchdown run.[16] Although the game ended in a tie, the Crimson Tide dominated play as they made 23 first downs as compared to LSU's six.[4] The tie brought Alabama's all-time record against LSU to 5–3–1.[18]

Vanderbilt[edit]

Touchdown photographed from the side, with fans in an end-zone grandstand
Lynn Bomar as he scored his first quarter touchdown for Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt at Alabama
1 2 3 4 Total
Vanderbilt 7 0 0 7 14
Alabama 0 0 0 0 0
  • Date: November 5
  • Location: Rickwood Field
    Birmingham, AL

As they entered their game against Vanderbilt, the Alabama team had much uncertainty of the outcome as the Commodores were undefeated.[21] Played at Birmingham, Alabama was able to play with Vanderbilt, but fell short in this 14–0 loss.[4][19][20] Midway through the first quarter, the Commodores took a 7–0 lead on a short Lynn Bomar touchdown run.[19][20] The score remained the same through the fourth quarter when a Paul Stumb interception set up the final Vanderbilt scoring drive. Jess Neely then led the Commodores downfield where Rupert Smith made the final score 14–0 with his three-yard touchdown run.[19][20] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Vanderbilt to 1–6.[22]

Florida[edit]

Florida at Alabama
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida 6 0 0 3 9
Alabama 0 0 2 0 2
  • Date: November 11
  • Location: Denny Field
    Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Game attendance: 5,000

On homecoming in Tuscaloosa, the Florida Gators upset the Crimson Tide 9–2 at Denny Field.[4][23] Florida took a 6–0 lead on a 12-yard run by either Ark Newton or Ferdinand H. Duncan in the first quarter.[23] After a scoreless second, Alabama scored their only points in the third after L. O. Wesley blocked a Newton punt that was recovered by Newton for a safety.[23] The Gators then made the final score 9–2 on a 20-yard Newton field goal in the fourth quarter.[23] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Florida to 1–1.[24]

Georgia[edit]

Alabama at Georgia
1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 7 0 0 15 22
  • Date: November 19
  • Location: Ponce de Leon Park
    Atlanta, GA

Playing in rainy, muddy conditions at Atlanta, the Crimson Tide lost their third consecutive game to the Georgia Bulldogs 22–0.[4][25][26] After each team fumbled the ball on successive possessions, the Bulldogs scored their first touchdown on a six-yard James Reynolds run in the first quarter.[25][26] The score remained 7–0 through the fourth quarter when Georgia closed the game with 15 points in the final period. First, Hugh Whelchel blocked a Charles Bartlett punt that Bartlett recovered for a safety.[25][26] James Spicer and Teany Randall then scored on short touchdown runs that capped a pair of long drives and made the final score 22–0.[25][26] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Georgia to 4–9–3.[27]

Mississippi A&M[edit]

Mississippi A&M at Alabama
1 2 3 4 Total
Miss. A&M 0 0 7 0 7
Alabama 0 7 0 0 7
  • Date: November 24
  • Location: Rickwood Field
    Birmingham, AL

In their final home game of the season, Alabama tied the Mississippi A&M (now known as Mississippi State University) Aggies 7–7 on Thanksgiving at Rickwood Field.[4][28] After a scoreless first quarter, Alabama took a 7–0 lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Hulet Whitaker to Charles Bartlett.[28] C. B. Cameron then tied the game 7–7 with his 55-yard punt return in the third quarter.[28] Each team had opportunities to win late in the game, but failed to convert on each occasion. The tie brought Alabama's all-time record against Mississippi A&M to 8–4–2.[29]

Tulane[edit]

Alabama at Tulane
1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 0 0 14 14
Tulane 0 0 0 7 7
  • Date: December 3
  • Location: Second Tulane Stadium
    New Orleans, LA
  • Game attendance: 4,000

Alabama avoided their first losing season since the 1903 season after they defeated the Tulane Green Wave 14–7 in a game that featured a wild fourth quarter.[4][30][31] After the first three quarters were scoreless (Alabama once fumbling the ball away at Tulane's 3-yard line), the Green Wave scored early in the fourth and took a 7–0 lead.[30][31] Alabama answered with a 65-yard drive, capped with a 20-yard Charles Bartlett touchdown run that tied the game 7–7.[30][31] Later in the quarter, Alabama drove down the field and scored to take a 14–7 lead on a second Bartlett touchdown run.[30][31] As the clocked wound down in the final seconds, Tulane had the ball at the Alabama 40 yard line. The Green Wave then appeared to score a game-tying touchdown on a 40-yard pass completion. However, the referee ruled that time had expired as he had blown the whistle before Tulane snapped the ball.[30][31] The Tulane fans rioted and stormed the field and the referee required a police escort to escape.[30][31] The victory improved Alabama's all-time record against Tulane to 9–3–1.[32]

Personnel[edit]

Varsity letter winners[edit]

Line[edit]

Player Hometown Position Games
started
Prep school Height Weight Age
George Baker Cleveland, Ohio Tackle
J. E. Blackwood Birmingham, Alabama Guard
Al Clemens Scottsboro, Alabama End
Ernest Cooper St. Stephens, Alabama Tackle
Clayton H. Hudson Montgomery, Alabama End
Ben Hunt Scottsboro, Alabama Guard
William Milner Kelly Birmingham, Alabama End
William Gabriel Montgomery Birmingham, Alabama Tackle
Tom Newton Birmingham, Alabama End

Backfield[edit]

Player Hometown Position Games
started
Prep school Height Weight Age
Charles Bartlett Marlin, Texas Halfback
William C. Baty Bessemer, Alabama Halfback
J. H. Emmett Albertville, Alabama Halfback
Jack Hovater Russellville, Alabama Back 190
Lelias E. Kirby Albertville, Alabama Halfback
Max Rosenfeld Birmingham, Alabama Quarterback
Lester Thomas Birmingham, Alabama Fullback

Other[edit]

Player Hometown Position
William Almon Manager

[33]

Coaching staff[edit]

Name Position Seasons at
Alabama
Alma Mater
Xen C. Scott Head coach 3
Hank Crisp Assistant coach 1 VPI (1920)
William T. Van de Graaff Assistant coach 1 Alabama (1916)

[34]

References[edit]

General

Specific

  1. ^ "1921 Alabama football schedule". RollTide.com. University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved March 1, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Freeman, Jack (September 25, 1921). "Baptist boys lose first to Alabama". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. p. 2. 
  3. ^ "University opens season Saturday". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. September 23, 1921. p. 2. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l 1921 Season Recap
  5. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Samford (AL)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "Spring Hill holds fast in first half and then loses to Alabama in fierce football struggle". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. October 2, 1921. p. 9. 
  7. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Spring Hill (AL)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c "State university has easy sailing". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. October 9, 1921. p. 7. 
  9. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Marion Military Institute (AL)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Kordic, p. 136
  11. ^ a b "Alabama piles up score on Bryson". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. October 16, 1921. p. 8. 
  12. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Bryson". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Sewanee Tiger breaks up Thin Red Line and wins an easy game". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. October 23, 1921. p. 11. 
  14. ^ a b c d e "Sewanee beats Alabama". The New Orleans Item. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. October 23, 1921. 
  15. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Sewanee (TN)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c d Schwam, Walter (October 30, 1921). "Ives' star work gives LSU 7–7 tie with Alabama". The New Orleans Item. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. p. 4. 
  17. ^ "Crimson eleven is determined to win". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. October 29, 1921. p. 3. 
  18. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs LSU". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b c d "Vanderbilt winner over Alabama team". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. November 6, 1921. p. 7. 
  20. ^ a b c d "Vanderbilt wins over Alabama U.". The Times-Picayune. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. November 6, 1921. p. 12. 
  21. ^ "Hope and fear in Crimson hearts". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. November 4, 1921. p. 5. 
  22. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Vanderbilt (TN)". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b c d e "Florida upsets dope, winning from Alabama at very start". The Tampa Morning Tribune. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. November 12, 1921. p. 10. 
  24. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Florida". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b c d e "Alabama suffers defeat at hands of Georgians". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. November 20, 1921. p. 6. 
  26. ^ a b c d e Bell, Hunter (November 20, 1921). "Georgia humbles Alabama Crimson 22–0". The Macon Daily Telegraph. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. p. 3. 
  27. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Georgia". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b c d ""Thin red line" plays farmers no decision". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. November 25, 1921. p. 5. 
  29. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Mississippi State". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f g "Alabama springs surprise on Tulane in post-season". The Montgomery Advertiser. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. December 4, 1921. p. 6. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f g "Alabama defeats Tulane 14–7". The Times-Picayune. NewsBank: America's Historical Newspapers. December 4, 1921. 
  32. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Tulane". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  33. ^ "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. 
  34. ^ "All-Time Assistant Coaches". 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Record Book. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Athletics Media Relations Office. 2011. pp. 142–143.