1924 Florida Gators football team

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1924 Florida Gators football
Fleming Field 1920s.jpg
A field goal on Fleming Field
Conference Southern Conference
1924 record 6–2–2 (2–0–1 2nd SoCon)
Head coach James Van Fleet
Assistant coach Tom Sebring
Captain Ark Newton
Home stadium Fleming Field
Uniform
20Gatorsuniform.png
Seasons
« 1923 1925 »
1924 Southern Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Alabama $ 5 0 0     8 1 0
Florida 2 0 1     6 2 2
Georgia 5 1 0     7 3 0
Tulane 4 1 0     8 1 0
Washington and Lee 4 1 1     6 3 1
Mississippi A&M 3 2 0     5 4 0
Sewanee* 3 2 0     6 4 0
South Carolina 3 2 0     7 3 0
Virginia 3 2 0     5 4 0
Georgia Tech 3 2 1     5 3 1
Vanderbilt* 3 3 0     6 3 1
VPI 2 2 3     4 2 3
VMI 2 3 1     6 3 1
North Carolina 2 3 0     4 5 0
Kentucky 2 3 0     4 5 0
Maryland 1 2 1     3 3 3
Auburn 2 4 1     4 4 1
NC State 1 4 1     2 4 2
LSU 0 3 0     5 4 0
Ole Miss 0 3 0     4 5 0
Clemson 0 3 0     2 6 0
Tennessee 0 4 0     3 5 0
  • $ – Conference champion
  • * – co-member of SIAA

The 1924 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida during the 1924 college football season. This was Major James Van Fleet's second and final year as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. Van Fleet's 1924 Florida Gators finished 6–2–2 overall,[1] and 2–0–1 in the Southern Conference, placing second of twenty-two teams in the conference standings.[2]

The Gators traveled further during the 1924 season than any other college football team in the country, and received national recognition for a controversial tie with Texas Longhorns and the close loss to Army. The season also involves a tie with southern power Georgia Tech.

Before the season[edit]

More than 100 players took part in the game between the varsity and freshmen.[3]

A 4-month old Florida black bear captured by a freshman wandered onto the field on October 1. Some fan placed a Gator banner on its back, and it never caused much trouble.[4][5]

Schedule and results[edit]

Date Opponent Site Result Attendance
October 4 Rollins* Fleming FieldGainesville, Florida W 77–0    
October 11 at Georgia Tech Grant FieldAtlanta, Georgia T 7–7    
October 18 Wake Forest Plant FieldTampa, Florida W 34–0    
October 25 at Texas* Clark FieldAustin, Texas T 7–7    
November 1 Florida Southern* Fleming Field • Gainesville, Florida W 27–0    
November 8 at Army* Michie StadiumWest Point, New York L 7–14    
November 14 at Mercer* Macon, Georgia L 0–10   6,000
November 22 vs. Mississippi A&M Cramton BowlMontgomery, Alabama W 27–0    
November 27 Drake* Fleming Field • Gainesville, Florida (HC) W 10–0    
December 6 Washington & Lee Barrs Field • Jacksonville, Florida W 16–6    
*Non-conference game.

Primary source: 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide.[1]

Season summary[edit]

Week 1: Rollins[edit]

Week 1: Rollins at Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
Rollins 0 0 0 0 0
Florida 6 21 28 22 77

At the "newly completed"[6] Fleming Field in Gainesville the Gators rolled up a 77–0 score on the Rollins Tars. The game was played mostly in the rain.[7] Every man on the Gator squad saw playing time. Owen Pittman scored three touchdowns; Tiny Chaplin, Ark Newton, Spic Stanley, and Bob Brumby scored two each, and Dick Brown scored one. Chaplin contributed a field goal. Newton had five extra points; Brown two, and Brumby one.[7]

The starting lineup for the Gators against Rollins: Todd (left end), Williams (left tackle), Norton (left guard), Cornwall (center), Goldstein (right guard), Davis (right tackle), Oosterhoudt (right end), Murphree (quarterback), Newton (left halfback), Brown (right halfback), Chaplin (fullback).[7]

Week 2: at Georgia Tech[edit]

Week 2: Florida at Georgia Tech
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida 0 7 0 0 7
Ga. Tech 7 0 0 0 7

The Gators and Bill Alexander's Georgia Tech Golden Tornado fought to a 7–7 tie, the second tie with Tech in two years.

Within the first few minutes, Tech scored when Gus Merkle launched at Edgar C. Jones, causing him to crash into the approaching Cy Williams and fumble. Doug Wycoff picked it up and ran 35 yards for the score.[8] Florida once fumbled at Tech's 1-yard line. Again the Gators drove to the goal, and a Jones to Ark Newton pass tied the game.

The starting lineup for the Gators against Georgia Tech: Lightsey (left end), Williams (left tackle), Norton (left guard), Cornwall (center), Goldstein (right guard), Smith (right tackle), Oosterhoudt (right end), Jones (quarterback), Newton (left halfback), Brown (right halfback), Middlekauff (fullback).[9]

Florida football c. 1924

Week 3: Wake Forest[edit]

Week 3: Wake Forest at Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
Wake 0 0 0 0 0
Florida 7 7 13 7 34

On Plant Field in a drizzling rain, Florida defeated the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 34–0, a surprising score.[10][11] Fullback Tiny Chaplin was the star of the day; as well as the forward passes of captain Ark Newton, Edgar C. Jones on punt returns, and Cy Williams in the line.[12] Bill Middlekauff was kept out of the lineup due to injures sustained versus Tech.[13]

The starting lineup for the Gators against Wake: Lightsey (left end), Williams (left tackle), Norton (left guard), Cornwall (center), Goldstein (right guard), Smith (right tackle), Merrin (right end), Jones (quarterback), Newton (left halfback), Brown (right halfback), Chaplin (fullback).[12]

Week 4: at Texas[edit]

Week 4: Florida at Texas
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida 7 0 0 0 7
Texas 0 7 0 0 7

Both Florida and the Texas Longhorns faced one of their season's stiffest tests when the Gators traveled to Austin.[14][15] The game ended a 7–7 draw, and was a controversial one.

Van Fleet explained that Texas coach Doc Stewart did not like Florida's former coach William G. Kline, and thus accused Florida of harboring a pro team, demanding verification of ages and accusing Ark Newton of being a professional.[6] Florida scored on an illegal play which went unnoticed, a pass from Edgar Jones to Spec Lightsey, who had lined up at tackle. Texas scored on the last of the first half, after the clock had run out already and officials ruled to give Texas another play.[6]

Week 5: Florida Southern[edit]

Upon return from the Texas game the Gators got some time off practice to attend the circus in town.[16] Mostly reserves defeated the Florida Southern Moccasins 27–0.[17]

The starting lineup for the Gators against Southern: Lightsey (left end), Williams (left tackle), Peter (left guard), Cornwall (center), Goldstein (right guard), Davis (right tackle), Merrin (right end), Murphee (quarterback), Pittman (left halfback), Brown (right halfback), Chaplin (fullback).[17]

Week 6: at Army[edit]

Week 6: Florida at Army
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida 0 0 7 0 7
Army 7 0 0 7 14

The Gators traveled to West Point to play coach John McEwan's Army Cadets and lost 14 to 7. The close loss was felt bitterly. The Gators were expected to lose 16 to 0.[18]

Army's Harry Wilson scored the first touchdown. Ark Newton ran the second half kickoff for a 102-yard touchdown.[19] A second third quarter Gator touchdown was waved off, and Army scored in the final moments to evade the tie.[20]

Coach Van Fleet kvetched about the officiating favoring his alma mater: "I hate to say it but they robbed us. Twice we scored, our backs pushing across the goal line, but the officials would not blow the whistle until our boys were pushed back...Then, later in the game on an important play, Bill Middlekauff was clipped right in front of our bench, and they did not call it. He was clipped so severely it broke his left leg. It was a disgrace." Of Newton's kick return, Van Fleet said thereby Newton "carved his name in the football hall of fame."[6]

Week 7: at Mercer[edit]

Week 7: Florida at Mercer
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida 0 0 0 0 0
Mercer 7 0 0 3 10
  • Date: November 15
  • Location: Macon, GA
  • Game attendance: 6,000

The Gators returned south, and after much travel (over 5,000 miles in three weeks), coach Stanley L. Robinson's Mercer Bears defeated Florida 10 to 0. Mercer's Crook Smith starred.[21] The touchdown came on a dextrous twist, catch, and run by Kid Cecil.[21]

The game caused Morgan Blake, sportswriter for the Atlanta Journal, to remark "the Mercer Alumni would do well to name their children after "Crook" Smith and Sid Ellison."[21]

Week 8: vs. Mississippi A&M[edit]

Week 8: Mississippi A&M vs. Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
Miss. A&M 0 0 0 0 0
Florida 0 6 0 21 27

Bitter after the untimely loss to Mercer and last year's tie with Mississippi A&M, the Gators unleashed their second win in the state of Alabama when they defeated coach Earl Abell's Mississippi Aggies 27–0 in Montgomery.[22]

After a scoreless first quarter, Dick Brown and Spic Stanley led the Gator attack from the backfield.

Week 9: Drake[edit]

Week 9: Drake at Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
Drake 0 0 0 0 0
Florida 0 0 10 0 10
  • Date: November 27
  • Location: Fleming Field
    Gainesville, FL
  • Referee: Ted Arnold

At homecoming,[23] Florida's ability to break up passes and hot weather helped the Gators to a 10–0 intersectional victory over the Drake Bulldogs.[24] Florida's Dick Brown was the game's standout performer.[25] Florida had eight first downs and Drake seven.[26]

Photo of Drake-Florida game.

Scores came on a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Brown and a 25-yard Ark Newton field goal from placement.[26]

The starting lineup for the Gators against Drake: Oosterhoudt (left end), Williams (left tackle), Norton (left guard), Sarra (center), Goldstein (right guard), Stewart (right tackle), Merrin (right end), Jones (quarterback), Newton (left halfback), Brown (right halfback), Chaplin (fullback).[26]

Week 10: Washington & Lee[edit]

Week 10: Washington & Lee at Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
W&L 0 6 0 0 6
Florida 3 7 0 6 16

The Gators defeated coach James DeHart's Washington & Lee Generals 16–6 in Jacksonville. Jacksonville natives Edgar C. Jones and Dick Brown ran well; and Ark Newton punted 13 times for an average of 55 yards. Florida made numerous substitutions in the fourth quarter.[27] Neither team had before suffered a conference loss, and the win secured Florida a second place finish.[28]

The starting lineup for the Gators against Washington & Lee: Rose (left end), Williams (left tackle), Norton (left guard), Sarra (center), Goldstein (right guard), Smith (right tackle), Merrin (right end), Jones (quarterback), Brown (left halfback), Newton (right halfback), Chaplin (fullback).[27]

Postseason[edit]

Edgar C. Jones

Awards and honors[edit]

Goldy Goldstein and Edgar C. Jones made composite All-Southern.

Van Fleet's departure[edit]

The U.S. Army transferred Van Fleet to the Panama Canal Zone after the 1924 season, and he would later become a regimental, divisional and corps commander during World War II and the commander of all United States and United Nations armed forces during the Korean War.

Players[edit]

Line[edit]

Starters[edit]

  • Sam Cornwall, center
  • Goldy Goldstein, guard
  • Spec Lightsey, end
  • Joe Merrin, end
  • Clyde Norton, guard
  • Frank Oosterhoudt, end
  • J. R. Rose, end
  • Lamar Sarra, center
  • Horse Smith, tackle
  • Jack Stewart, guard
  • Cy Williams, tackle

Subs[edit]

  • W. F. "Stonebruise" Anderson, guard
  • Ralph Champlain, tackle
  • Clyde Davis, tackle
  • Cadillac Harry, tackle
  • Carl Price, guard
  • Ezra Raasch, tackle
  • Edgar Todd, end
  • Wilson, end

Backfield[edit]

Captain Newton.

Starters[edit]

Subs[edit]

  • Bob Brumby, quarterback
  • George Merrin, halfback
  • Owen Pittman, halfback
  • Spic Stanley, halfback[29]

Coaching staff[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 107–108 (2015). Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  2. ^ 2009 Southern Conference Football Media Guide, Year-by-Year Standings, Southern Conference, Spartanburg, South Carolina, p. 74 (2009). Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  3. ^ "Gator Varsity Defeats Frosh". St. Petersburg Times. September 30, 1924. 
  4. ^ "Nice Black Bear May Help Florida Gators As Mascot During the Football Season". Miami Tribune. October 4, 1924. p. 8. Retrieved September 2, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  5. ^ http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001624/00011/1x?vo=
  6. ^ a b c d McEwen, Tom, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama (1974). ISBN 0-87397-025-X.
  7. ^ a b c "Gators Drown Rollins Tars". St. Petersburg Times. October 5, 1924. 
  8. ^ Associated Press (October 12, 1924). "Yellow Jackets Tie With Gators". The Index-Journal. p. 6. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  9. ^ "Missed Field Goals Cost Each Team Win". Miami Tribune. October 12, 1924. p. 11. Retrieved September 2, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  10. ^ Damon Runyon (October 22, 1924). "Additional Sports". Miami Tribune. p. 12. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  11. ^ "Deacon Hopes Killed By 'Gator". The Daily Times. October 21, 1924. p. 2. Retrieved September 22, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  12. ^ a b "Miamian Is Big Star Florida's 34-0 Victory". Miami Tribune. October 19, 1924. p. 14. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  13. ^ "'Gators May Lac Star Plunger In Battle at Tampa". The Evening Independent. October 16, 1924. 
  14. ^ "Stiffest Test For Longhorsn To Be In Florida Game". The Waco News-Tribune. October 22, 1924. p. 9. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  15. ^ "Florida Is Expecting To Have Hard Battle". Miami Tribune. October 25, 1924. p. 5. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  16. ^ Virgil M. Newton (October 31, 1924). "Circus Cuts Practice Session Quite Short". Miami Tribune. p. 12. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  17. ^ a b Virgil M. Newton (November 2, 1924). "Pittman and Chaplin Star For Winning Team". Miami Tribune. p. 18. Retrieved June 25, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  18. ^ Larry Daily (November 8, 1924). "Grid Forecast". The Decatur Herald. p. 5. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  19. ^ "100 Things About 100 Years of Gator Football". 
  20. ^ Michael Haskew. West Point 1915: Eisenhower, Bradley, and the Class the Stars Fell On. p. 107. 
  21. ^ a b c "Alligators Surprised By Ferocious Bruins". Mercer Cluster (8). November 21, 1924. 
  22. ^ Associated Press (November 24, 1924). "Florida Alligators Beat Mississippi". The Bee. p. 10. Retrieved September 3, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  23. ^ "Will No. 13 be Jinx To Gator Saturday". The Evening Independent. October 30, 1936. 
  24. ^ "Drake Travels Long Way To Get Florida Licking". Chicago Tribune. November 28, 1924. 
  25. ^ "Florida Beats Drake". Joplin Globe. November 28, 1924. p. 6. Retrieved September 2, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  26. ^ a b c "Drake Eleven Is Defeated By Florida U.". Cedar Rapids Republican. November 28, 1924. p. 9. Retrieved September 2, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  27. ^ a b "Florida "Gators" Beat Their Old Rival, The Generals, 16-6". The Bee. December 8, 1924. p. 8. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  28. ^ Associated Press (December 7, 1924). "Florida 'Gators Trounce Washington And Lee Team". Galveston Daily News. p. 15. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  29. ^ "Gator's Who Who Is Book of State's Gridiron Stars". The Evening Independent. November 1, 1924.