1927 Florida Gators football team

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1927 Florida Gators football
Conference Southern Conference
1927 record 7–3 (5–2 SoCon)
Head coach Harold Sebring (3rd season)
Offensive scheme Notre Dame Box
Captain Bill Middlekauff
Home stadium Fleming Field
Uniform
20Gatorsuniform.png
Seasons
← 1926
1928 →
1927 Southern Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Georgia Tech + 7 0 1     8 1 1
Tennessee + 5 0 1     8 0 1
NC State + 4 0 0     9 1 0
Vanderbilt 5 0 2     8 1 2
Georgia 6 1 0     9 1 0
Florida 5 2 0     7 3 0
Ole Miss 3 2 0     5 3 1
Virginia 4 4 0     5 4 0
Clemson 2 2 0     5 3 1
Alabama 3 4 1     5 4 1
LSU 2 3 1     4 4 1
Mississippi A&M 2 3 0     5 3 0
Washington and Lee 2 3 0     4 4 1
VPI 2 3 0     5 4 0
Maryland 2 3 0     4 7 0
South Carolina 2 4 0     4 5 0
VMI 2 4 0     6 4 0
Tulane 2 5 1     2 5 1
North Carolina 2 5 0     4 6 0
Sewanee 1 4 0     2 6 0
Kentucky 1 5 0     3 6 1
Auburn 0 6 1     0 7 2
  • + – Conference co-champions

The 1927 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida in the sport of American football during the 1927 Southern Conference football season. The season was Harold Sebring's third and last season as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. After suffering a 0–12 upset loss at the hands of the Davidson College Wildcats, the Gators rallied to defeat the Auburn Tigers 33–6, defeating the Tigers for the first time and ending a six-game losing streak, and to upset coach Wallace Wade's Alabama Crimson Tide 13–6. Sebring's 1927 Florida Gators finished 7–3 overall, and 5–2 in the Southern Conference, placing sixth of twenty-two teams in the conference standings.[1][2]

The loss to Davidson featured captain Frank Oosterhoudt, who was later declared ineligible, and replaced at captain by Bill Middlekauff.[3][4] With Middlekauff at captain, the Gators suffered just two further losses: to conference co-champions NC State; and to Georgia's "Dream and Wonder team". NC State was led by Hall of Famer and Gainesville native Jack McDowall.

Before the season[edit]

The 1926 season was the worst since the war. "The wolves began to clamor for Sebring's scalp as the 1926 season ended" wrote Pete Norton.[5] With several newcomers, Sebring organized an Orange and Blue game.[6]

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent Site Result Attendance
September 24 Florida Southern* Fleming FieldGainesville, Florida W 26–7  
October 1 Davidson* Fleming Field • Gainesville, Florida L 0–12   7,000
October 8 at Auburn Drake FieldAuburn, Alabama W 33–6  
October 15 Kentucky Barrs FieldJacksonville, Florida W 27–6   10,000
October 23 North Carolina State Plant FieldTampa, Florida L 6–12  
October 30 Mercer* Fleming Field • Gainesville, Florida (HC) W 32–6   9,000
November 6 Georgia Barrs Field • Jacksonville, Florida L 0–28   16,000
November 12 at Alabama Cramton BowlMontgomery, Alabama W 13–6  
November 24 Washington & Lee Barrs Field • Jacksonville, Florida W 20–7   12,000
December 3 Maryland Barrs Field • Jacksonville, Florida W 7–6   2,000
*Non-conference game.

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

Season summary[edit]

Captain Middlekauff.

Week 1: Florida Southern[edit]

The first game of the season occurred on September 24 at Fleming Field in Gainesville. The Gators defeated Florida Southern 26–7.

Week 2: Davidson[edit]

The second week brought the low point of the season–an upset by the Davidson Wildcats. Favored to win by two touchdowns and of superior weight, the Gators lost 12–0.[7] They came within scoring just once, held at the 1-yard line.[7] Despite a limp, Clyde Crabtree was twice sent into the game at crucial moments in hopes of a score.[7] In his first year on the varsity and with a broken wrist, Rainey Cawthon played against Davidson.[8]

On October 4, captain Frank Oosterhoudt was declared ineligible; his replacement by unanimous vote was Bill Middlekauff.[9][10][11]

Week 3: at Auburn[edit]

Spurred on by a new captain, the Gators traveled to Auburn and beat the rival Auburn Tigers for the first time 33–6. Bill Middlekauff and Clyde Crabtree were both cited as players of the game.[12] Everett Strupper was referee.[13] Crabtree scored two touchdowns and Middlekauff one Goof Bowyer made the first touchdown, a 44-yard run. Tommy Owens also had a touchdown. Auburn coach Dave Morey resigned.[14]

The Gators' freshmen team also beat Auburn's freshmen team that week.[15]

The starting lineup was: Hodges (left end), Bryan (left tackle), Allen (left guard), Kirschner (center), Reeves (right guard), Clemons (right tackle), Stanley (right end), Brumbaugh (quarterback), Bowyer (left halfback), Bishop (right halfback), Middlekauff (fullback).[13]

Week 4: Kentucky[edit]

Week 4: Kentucky at Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
Kentucky 0 6 0 0 6
Florida 7 0 13 7 27
  • Date: October 15, 1927
  • Location: Fairfield Stadium
    Jacksonville, FL
  • Game attendance: 10,000

The Gators avenged last year's loss to the Kentucky Wildcats with a 27–6 victory in Jacksonville, outplaying the Wildcats in all but the second quarter.[16] Carl Brumbaugh was sidelined with an injury.[17]

Florida's first touchdown came after some six minutes of play when Bill Middlekauff went over. Florida's final touchdown was on a triple-pass play of Middlekauff to Clyde Crabtree to Dale Van Sickel.[16] In the last half, the Gators made 17 first downs to Kentucky's 11.[18] Goof Bowyer scored a touchdown and drop kicked two extra points to seal the first victory over the Wildcats.[19]

The starting lineup was: DeHoff (left end), Bryan (left tackle), Reeves (left guard), Kirschner (center), Allen (right guard), Clemons (right tackle), Stanley (right end), Bowyer (quarterback), Beck (left halfback), Bishop (right halfback), Middlekauff (fullback).[20]

Week 5: North Carolina State[edit]

Week 5: North Carolina State at Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
NC State 0 0 0 12 12
Florida 0 0 0 6 6

In the fifth week of play, the Gators faced coach Gus Tebell's North Carolina State Wolfpack on Plant Field in Tampa, losing 12–6. Neither team scored until the final period.[21]

A drive brought the Wolfpack to the 3-yard line, the feature play of which was a 30-yard pass from their Hall of Fame captain, Gainesville native Jack McDowall to Childress. A pass from McDowall to Frank Goodwin got the score.[22] The Gators then began passing desperately in an attempt to win. A pass bounced off the hands of a Florida back and into McDowall's, who returned the ball 75 yards for the deciding score.[23] On the ensuing kickoff, Gator back Tommy Owens ran it back for an 88-yard touchdown.[22][24][25]

Since McDowall had been turned down by his native University of Florida, legend has it just afterwards he mailed Sebring the game ball.[26]

The starting lineup was: Van Sickel (left end), Bryan (left tackle), Allen (left guard), Kirschner (center), Reeves (right guard), Clemons (right tackle), Stanley (right end), Bowyer (quarterback), Beck (left halfback), Yancey (right halfback), Middlekauff (fullback).[22][27]

Week 6: Mercer[edit]

For homecoming, some 9,000[28] watched Florida beat the Mercer Bears 32–6. Rainey Cawthon once completed a 53-yard pass during the game. Florida's five touchdowns were scored by: Bill Middlekauff, Willie DeHoff, Cecil Beck, Spic Stanley, and Goof Bowyer. Mercer's Phoney Smith had a 65-yard touchdown run. Middlekauff made the first score of the contest.[29]

Week 7: Georgia[edit]

Week 7: Florida vs. Georgia
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 7 14 7 28
  • Date: November 5, 1927
  • Location: Barrs Field
    Jacksonville, FL
  • Game attendance: 16,000

The "Dream and wonder team" beat the Gators 28–0 after leading just 7 to 0 at the half. "It was made by Georgia's famous touchdown pass that later wrecked Alabama and had wrecked Yale. This pass started out like a cross buck but finished with Johnson having tossed the ball to McCrary over the goal line."[30]

Quarterback Goof Bowyer broke his leg in the game.[31] Middlekauff entered the game with an injury, and aggravated it further.[32]

The starting lineup was: Dehoff (left end), Bryan (left tackle), Allen (left guard), Kirchner (center), Reeves (right guard), Clemons (right tackle), Stanley (right end), Bowyer (quarterback), Brumbaugh (left halfback), Bishop (right halfback), Middlekauff (fullback).[22][30]

Week 8: at Alabama[edit]

Week 8: Florida at Alabama
1 2 3 4 Total
Florida 0 7 0 6 13
Alabama 0 0 0 6 6

The Gators upset coach Wallace Wade's Alabama Crimson Tide 13–6 in Montgomery.[33][34] Florida's yearbook remarked: "The South rocked under the great Orange and Blue victory." Clyde Crabtree returned a punt 95 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter.[35] Alabama's Molton Smith intercepted Crabtree's pass in the fourth quarter and ran for a 45-yard touchdown. After an Alabama penalty, Carl Brumbaugh ran across for the second and decisive touchdown.[35] Crabtree also had two 55-yard kickoff returns, and gained more from scrimmage that afternoon than did the Tide. Crabtree accounted for 271 yards.[35]

The starting lineup was: Stanley (left end), Bryan (left tackle), Allen (left guard), Kirschner (center), Reeves (right guard), Clemons (right tackle), Dehoff (right end), Van Sickle (quarterback), Crabtree (left halfback), Brumbaugh (right halfback), Middlekauff (fullback).[36]

Week 9: Washington & Lee[edit]

Before a crowd of some 12,000 in Jacksonville, Florida beat coach Pat Herron's Washington & Lee Generals 20–7. Dale Van Sickel scored Florida's three touchdowns. The Gators 75-piece band made the trip.[37]

The starting lineup was: VanSickel (left end), Dehoff (left tackle), Allen (left guard), Kirschner (center), Reeves (right guard), Clemons (right tackle), Stanley (right end), Crabtree (quarterback), Owens (left halfback), Brumbaugh (right halfback), Cawthon (fullback).[38]

Week 10: Maryland[edit]

Week 10: Maryland at Florida
1 2 3 4 Total
Maryland 0 6 0 0 6
Florida 0 7 0 0 7

In a cold and driving rain, a placekick for extra point by Dutch Stanley proved the difference in a 7–6 win over coach Curley Byrd's Maryland Terrapins. Six Gators played their final game.[39][40]

"Playing on a sodden field, unfamiliar to both teams,"[41] Florida scored after Clyde Crabtree returned a punt to Maryland's 38-yard line. He and Carl Brumbaugh worked the ball further towards the goal, and Bill Middlekauff carried it over the goal line in the captain's final game. Roberts of Maryland had a 38-yard touchdown run through tackle. The pass for extra point failed, however.[41]

The starting lineup was: Stanley (left end), Clemons (left tackle), Allen (left guard), Kirschner (center), Reeves (right guard), Bryan (right tackle), Van Sickel (right end), Crabtree (quarterback), Brumbaugh (left halfback), Bishop (right halfback), Middlekauff (fullback).[41]

Postseason[edit]

Goof Bowyer was elected captain for next year.[31] In no two seasons had Florida won as many conference contests as in 1927. Sebring resigned to get married and practice law.[42] He graduated from the university's College of Law in 1928, and later became a circuit court judge and chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court. Many sports commentators believe that the team that Sebring recruited for 1928 would become the greatest Gators football squad until at least the 1960s.

Players[edit]

Depth chart[edit]

The following chart provides a visual depiction of Florida's lineup during the 1927 season with games started at the position reflected in parenthesis. The chart mimics a Notre Dame Box on offense.

LE
Willie DeHoff (2)
Dutch Stanley (2)
Dale Van Sickel (2)
Hodges (1)
LT LG C RG RT
Joe Bryan (5) Chester Allen (6) Tubby Kirchner (7) Rip Reeves (6) Jus Clemons (6)
Jus Clemons (1) Rip Reeves (1) Chester Allen (1) Joe Bryan (1)
Willie DeHoff (1)
 
RE
Dutch Stanley (5)
Willie DeHoff (1)
Dale Van Sickel (1)
 
QB
Goof Bowyer (3)
Clyde Crabtree (2)
Carl Brumbaugh (1)
Dale Van Sickel (1)
RHB
Horse Bishop (4)
Carl Brumbaugh (2)
Harvey Yancey (1)
LHB
Cecil Beck (2)
Carl Brumbaugh (2)
Goof Bowyer (1)
Clyde Crabtree (1)
Tommy Owens (1)
FB
Bill Middlekauff (6)
Rainey Cawthon (1)

Line[edit]

Player Position Games
started
High school Height Weight Age
Chester Allen guard Lakeland 6'0" 185 23
Louis Bono center Duval 5'10" 178 22
Joe Bryan tackle Duval 5'11" 182 22
Jus Clemons tackle Plant City 6'0" 184 21
Donald DeHoff
Willie DeHoff end Spring Hill 6'0" 170 21
Goldy Goldstein guard Duval 6'3" 210 23
Hodges end
Tubby Kirchner center
Glenn Pless
Alex "Rip" Reeves guard Alabama 5'8" 184 21
Mills Smith
Dutch Stanley end Hillsborough 5'8" 181 21
Charlie Tucker
Dale Van Sickel end Gainesville 5'11" 170 19

Backfield[edit]

Player Position Games
started
High school Height Weight Age
Cecil Beck halfback
Horse Bishop halfback
Goof Bowyer quarterback Lakeland 5'10" 170 23
Carl Brumbaugh halfback West Milton 5'10" 164 20
Rainey Cawthon fullback Leon 5'11" 180 19
Clyde Crabtree quarterback J. Sterling Morton 5'8" 147 20
Tom "Bull" Fuller fullback
Royce Goodbread halfback St. Petersburg 6'0" 190 19
Bill Middlekauff fullback 6'2" 200 22
Tommy Owens halfback Quincy 5'11" 146 21
Speedy Walker halfback Hillsborough 133

Coaching staff[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived 2015-12-08 at the Wayback Machine., 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. ^ "Crimson Tide Big Favorite Over Florida". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. November 11, 1927. Retrieved March 15, 2015 – via Google news.  open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ "Grid Star Gets Good Study Mars". The Ogden Standard-Examiner. November 20, 1927. p. 17. Retrieved March 15, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ Pete Norton (December 23, 1934). "Sport Outlook". St. Petersburg Times. 
  6. ^ "U. of Florida Gators Finish Early Training". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. March 19, 1927. 
  7. ^ a b c "Davidson Surpasses Florida In Battle". The Index-Journal. October 2, 1927. p. 7. Retrieved September 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  8. ^ "Tau Banquets Sixteen Pledges". The Rattle of Theta Chi. 16 (2): 71. 
  9. ^ "[No title]". The Anniston Star. October 8, 1927. p. 2. Retrieved September 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  10. ^ "Gators Select New Grid Pilot". St. Petersburg Times. October 7, 1927. 
  11. ^ "Gator Mentor Grooms Kirchner For Center-Goodbread at Half". The Evening Independent. October 7, 1927. 
  12. ^ Everett Clay (November 21, 1935). "Gator Hoodoo Hovers Over Auburn-Works Seven Times In Eight". The Evening Independent. 
  13. ^ a b "Gators Romp Over Auburn In 33-6 Time". The Anniston Star. October 8, 1927. p. 16. Retrieved September 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  14. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 215
  15. ^ "Gator Varsity and Freshmen Practice After Double Wins". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. October 12, 1927. 
  16. ^ a b "Florida 'Gators Defeat Kentucky With Ease, 27 to 6". The Anniston Star. October 16, 1927. p. 8. Retrieved September 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  17. ^ "Brumbaugh Out of Grid Battle". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. October 14, 1927. 
  18. ^ John W. Dundon, Jr (October 21, 1927). "Florida 'Gators Annex Game By 27 to 6". The Kentucky Kernel. 
  19. ^ Norm Carlson (September 21, 2006). "Rivalries and Series: Florida-Kentucky". 
  20. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 224
  21. ^ "Game Stands Out As Both Elevens Remain Unbeaten". St. Petersburg Times. October 22, 1927. 
  22. ^ a b c d T. A. Vernon (October 28, 1927). "State Wolves Invade Florida And Win 12-6". The Technician. 8 (6). p. 3. 
  23. ^ Fuzzy Woodruff. A History of Southern Football, 1890-1928. p. 239. 
  24. ^ "Statistics Indicate Any Conference Team Able To Beat Leaders". The Bee. October 23, 1927. p. 9. Retrieved September 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  25. ^ Frank Wright. "Gator Grunts". St. Petersburg Times. 
  26. ^ 2014 NC State Athletic Hall of Fame: Jack McDowall
  27. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 239
  28. ^ "Grads On Deck As Gators Cop Mercer battle". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. October 30, 1927. 
  29. ^ "Middlekauff Scores First Florida Touchdown". St. Petersburg Times. November 3, 1927. 
  30. ^ a b Woodruff 1928, p. 250
  31. ^ a b Frank S. Wright (December 8, 1927). "Ernest Bowyer Given Highest Florida Honor". St. Petersburg Times. p. 3. 
  32. ^ "6 Gators Will Close Careers At University". St. Petersburg Times. November 30, 1927. 
  33. ^ "Alabama vs.Florida". bryantmuseum.com. Retrieved February 3, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Crimson Tide Big Favorite Over Florida". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. November 11, 1927. 
  35. ^ a b c "1927 recap" (PDF). Retrieved February 3, 2017. 
  36. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 260
  37. ^ "Refreshed 'Gator Fighters Return To Plan Offensive For Classic With Generals". St. Petersburg Times. November 14, 1927. 
  38. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 269
  39. ^ "6 Gators Will Close Careers At University". St. Petersburg Times. November 30, 1927. 
  40. ^ "Florida Plans For Maryland". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. December 1, 1927. 
  41. ^ a b c "Florida Wins Contest With One Lone Kick". The Index-Journal. December 3, 1927. p. 6. Retrieved September 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  42. ^ Carlson, p. 33
  • Carlson, Norm (2007). University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators. Atlanta, Georgia: Whitman Publishing, LLC. ISBN 0-7948-2298-3. 
  • Woodruff, Fuzzy (1928). A History of Southern Football 1890–1928. 3.