1939 Texas Tech vs. Centenary football game

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1939 Texas Tech vs. Centenary
"When Punts Rained from the Sky"
TTUFootball1939actual.jpg
1939 Texas Tech Football Team
1234 Total
Texas Tech 0000 0
Centenary 0000 0
Date November 11, 1939
Season 1939
Stadium Centenary College Stadium
Location Shreveport, Louisiana

The 1939 Texas Tech vs. Centenary football game was an American college football game played between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Centenary Gentlemen on November 11, 1939, at Centenary College Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana. In "one of the weirdest games in NCAA History,"[2] torrential downpour and muddy field conditions prevented either Texas Tech or Centenary from advancing the ball by running or passing. To cope with the conditions, both teams resorted to repetitive and immediate punting. Both teams combined to punt 77 times. With each punt, both teams hoped to recover a fumble at the other end of the field.

6 of 14 fumbles were lost, but none of the turnovers led to a score. 42 punts were returned, 19 went out of bounds, 10 were downed, 1 went into the end zone for a touchback, 4 were blocked, and 1 was fair caught. 67 punts (34 by Texas Tech, 33 by Centenary) occurred on first down, including 22 consecutively in the third and fourth quarters.[3] The game ended in a 0–0 tie with Centenary owning a statistical edge with 31 yards of total offense compared with a one-yard loss for Texas Tech.[4]

Historical significance[edit]

The 1939 Texas Tech vs Centenary game is referenced in the 2013 edition of the NCAA Football Records Book 14 times.[3] More NCAA single-game records (13 total) were set in the 1939 Texas Tech vs Centenary game than any other game played in NCAA history. Steve Boda, a former associate director of NCAA statistics, researched the record in 1987. Stunned by the brief wire-service report of the game, he used a play-by-play account to confirm the details.[4] All NCAA records set during the game have remained unbroken. Boda claims three modern football factors guard against a repeat of these records: Better field surfaces, easier to handle footballs, and advanced gloves and footwear.[4]

NCAA records[edit]

Individual records[edit]

1939 Centenary College Gents Football Team
Player Position Team NCAA Record Statistic
Charlie Calhoun Punter Texas Tech Most punts, game 36 (vs Centenary 1939)
Charlie Calhoun Punter Texas Tech Most punting yards, game 1,318 (vs Centenary 1939)
Milton Hill Punt Returner Texas Tech Most punt returns, game 20 (vs Centenary 1939)
Milton Hill Punt Returner Texas Tech Most combined punt and kickoff returns, game 20 (vs Centenary 1939)

Team records[edit]

NCAA Record Team Statistic
Most punts, both teams Texas Tech & Centenary (LA) 77
Most punts, game Texas Tech Texas Tech - 39 (1st), Centenary - 38 (2nd)
Most punt returns, game Texas Tech 22
Most punt returns, both teams Texas Tech & Centenary (LA) 42
Fewest Plays Texas Tech 12
Fewest Plays Allowed Centenary (LA) 12
Fewest Plays, both Teams Texas Tech & Centenary (LA) 33
Fewest yards gained, both Teams Texas Tech & Centenary (LA) 30
Fewest rushes, both Teams Texas Tech & Centenary (LA) 28

NCAA Records Reference (Last referenced for 2013 season)[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Glory Years of Football:Centenary College of Louisiana 1922-1942". Internet Archive. Internet Archive. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  2. ^ "Memorable Football Games - I". GoldenRankings.com. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  3. ^ a b c "2013 Football Records Book - FBS" (PDF). NCAA.org. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  4. ^ a b c "When Punts Rained from the Sky". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2014-01-21.