1924 Florida Gators football
Fleming Field 1920s.jpg
A field goal on Fleming Field
ConferenceSouthern Conference
1924 record6–2–2 (2–0–1 SoCon)
Head coach
Offensive schemeNotre Dame Box
CaptainArk Newton
Home stadiumFleming 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
South Carolina 3 2 0 7 3 0
Sewanee * 3 2 0 6 4 0
Mississippi A&M 3 2 0 5 4 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
Kentucky 2 3 0 4 5 0
North Carolina 2 3 0 4 5 0
Auburn 2 4 1 4 4 1
Maryland 1 2 1 3 3 3
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 Southern Conference 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

Coach Van Fleet's assignment was changed to the Panama Canal Zone, but he coached the team on an unpaid basis during four months of leave.[3] More than 100 players took part in the game between the varsity and freshmen.[4]

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.[5][6]

Schedule

DateOpponentSiteResultAttendance
October 4Rollins*W 77–0
October 11at Georgia TechT 7–7
October 18vs. Wake ForestW 34–0
October 25at Texas*T 7–7
November 1Florida Southern*
  • Fleming Field
  • Gainesville, FL
W 27–0
November 8at Army*L 14–7
November 14at Mercer*Macon, GAL 10–06,000
November 22vs. Mississippi A&MW 27–0
November 27Drake*dagger
  • Fleming Field
  • Gainesville, FL
W 10–0
December 6vs. Washington & Lee
W 16–6
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming

[1]

Season summary

Week 1: Rollins

Week 1: Rollins at Florida
1 234Total
Rollins 0 000 0
Florida 6 212822 77

At the "newly completed"[7] Fleming Field in Gainesville the Gators rolled up a 77–0 score on the Rollins Tars. The game was played mostly in the rain.[8] 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.[8]

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).[8]

Week 2: at Georgia Tech

Week 2: Florida at Georgia Tech
1 234Total
Florida 0 700 7
Ga. Tech 7 000 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.[9] 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).[10]

Florida football c. 1924
Florida football c. 1924

Week 3: Wake Forest

Week 3: Wake Forest at Florida
1 234Total
Wake 0 000 0
Florida 7 7137 34

On Plant Field in a drizzling rain, Florida defeated the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 34–0, a surprising score.[11][12] 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.[13] Bill Middlekauff was kept out of the lineup due to injures sustained versus Tech.[14]

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).[13]

Week 4: at Texas

Week 4: Florida at Texas
1 234Total
Florida 7 000 7
Texas 0 700 7

Both Florida and the Texas Longhorns faced one of their season's stiffest tests when the Gators traveled to Austin.[15][16] 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.[7] 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.[7]

Week 5: Florida Southern

Upon return from the Texas game the Gators got some time off practice to attend the circus in town.[17] Mostly reserves defeated the Florida Southern Moccasins 27–0.[18]

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).[18]

Week 6: at Army

Week 6: Florida at Army
1 234Total
Florida 0 070 7
Army 7 007 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.[19]

Army's Harry Wilson scored the first touchdown. Ark Newton ran the second half kickoff for a 102-yard touchdown.[20] A second third quarter Gator touchdown was waved off, and Army scored in the final moments to evade the tie.[21]

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."[7]

The starting lineup was: Lightsey (left end), Williams (left tackle), Norton (left guard), Cornwall (center), Goldstein (right guard), Smith (right tackle), Oosterhoudt (right end), Jones (quarterback), Brown (left halfback), Pittman (right halfback), Middlekauf (fullback).[22]

Week 7: at Mercer

Week 7: Florida at Mercer
1 234Total
Florida 0 000 0
Mercer 7 003 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.[23] The touchdown came on a dextrous twist, catch, and run by Kid Cecil.[23]

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."[23]

Week 8: vs. Mississippi A&M

Week 8: Mississippi A&M vs. Florida
1 234Total
Miss. A&M 0 000 0
Florida 0 6021 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.[24]

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

The starting lineup was: 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).[25]

Week 9: Drake

Week 9: Drake at Florida
1 234Total
Drake 0 000 0
Florida 0 0100 10
  • Date: November 27
  • Location: Fleming Field
    Gainesville, FL
  • Referee: Ted Arnold

At homecoming,[26] Florida's ability to break up passes and hot weather helped the Gators to a 10–0 intersectional victory over the Drake Bulldogs.[27] Florida's Dick Brown was the game's standout performer.[28] Florida had eight first downs and Drake seven.[29]

Scores came on a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Brown and a 25-yard Ark Newton field goal from placement.[29]

Photo of Drake-Florida game.

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).[29]

Week 10: Washington & Lee

Week 10: Washington & Lee at Florida
1 234Total
W&L 0 600 6
Florida 3 706 16

The Gators defeated coach James DeHart's South Atlantic champion 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.[30] Neither team had before suffered a conference loss, and the win secured Florida a second-place finish.[31]

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).[30]

Postseason

Edgar C. Jones
Edgar C. Jones

Awards and honors

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

Van Fleet's departure

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.

Personnel

Depth chart

The following chart provides a visual depiction of Florida's lineup during the 1924 season with games started at the position reflected in parenthesis. The chart mimics a Notre Dame Box on offense.

LE
Spec Lightsey (5)
Frank Oosterhoudt (1)
J. R. Rose (1)
Edgar Todd (1)
LT LG C RG RT
Cy Williams (8) Clyde Norton (7) Sam Cornwall (6) Goldy Goldstein (8) Horse Smith (5)
Peter (1) Lamar Sarra (2) Clyde Davis (2)
Jack Stewart (1)
 
RE
Joe Merrin (5)
Frank Oosterhoudt (3)
 
 
QB
Edgar C. Jones (6)
Johnnie Murphree (2)
RHB
Dick Brown (5)
Ark Newton (1)
Owen Pittman (1)
LHB
Ark Newton (5)
Dick Brown (2)
Owen Pittman (1)
FB
Tiny Chaplin (6)
Bill Middlekauff (2)

Line

Starters

Player Position Games
started
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
Sam Cornwall center
Goldy Goldstein guard Jacksonville, Florida Duval High 6'3" 210 19
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 Sopchoppy, Florida 6'0" 200

Subs

Player Position Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
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

Captain Newton.
Captain Newton.

Starters

Player Position Games
started
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
Dick Brown halfback
Tiny Chaplin fullback
Edgar C. Jones quarterback Jacksonville, Florida
Bill Middlekauff fullback Miami, Florida 6'2" 200
Johnnie Murphree quarterback
Ark Newton halfback Camden, Arkansas Camden High 6'1" 185 21

Subs

Player Position Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
Bob Brumby quarterback
George Merrin halfback
Owen Pittman halfback
Spic Stanley halfback

[32]

Coaching staff

See also

References

  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. ^ Carlson 2007, p. 30
  4. ^ "Gator Varsity Defeats Frosh". St. Petersburg Times. September 30, 1924.
  5. ^ "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
  6. ^ "University of Florida student Ralph Gower photograph collection - MS Coll 84".
  7. ^ a b c d McEwen, Tom, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama (1974). ISBN 0-87397-025-X.
  8. ^ a b c "Gators Drown Rollins Tars". St. Petersburg Times. October 5, 1924.
  9. ^ "Yellow Jackets Tie With Gators". The Index-Journal. Associated Press. October 12, 1924. p. 6. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  10. ^ "Missed Field Goals Cost Each Team Win". Miami Tribune. October 12, 1924. p. 11. Retrieved September 2, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  11. ^ Damon Runyon (October 22, 1924). "Additional Sports". Miami Tribune. p. 12. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  12. ^ "Deacon Hopes Killed By 'Gator". The Daily Times. October 21, 1924. p. 2. Retrieved September 22, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  13. ^ 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
  14. ^ "'Gators May Lac Star Plunger In Battle at Tampa". The Evening Independent. October 16, 1924.
  15. ^ "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
  16. ^ "Florida Is Expecting To Have Hard Battle". Miami Tribune. October 25, 1924. p. 5. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  17. ^ 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
  18. ^ 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
  19. ^ Larry Daily (November 8, 1924). "Grid Forecast". The Decatur Herald. p. 5. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  20. ^ "100 Things About 100 Years of Gator Football". Archived from the original on 2016-09-04.
  21. ^ Michael Haskew (17 October 2014). West Point 1915: Eisenhower, Bradley, and the Class the Stars Fell On. p. 107. ISBN 9780760346525.
  22. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 46
  23. ^ a b c "Alligators Surprised By Ferocious Bruins". Mercer Cluster. No. 8. November 21, 1924.
  24. ^ "Florida Alligators Beat Mississippi". The Bee. Associated Press. November 24, 1924. p. 10. Retrieved September 3, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  25. ^ Woodruff 1928, p. 60
  26. ^ "Will No. 13 be Jinx To Gator Saturday". The Evening Independent. October 30, 1936.
  27. ^ "Drake Travels Long Way To Get Florida Licking". Chicago Tribune. November 28, 1924.
  28. ^ "Florida Beats Drake". Joplin Globe. November 28, 1924. p. 6. Retrieved September 2, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  29. ^ 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
  30. ^ 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
  31. ^ "Florida 'Gators Trounce Washington And Lee Team". Galveston Daily News. Associated Press. December 7, 1924. p. 15. Retrieved September 1, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  32. ^ "Gator's Who Who Is Book of State's Gridiron Stars". The Evening Independent. November 1, 1924.

Additional sources