1930 Florida Gators football
ConferenceSouthern Conference
1930 record6–3–1 (4–2–1 SoCon)
Head coach
Offensive schemeNotre Dame Box
CaptainRed Bethea
Home stadiumFleming Field / Florida Field
← 1929
1931 →
1930 Southern Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Alabama + 8 0 0 10 0 0
Tulane + 5 0 0 8 1 0
Tennessee 6 1 0 9 1 0
Duke 4 1 1 8 1 2
Vanderbilt 5 2 0 8 2 0
Maryland 4 2 0 7 5 0
Florida 4 2 1 6 3 1
North Carolina 4 2 2 5 3 2
Clemson 3 2 0 8 2 0
Georgia 3 2 1 7 2 1
Kentucky 4 3 0 5 3 0
South Carolina 4 3 0 6 4 0
VPI 2 3 1 5 3 1
Mississippi A&M 2 3 0 2 7 0
Georgia Tech 2 4 1 2 6 1
LSU 2 4 0 2 6 1
Virginia 2 5 0 4 6 0
Sewanee 1 4 0 3 6 1
NC State 1 5 0 2 8 0
Ole Miss 1 5 0 3 5 1
Auburn 1 6 0 3 7 0
Washington and Lee 0 4 1 3 6 1
VMI 0 5 0 3 6 0
  • + – Conference co-champions

The 1930 Florida Gators football team represented the University of Florida in the sport of American football during the 1930 college football season. The season was Charlie Bachman's third as the head coach of the Florida Gators football team. Bachman's 1930 Florida Gators finished the season with a 6–3–1 overall record and a 4–2–1 Southern Conference record, placing seventh of twenty-three teams in the conference standings.[1][2]

Among the season's highlights were the Gators' conference victories over the NC State Wolfpack (27–0), Auburn Tigers (7–0), Clemson Tigers (27–0), and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (55–7)—their first win in seven tries against the Yellow Jackets. Also notable was an intersectional victory over the Chicago Maroons (19–0) on Chicago's home field. The season also featured the (delayed) opening of Florida Field, which debuted in November with a 20–0 homecoming loss to Wallace Wade's national champion Alabama Crimson Tide in front of a school record crowd of 18,000.

Though Florida's 6-3-1 record in 1930 fell short of expectations, it would later be regarded as somewhat of a high point. Bachman coached the Gators to losing seasons the next two years before leaving the program, and the Gators would post only three winning seasons between 1930 and 1956.

Before the season

Fleming Field had been the home of Florida's football program since 1911. By the mid 1920s, its small capacity and primitive amenities were increasingly seen as inadequate, particularly after the Gators first gained national attention during their best season to date in 1928. University president John J. Tigert led a fundraising drive through the newly created University Athletic Association, and construction on a much larger stadium commenced in a shallow depression just south of Fleming Field on April 16, 1930. The project was slated to be complete early in the fall term but was delayed when workers encountered a previously unknown underground stream. The stream was diverted by the installation of a large culvert under the playing surface, and the Gators finally moved into Florida Field for the last home game of the season.[3]

On the field, Florida entered the 1930s coming off the two best seasons in program history under returning head coach Charlie Bachman, who led a talented Gator squad that included explosive halfback Red Bethea. Despite a potentially challenging schedule, expectations were that the string of success would continue.


September 27Florida Southern*W 45–6
October 4vs. NC StateW 27–010,000
October 11vs. AuburnW 7–0
October 18at Chicago*W 19–010,000
October 25Furman*
  • Fleming Field
  • Gainesville, FL
L 13–14
November 1vs. GeorgiaT 0–0
November 8Alabamadagger
L 0–2018,000
November 15vs. ClemsonJacksonville, FLW 27–0
November 27at Georgia TechW 55–7
December 6vs. Tennessee
  • Fairfield Stadium
  • Jacksonville, FL (rivalry)
L 6–13
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming


Season summary

Week 1: Florida Southern

Image from Florida-Florida Southern game.
Image from Florida-Florida Southern game.

The Gators faced the Florida Southern Moccasins on Fleming Field in Gainesville to open the season on September 27, winning 45 to 6. Southern scored its points in the second quarter, at that point making the game tied 6 to 6. The Gators responded with a barrage of points which continued until the final whistle.

Red Bethea had three touchdowns on his first three touches, including runs of 46 and 48 yards. This got Bethea a column in Ripley's Believe It Or Not.[4]

Week 2: North Carolina State

Week 2: North Carolina State at Florida
1 234Total
NC State 0 000 0
Florida 0 0270 27

For the second week of play, Florida beat the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Plant Field in Tampa 27 to 0.

After being held scoreless in the first half with a number of fumbles, a 37-yard end run from Red Bethea sparked the Gator attack.[5] Ed Sauls had a 61-yard kick return, which ended when he stumbled and fell. On the next play he scored. Sam Gurneau and Charlie Cobb starred for NC State.[6]

Week 3: Auburn

Week 3: Auburn at Florida
1 234Total
Auburn 0 000 0
Florida 0 007 7

The Gators just defeated coach Chet A. Wynne's Auburn Tigers in Jacksonville by a 7 to 0 score; seen as a moral victory by the Tigers.[7] Ed Sauls scored Florida's touchdown in the final period, and Monk Dorsett got the extra point.

Week 4: at Chicago

Week 4: Florida at Chicago
1 234Total
Florida 0 1306 19
Chicago 0 000 0

On October 18, 1930, the Gators defeated coach Amos Alonzo Stagg's Chicago Maroons at Stagg Field 19 to 0 in a game was affected by wintry blasts of near-zero temperatures.[8] n . The victory was historic for the Florida football program, representing the first time the Gators had won an inter-sectional game outside the South.[9] The Gators had previously lost all six games it had played in the North—to Indiana in 1916, Harvard in 1922 and 1929, Army in 1923 and 1924, and Chicago in 1926.[10]

Red Bethea was the star of the historic victory over Chicago, rushing for 218 yards to set a school record that would not be broken until 1987, when Emmitt Smith ran for 224 yards in his first collegiate start. The Associated Press called Bethea Florida's "siege gun,"[11] and noted that his rushing total was "better than the whole Chicago backfield."[12] Bethea contributed to all of Florida's points.[13] The first came after Bethea made a series of 5-yard runs, down to the 5-yard line as the first quarter ended. He then ran behind Muddy Waters for the score.[14] Later, Bethea ran down to the 2-yard line on a fake reverse. Ed Sauls went over for the touchdown. Proctor kicked goal.[14] In the fourth quarter, Bethea ran for a 70-yard touchdown, "accomplished by brilliant, running, twisting, and swerving."[15] Bethea "went wide around the right side of the line, cut back to the left, reversed to the center and tore 70-yards."[16]

Chicago suspended its football program in 1939. One fellow quipped "Florida did it. When Florida beat them, that was the last straw."[17]

The starting lineup for the Gators against Chicago: Parnell (left end) Waters (left tackle), Steele (left guard), Clemons (center), McRae (right guard), Proctor (right tackle), Nolan (right end), Dorsett (quarterback), Bethea (left halfback), Sauls (right halfback), Silsby (fullback).[14][18]

Week 5: Furman

Week 5: Furman at Florida
1 234Total
Furman 0 077 14
Florida 0 706 13

Coach Dad Amis's Furman Purple Hurricane upset the Gators 14 to 13. Every score of the contest was made via the forward pass.[19] A missed extra point by Florida's Parnell and one made by Furman's Allred proved to be the difference.[20] The loss did not sit well with the alumni.[17]

Week 6: at Georgia

Week 6: Florida at Georgia
1 234Total
Florida 0 000 0
Georgia 0 000 0

The scoreless tie with the Georgia Bulldogs provided the upset of the conference that week,[21] as Georgia had defeated Yale and would lose just two games: to conference co-champions Alabama and Tulane. Sportswriter Lawrence Perry attributed Georgia's inability to score to its lack of using the forward pass at key intervals.[22]

Twice Georgia backs Spurgeon Chandler, Jack Roberts, and Austin Downes threatened Florida's goal but were turned back.[23]

The starting lineup for the Gators against Georgia: Parnell (left end) Waters (left tackle), Steele (left guard), Clemons (center), James (right guard), Proctor (right tackle), Hall (right end), Dorsett (quarterback), Bethea (left halfback), Sauls (right halfback), Jenkins (fullback).[23]

Week 7: Alabama

The first game at Florida Field.
The first game at Florida Field.
Week 7: Alabama at Florida
1 234Total
Alabama 0 6014 20
Florida 0 000 0

The seventh week of play featured the first ever game on Florida Field, which had been slated for an August opening that was delayed due to unforeseen construction challenges.[24] The new, 22,000 seat stadium[25] planned to eventually house 50,000.[24]

The visiting team was Wallace Wade's Alabama Crimson Tide, and the eventual national champions spoiled Florida Field's debut by thumping the Gators 20–0. Despite the score, Florida showed much defensive strength, holding the undefeated Tide to 6 points until tiring late in the contest, with lineman Muddy Waters given praise.[26] However, Florida's offense struggled all afternoon against an Alabama defense that would only allow 13 points all season.[27]

The first score came when John Campbell broke through the line for 21 yards.[27][28] Later, after much wear on the Gator defense, Campbell scored on a short run through center. John Tucker, a substitute, also scored on a short run.[27] Johnny Cain was also cited as a strength for the Tide.[27]

The starting lineup for the Gators against Alabama: Parnell (left end), Waters (left tackle), Steele (left guard), Clemons (center), Forsyth (right guard), Proctor (right tackle), Hall (right end), Dorsett (quarterback), Bethea (left halfback), Sauls (right halfback), Jenkins (fullback).[26]

Week 8: Clemson

Using many passes, the Gators beat coach Josh Cody's Clemson Tigers 27 to 0. Two scores came on long passes from Monk Dorsett to John Hall. Coach Bachman said "Dorsett's quarterbacking has been the finest since I took charge of the 'Gators."[29]

Week 9: at Georgia Tech

Week 9: Florida at Georgia Tech
1 234Total
Florida 6 21721 55
Ga. Tech 7 000 7

The Gators beat coach Bill Alexander's Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for the first time, handing them their worst defeat in years, 55 to 7.[30] Red Bethea scored three touchdowns, Ed Sauls two, and John Hall one. After the Tech game, newspapers posted how Bethea "made the Florida fans forget there ever was a Cannonball Clyde Crabtree."[31]

Week 10: Tennessee

Week 10: Tennessee at Florida
1 234Total
Tennessee 0 607 13
Florida 0 060 6

The season's final game saw a bitterly fought contest end in a 13 to 6 loss to coach Robert Neyland's Tennessee Volunteers. Buddy Hackman scored both of Tennessee's touchdowns.[32] Tennessee quarterback Bobby Dodd also starred.[33]

A fake play with Vols center Gene Mayer netted 27 yards, placing the ball on Florida's 13-yard line. Dodd then passed to Hackman for the touchdown. Florida scored after a Hackman fumble put the ball on the 25-yard line. A pass to Parnell got a touchdown.[34] In the final few minutes, Hackman won the game with a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown.

An account of Bobby Dodd's trickery: "Against Florida in 1930 he got his teammates in a huddle and told them about a play he had used in high school. When the ball was snapped, it was placed on the ground unattended. The players ran in one direction. Then the center returned, picked up the ball, and waltzed to the winning touchdown."[35] This play would later come to be popularly known as the "fumblerooski", after Nebraska famously used it in the 1984 Orange Bowl versus Miami.[36][37]


Carlos Proctor was elected captain for next season.[38] Guard Jimmy Steele was composite All-Southern.[39]


Depth chart

The following chart provides a visual depiction of Florida's lineup during the 1930 season with games started at the position reflected in parenthesis. The chart mimics a Notre Dame Box on offense.

Ed Parnell
Spurgeon Cherry
Muddy Waters Jimmy Steele Ben Clemons Bill McRae Carlos Proctor
Scabby Pheil J. D. Williamson Frank Clark Wilbur James Al Dodge
Ramsey Don Forsyth
Joe Hall
Jimmy Nolan
Monk Dorsett
Red McEwen
Ed Sauls
Harvey Yancey
Red Bethea
Al Rogero
Link Silsby


Player Position Games
High school Height Weight Age
Tom Anderson
Spurgeon Cherry end
Frank Clark center Culver 6'1" 170 21
Ben Clemons center Leon 6'2" 185 24
Al Dodge tackle
Don Forsyth guard
Joe Hall end
Wilbur James guard Orlando 5'11" 186 21
Bill McRae guard West Palm Beach 6'1" 172 21
Jimmy Nolan end Duval 5'10" 170 22
Joe Norfleet end Newberry 6'0" 175 23
Ed Parnell end
Clarence "Scabby" Pheil tackle St. Petersburg
Carlos Proctor tackle Hillsborough 23
Ramsey center
Jimmy Steele guard Hillsborough 6'0" 185 21
Dale Waters tackle Newcastle 6'2" 185 21
J. D. Williamson guard



Player Position Games
High school Height Weight Age
Red Bethea halfback Riverside 5'9" 172 22
Monk Dorsett quarterback Duval
Jenkins fullback
Al Rogero halfback
Ed Sauls halfback Leon 5'11" 185 22
Lincoln "Link" Silsby fullback
Harvey Yancey halfback Duval 5'10" 160 22


Player Position High school Height Weight Age
Broward McClellan fullback Blountstown
J. Milton "Red" McEwen quarterback Wauchula 5'8" 155 21
Homer Seay halfback

See also


  1. ^ a b 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived 2015-12-08 at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 108–109 (2015). Retrieved August 16, 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. 41
  4. ^ "Mike". Gainesville Sun. October 30, 1992.
  5. ^ "'Gators Trounce The Wolfpack". Kingsport Times. October 5, 1930. p. 2. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  6. ^ "Florida Eleven Defeat Wolfpack In Last Half 27-0". The Technician. October 10, 1930.
  7. ^ "Tigers Furnish Day's Surprise In Conference". Anniston Star. October 12, 1930. p. 14. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  8. ^ "Cold Bothers 'Gators". The Post-Crescent. October 18, 1930. p. 12. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  9. ^ "Florida Eleven to Seek First Grid Victory on Foreign Soil in Chicago Next Saturday". The Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida (AP story). October 16, 1930. p. 5.
  10. ^ Bill Buchalter (September 13, 1986). "Galloping Gator: Lee Roy Red Bethea, who set the..." Orlando Sentinel.
  11. ^ "Alabama Takes Rank as Feared Eleven in South". Milwaukee Sentinel. AP. October 20, 1920. p. 13.
  12. ^ "Red Bethea Better Than All Chicago Backfield In Play". Sarasota Herald. AP. October 21, 1930. p. 8.
  13. ^ "Gators Down Chicago 19-0". The Brownsville Herald. October 19, 1930. p. 8. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  14. ^ a b c "Red-Headed Halfback Leads Florida 'Gators In 19-0 Triumph at Chicago". Decatur Herald. October 19, 1930. p. 18. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  15. ^ "Florida Gators Swamp Chicago". The Lincoln Star. October 19, 1930. p. 8. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  16. ^ Richard H. Hippelhauser. "Gators Track Up Midway in 19 to 0 Spree". The Capital Times. p. 24. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  17. ^ a b McEwen, Tom, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama (1974). ISBN 0-87397-025-X.
  18. ^ "Gators Leave Tracks All Over Field; Bethea Stars". Kingsport Times. October 19, 1930. p. 3. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  19. ^ "Furman Upsets Dope, Defeating Florida, 14-13". The Anniston Star. October 26, 1930. p. 12. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  20. ^ "Hurricane Upset Dope Bucket And Beat Alligators". The Index-Journal. October 26, 1930. p. 5. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  21. ^ "Gators Hold Georgia to 0 to 0 Score". The San Bernardino County Sun. November 3, 1930. p. 20. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  22. ^ Lawrence Perry (November 3, 1930). "Georgia Still Powerful In South". Oakland Tribune. p. 25. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  23. ^ a b "Georgia's March Toward Gridiron Honors Checked". Kingsport Times. November 2, 1930. p. 3. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  24. ^ a b "Gators To Open Stadium". Altoona Tribune. August 6, 1930. p. 11. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  25. ^ Peter Golenbock. Go Gators. p. 6.
  26. ^ a b http://grfx.cstv.com/schools/alab/graphics/docs/30-m-footbl-recap.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  27. ^ a b c d "Alabama Dashed Florida Aside". The Index-Journal. November 9, 1930. p. 6. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  28. ^ "Crimson Wave Rolling On As Alabama Wins". Abilene Reporter-News. November 9, 1930. p. 4. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  29. ^ "Star of Gators to Oppose Dodd". The Evening Independent. November 22, 1930.
  30. ^ Carlson 2007, p. 43
  31. ^ "Another Redhead". The Ogden Standard-Examiner. November 28, 1930. p. 18. Retrieved September 7, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  32. ^ "Tennessee Wins From Florida". The Jacksonville Daily Journal. December 7, 1930. p. 10. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  33. ^ Chips (December 8, 1930). "Dodd Forced To Display His Genius To Win Over Gators; Hackman Is Co-Star of Tilt". Kingsport Times-News. p. 2. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  34. ^ "Tennessee In Triumph Over Florida, 13-6". Oakland Tribune. December 7, 1930. p. 27. Retrieved September 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  35. ^ "Bobby Dodd". College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  36. ^ "19 yards: A lineman's dream". Lincoln Journal Star on Journalstar.com, By Brian Christopherson, July 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  37. ^ Weber, Jim (2010-08-23). "Finding the fumblerooski: Gone, but not forgotten". yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  38. ^ "Veteran Tackle Honored". The Evening Independent. December 16, 1930.
  39. ^ Dillow Graham (December 4, 1930). "Unanimous Vote of Coaches and Sports Writers Places Dodd At Top of Quarterback Candidates". The Kingsport Times. p. 2. Retrieved March 4, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access

Additional sources