1943 Rose Bowl
29th Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
Georgia 0009 9
UCLA 0000 0
DateJanuary 1, 1943
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPCharley Trippi, Georgia
FavoriteGeorgia: 13 to 5 odds[1]
National anthemUCLA Band
RefereeOrian Landreth (Pacific Coast;
split crew: Pacific Coast, SEC) [2]
Halftime showUCLA Band, Pasadena City College band
Rose Bowl
 < 1942  1944

The 1943 Rose Bowl game was the 29th edition of the college football bowl game, played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Friday, January 1. The second-ranked Georgia Bulldogs of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) defeated the #13 UCLA Bruins of the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC), 9–0.[2][4]

The game returned to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena after being played in North Carolina at Duke Stadium in Durham the year before. Charley Trippi of Georgia was named the Player of the Game when the award was created in 1953 and selections were made retroactively.[5]

After the 1942 Allied victory in the Battle of Midway and the end of the Japanese offensives in the Pacific Theater during 1942, it was deemed that the West Coast was no longer vulnerable to attack, and the Rose Bowl game returned to southern California. On October 10, 1942, the decision was announced that the game would be played, pending approval of the Army, however, the parade still would not be held.[6] By November 5, 1942, it was announced that the East West Game could occur in San Francisco.[7] On November 18, the Rose Bowl was permitted by the Western Defense Command.[8]

Few Georgia fans were able to make the trip because of travel restrictions,[9] and there were many military servicemen in attendance.[10] The Tournament of Roses parade itself still was not held due to the war.[11] Due to the number of American servicemen stationed in Australia, the game was broadcast live on Australian radio.[12]


See also: 1942 college football season

UCLA Bruins

Main article: 1942 UCLA Bruins football team

UCLA won the Pacific Coast Conference title for the first time in school history. The Bruins also won their first victory in the UCLA–USC rivalry. This Rose Bowl game was the first appearance for the Bruins in the post season since their Poi Bowl (later the Pineapple Bowl) victory in 1939.[13]

The previous season saw UCLA and USC tie 7–7 in a matchup of lower-tier teams. They had played that year (unwittingly) on the eve of America's entry into World War II, on December 6, 1941.[14]

In 1942, the Bruins and Trojans met with the Rose Bowl on the line for both teams.[15] On December 12, 1942, UCLA defeated USC for the first time 14–7.[16]

Georgia Bulldogs

Main article: 1942 Georgia Bulldogs football team

The Tournament of Roses committee were responsible for selecting and inviting the opposing team. For their final games in the 1942 season, the second-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (at 9–0) traveled to Athens to face the fifth-ranked Bulldogs (at 9–1) for their rivalry game. The Bulldogs defeated the Engineers 34–0, and were awarded the Rose Bowl Bid on November 28, 1942.[17] Georgia finished the number two team in the nation behind number one Ohio State. The Western Conference, forerunner of the Big Ten Conference, did not permit their teams to play in bowl games until the 1946 agreement between the Big Nine and the PCC. The Bulldogs featured 1942 Heisman Trophy winner Frank Sinkwich, Maxwell Award winner Charley Trippi, and Jim Todd (Laurens, SC) backing up Trippi. The Bulldogs had been named national champions by the Berryman, DeVold, Houlgate, Litkenhous, Poling, and Williamson polls. Georgia had played their first bowl game the previous year, the 1942 Orange Bowl.

Scoring summary

The Temperature was 72 °F (22 °C) and sunny in Pasadena.[18] UCLA wore gold helmets, white jerseys, and gold pants. Georgia had silver helmets, red jerseys, and gray pants.

The game was scoreless until the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs had 25 first downs to the Bruins' 5. In the fourth quarter, the Bruins were backed up against the south goal line. Bob Waterfield attempted the punt 10 yards back from the line of scrimmage as was the custom at the time. The punt was blocked out of the end zone.[9][19]

First quarter

No scoring

Second quarter

No scoring

Third quarter

No scoring

Fourth quarter


Team Stats Georgia UCLA
First Downs 22 4
Net Yards Rushing 212 88
Net Yards Passing 167 69
Total Yards 379 157
PC–PA–Int. 12–30–2 4–15–4
Punts Avg. 34 34.6


The UCLA Bruins had 5 first downs to Georgia's 25 and were regarded as no match for the Bulldogs.[20] The Bruins were considered lucky to have held Georgia to 9 points.[21][22] Georgia coach Wally Butts was reportedly sweating over the Bruins' defense during the game.[23][24] A spectator in the stadium died of a heart attack during the game.[25] The Georgia team remained in town a day to celebrate after the game.[26] The team got a studio tour and met with Hollywood stars.[9]

The UCLA team also received star attention. UCLA fans Mickey Rooney and Ava Gardner rented the Cocoanut Grove Ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel for a party for the Bruins football team.[27]

Charley Trippi of Georgia was named the Rose Bowl Player of the Game when the award was created in 1953 and selections were made retroactively.[5] Lynn "Buck" Compton, who played for UCLA, and started at guard in the game, later earned a Silver Star for his meritorious action at Brécourt Manor.[28][29] The action was later dramatized in episode two of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. According to Lynn "Buck" Compton(See "Call of Duty" by Lt. Lynn Buck Compton, Life, before, during, and after the "Band of Brothers), shortly after the game, the entire Senior Class of those players, who were also in ROTC, were taken into the military, prior to graduation and sent to Officer Candidate School. Buck went on to Ft. Benning Georgia.

Because of the agreement made in 1946 by what are now the Big Ten and the Pac-12 Conferences (and their respective predecessors), this was Georgia's lone appearance in the Rose Bowl game until the agreements that starting in the 1998 season, the Rose Bowl would be part of any national championship format. That agreement meant Georgia would not appear until the 2018 game, when they were the third seed in the College Football Playoff in the year the game was a semifinal game. For the 2008 Rose Bowl, a hopeful matchup was examined that Georgia might play USC, but the Sugar Bowl would not give up the Bulldogs.[30]

During World War II, UCLA left end Milt "Snuffy" Smith was critically injured when his crew was struck by a missile. When he was about to be declared a hopeless case and to be abandoned, a medic saw his "Rose Bowl, 1943" engraved wrist watch he was wearing and shouted, "This is one guy we’ve got to save." Smith recovered after 18 months of hospitalization.

Georgia would not return to the Rose Bowl game until January 1, 2018—an absence of 75 years.


  1. ^ Petersen, Leo H. (January 1, 1943). "Sinkwich injures ankle again; won't start in Georgia-UCLA Rose Bowl tilt". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). United Press. p. 10.
  2. ^ a b Petersen, Leo H. (January 2, 1943). "Georgia defeats UCLA in Rose Bowl test". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. p. 10.
  3. ^ Official 2007 NCAA Division I football records book – PDF copy available at NCAA.org
  4. ^ "Last-period scores win for Georgia, 9 to 0". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. January 2, 1943. p. 9.
  5. ^ a b 2008 Rose Bowl Program Archived 2008-03-06 at the Wayback Machine, 2008 Rose Bowl. Accessed January 26, 2008.
  6. ^ Zimmerman, Paul - Rose Bowl Game On but Parade Off. Los Angeles Times, October 10, 1942
  7. ^ Associated Press - Coast East-West Game Approved; Rose Bowl Permit by Army Seen; New Year's Day Benefit Fixture Returns to San Francisco, Presaging Staging of Other Contest in Pasadena. New York Times, November 5, 1942
  8. ^ Rose Bowl Game sanctioned. Los Angeles Times, November 18, 1942
  9. ^ a b c University of Georgia Living History – Leo Costa Interview Archived 2017-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. University of Georgia, June 11, 2008
  10. ^ Rose Bowl Contest Thrills Crowd of 90,000 Rooters Rabid. During Game Servicemen Plentiful in Massive Throng at Colorful Display. Los Angeles Times, Pg A13. January 2, 1943.
  11. ^ GENE SHERMAN – Rose Parade Goes to War. Spirit of Bond Drive Insures Return of Great Floral Pageant. Los Angeles Times, January 2, 1943. Quote:Once again yesterday war's ugly shadow stretched long across Colorado St. and there was no Tournament of Roses on New Year's Day in Pasadena.
  12. ^ "U.S.A. FOOTBALL BROADCAST". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 January 1943. p. 7. Retrieved 21 March 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ Poi Bowl
  14. ^ Zimmerman, Paul – Trojans Slight Favorites Over Bruin Eleven Today. Troy Eleven Doped to Win Bruins and S.C. to Clash Today Before 65,000 Fans in Coliseum Battle. Los Angeles Times, December 6, 1941. A couple of victory-starved teams named U.C.L.A. and Southern California rally their squads of unsung football heroes at Memorial Coliseum today for a last stand.
  15. ^ Sports. Los Angeles Times, December 12, 1942
  16. ^ Zimmerman, Paul – Bruins Get Rose Bowl Bid With 14-7 Win Over Troy. Troy Bows to Bruins Westwood Boys Defeat Cross-town Foes for First Time in History. Los Angeles Times, December 13, 1941 Those indomitable Bruins of U.C.L.A. finally broke the shackles of the Southern California Trojans yesterday and at the same time hammered down the fettered gates to the Rose Bowl.
  17. ^ Jack Troy (November 29, 1942). "Georgia Overwhelms Tech, 34 to 0, As Sinkwich, Trippi Star: Bulldogs Win To Gain Spot In Rose Bowl". The Atlanta Constitution. p. 2D – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ National Climatic Data Center, Record of Climatogical Observations. Pasadena, California, for Jan 1, 1943
  19. ^ UCLA's Bob Waterfield has his punt blocked by Georgia's Willard Boyd on the first play of the fourth quarter of the 1943 Rose Bowl game (photo). Los Angeles Times, January 2, 1943 Photo by Charley Strite, Notes: "The ball rolled out of the end zone for a safety. The Los Angeles Times reported that the game was a moral victory because the Bruins held the heavily favored Bulldogs to only nine points." In film of the game, photographer Strite can be seen moving to stand right next to the goalpost to take the photograph.
  20. ^ Troy, Jack – Atlanta Scribe Lauds Bruins' Game Fight. Los Angeles Times, pg A13, January 2, 1943. Notes "A Bruin is no match for a Bulldog. This was proved beyond the shadow of a doubt or the shadows that lengthened in the del arroyo sector yesterday afternoon as Georgia walloped U.C.L.A., 9 to 0. and in so doing roiled up 23 first downs to only 5." Jack Troy was a journalist with the Atlanta Constitution
  21. ^ Braven, Dyer – Georgia Team Called Great in Action Packed Tilt, Game Thrills 90,000 Fans, U.C.L.A. Considered Lucky to Hold Score Down to 9 Points. Los Angeles Times, January 2, 1943. Notes: "The chap who wrote "Georgia on My Mind" must have been thinking about the great Dixie football team which defeated U.C.L.A., 9 to 0, yesterday in the famed Rose Bowl."
  22. ^ Wolf, Al – Babe Horrell Lauds Victorious Bulldogs Trippi Praised as Best Back Bruins' Coach Says Georgia Best Team His Boys Met All Season. Los Angeles Times, Pg A12 January 2, 1943
  23. ^ Lowry, Paul – Wally Butts in Sweat Over Bruins' Defense. Los Angeles Times, January 2, 1943. Notes: "The Bruin rock-ribbed defensive play got Coach Wally Butts of Georgia in such a sweat that he was the first guy to reach the showers as the Bulldogs charged hilariously into their dressing quarters after the Rose Bowl game yesterday."
  24. ^ Zimmerman, Paul – Sports Postscripts. Los Angeles Times, January 2, 1943. Notes: "If you think directing a visiting Rose Bowl team is all beer and skittles, you should have worn the shoes of Coach Wallace Butts, the Georgia grid master"
  25. ^ Spectator Dies in Grandstand, Excitement Brings Fatal Heart Attack to 52-Year-Old Fan. Los Angeles Times, January 2, 1943.
  26. ^ Dyer, Braven – Victorious Georgia Team Heads Home Tonight. Dixie Grids Take It Easy Coach Butts Gives Boys Run of the Town Prior to departure. Los Angeles Times, Pg A7, January 3, 1943. Notes: "While football fans of Southern California still were busy yesterday replaying the 1943 Rose Bowl thriller, Georgia's pigskin squad had the "run of the place" through courtesy of Coach Wally Butts."
  27. ^ Foster, Chris – UCLA Lost Big Fan When Mickey Rooney Died. Los Angeles Times, April 10, 2014. Quote: "Mickey Rooney knew one of the guys and was really attached to the team", said Ed Tyler, who played on the 1942 team. "He and Ava Gardner rented the Cocoanut Grove ballroom at the Ambassador Hotel and threw us a big party after the [Rose Bowl]. I got to light Ava Gardner's cigarette."
  28. ^ Lynn Compton aka Buck (90) died from complications of a heart attack. April 4, 2012.
  29. ^ McLellan, Dennis – Lynn D. 'Buck' Compton dies at 90; judge also known for World War II service Los Angeles Times, February 29, 2012
  30. ^ Ralph D. Russo – Georgia, USC would make good championship matchup. Associated Press College Football, Appeared in Honolulu Advertiser, January 2, 2008.

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