1951 Gator Bowl
1234 Total
Wyoming 01370 20
Washington and Lee 0007 7
DateJanuary 1, 1951
StadiumGator Bowl Stadium
LocationJacksonville, Florida
MVPHB Eddie Talboom (Wyoming)
Gator Bowl
 < 1950  1952

The 1951 Gator Bowl was an American college football bowl game played on January 1, 1951, at Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. It was the sixth annual playing of the Gator Bowl. The game pitted the Wyoming Cowboys, champions of the Skyline Conference (also known as the Mountain States Conference), against the Washington and Lee Generals, champions of the Southern Conference.


The Cowboys were champions of the Mountain States Conference and had finished the regular season undefeated. The Generals won the Southern Conference with a perfect conference record, led by quarterback Gil Bocetti and fullback Walt Michaels, though Michaels would be out due to an appendicitis. They had wins over West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, and Richmond while losing to Virginia and Tennessee. They were the first team from Virginia to play in a bowl game.[1]

Game summary

After a scoreless first quarter, the Cowboys started a crucial second quarter with an Eddie Talboom touchdown pass to Dick Campbell. A crucial point in the game came on the following drive by the Generals. Bocetti was driving his team down the field when his pass was intercepted by Selmer Pederson. Talboom drove his team down the field, culminated by a touchdown run by Talboom himself, as it was 13–0 at halftime. Despite outgaining them in yards, the Generals could not capitalize on scoring until it was too late. Meanwhile, in the third quarter, fullback John Melton added in his own touchdown run, making it 20–0. With the game already decided, the Generals added a meaningless touchdown run by Gil Bocetti as the Cowboys won their first ever bowl game. Talboom went 10 for 14 for 141 yards and also rushed for 31 yards.[2][3]

The attendance for the game was 26,354.[4]


This would start Wyoming's streak of bowl game wins, winning three more before their first loss in 1968. They have not played in the Gator Bowl since this game. The Generals have never played in a bowl game since this game, as they now play in Division III.


Statistics Wyoming W&L
First Downs 14 19
Yards Rushing 147 252
Yards Passing 141 31
Total Yards 291 301
Punts-Average 5-39.0 6-29.5
Penalties-Yards 6-75 2-31


  1. ^ "W&L Conference/NCAA Championship History: The Official Site of GeneralsSports.com". generalssports.com. Archived from the original on December 17, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 2, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "History of Wyoming Cowboy Bowl Games".
  4. ^ Waters, Barney (January 2, 1951). "Wyoming Turns Back W And L, 20 To 7, In Gator Bowl". Miami Herald. Miami, Florida. p. 2B. Retrieved December 28, 2023 – via Newspapers.com Open access icon.