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Jan. 1, 1937 Cotton Bowl - TCU 16, Marquette 6

By GEORGE WHITE / The Dallas Morning News

Shot down by Sammy (The Sniper) Baugh in a hectic action-filled first half that produced all of the scoring, Marquette University's Golden Avalanche from Milwaukee, Wis., vaunted power of Midwestern intercollegiate football, was battered and bombed to a 16-6 defeat by the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs Friday afternoon in the inaugural of what now doubtless will be an annual Cotton Bowl gridiron classic here. Superiority of the Frogs was convincing to every one of the 22,000 spectators, who defied threatening skies to watch J. Curtis Sanford's big show which, however, was played on a good field, as good as the turfless Cotton Bowl gridiron, ruined during the Centennial could be except for a few slick spots where rain had seeped through under the protecting cover, which has been on it for several days.

Dutch Meyer's Christians won easily – going away. They might have doubled their margin but for the fact that the little mentor took occasion to season under fire in this final game of the youngsters who next fall must carry on for Slingin' Sam, Walls, Meyer, Roach, Ellis, Harrison, McCall and other departing heroes. It was only in response to the vociferous demand from the stands late in the last period that the Dutchman rushed his first string back into the fray after letting his reserves nurse along a safe lead the real bombers had compiled earlier.

Marquette was no match to this first string Purple contingent when it wanted to turn on the heat. It proved conclusively that the caliber football played in most other sections is not up to the Southwest standard. At least four Southwest Conference teams could have taken the Golden Avalanche that faced the Fort Worth warriors; yet these Milwaukeeans mopped up in their own section, had an unblemished season record until they encountered Duquesne in their closing engagement, and were rated one of the great elevens of the Nation.

During the first half, when both teams were at full strength, the Frogs showed a net gain from scrimmage of 206 yards to 21 for the enemy and completed five out of twelve passes for 110 yards while Marquette was successfully executing two of five throws for ten yards. The Christians were making twelve first downs to three and finished the day with an advantage of eighteen to ten.

The widely heralded duel between the two All-Americans – Baugh and Buzz Buivid – was stronger in favor of the Texan than the figures actually show. Statistics reveal that Sam completed six of fourteen throws for 118 yards and had two intercepted. Buzz clicked with nine out of eighteen for 85 yards and had three fall into enemy hands. Sam carried the ball twice for nineteen yards gain and Buivid fourteen times for a net loss of nine yards counting three times when he was smothered by the charging Purple forwards while hunting pass receivers. Buzz, while not throwing the sharp, deadly passes Sammy tosses, is doubtless a better pitcher than he showed Friday. Baugh had blocking. Buivid didn't. And therein probably rested the real cause of Christians' superiority. Purple shirts played in the Avalanche's backfield all afternoon and the Gold-jersied Milwaukeeans were rarely able to menace the Frog backs either in passing or while getting in motion on ground plays. Yet these Marquetters hail from a section that is supposed to specialize in such fundamentals as blocking and tackling – powerhouse, head-butting football, and while reputed to be a dazzling aggregation with the overhead game, too, they'd be no aerial circus in the Southwest.

Despite the bad break in game-day weather, the game was financially successful. P.C. Cobb, who was officially in charge of seat sales, estimated the crowd as numbering 22,000. It is understood the paid gate would run about 4,000 under this figure and that in actual money it ran approximately $34,000. At this figure, each team would pull down $13,600, with the stadium rental amounting to $5,100, and Curtis Sanford having left $1,700 to meet promotional expenses. However, he doubtless wound up with something of a profit counting $1,000 for radio broadcasting rights and his bit of the concessions, including all of the program rights. The official final checkup probably will not be available before Monday night or Tuesday.

There were few, if any of those spectators who failed to have their hunger for action appeased by the time they filed out of the big stadium, however. Rarely, if ever, has such a dynamic swirl of pigskin movement been seen on a local gridiron as developed in the early stages of this tussle and before the encounter was five minutes old, the Christians boasted a 3-0 lead. Another five minutes hadn't expired before the Avalanche was leading 6 to 3, and before the period closed the Christians were out in front 10 to 6: to stay. They added another touchdown in the next quarter.

One of the features of the early action was the smooth maneuvering of the coaches varying their defenses to befuddle the opposition and, one quickly sensed that both sides, expecially T.C.U., had done considerable needless weeping over lack of knowledge of the other side's tactics in the prebattle ballyhoo. The Frogs kicked off to open the show and immediately went into a freakish but effective 4-4-2-1 defense, which soon resulted in the Christians getting opportunity to set an attack of their own into motion when Ki Aldrich intercepted one of Buivid's throws. The leather was on the Texans' 45-yard stripe, but not for long. Montgomery drove inside the Avalanche left end for 15 yards on a reverse that trapped the Northerners' 6-2-2-1 unawares. Donkey Roberts was held to a yard at center and Slingin' Sam cocked his deadly rifle. A bullet pass down the sideline to Scott McCall was good for 24 yards as the Sweetwater sniper quickly sized up the situation and altered his attack when Marquette went into a 5-3-2-1. Sam had plenty of time to spot his man when his mates afforded him perfect blocking. Again the Frogs went to the ground with McCall carrying and being stopped for no gain at tackle as the Avalanche went into a 5-4-2 in the danger zone. Roach let one of Sam's pegs slip off his fingertips and McCall dropped a shovel pass. At this stage, L.D. (Little Dutch) Meyer, the coach's nephew, who had missed only one try for extra point, and one field goal attempt in his three years of varsity competition, lined up on the 22-yard stripe with Baugh holding the ball to try for a 3-pointed from a difficult angle. It was a long, hard try, but it was good with yards to spare both in altitude and latitude.

Marquette elected to receive, drove out to the Purple's 45 before Harrison and Aldrich dumped Buivid for a 10-yard loss and forced a punt by Cuff that was killed on the Christians' 14. The lone Avalanche touchdown followed quickly when Baugh kicked on first down to Art Guepe, one of the most elusive runners seen here in months and probably the best back Marquette had on the field. Art took the ball in on his own 40, swung to the left, got some blocking help at the start and then was on his own with plenty of yardage and obstacles yet in his path. Speeding down the sideline he whirled and side-stepped his way into the clear and outlegged the Purple secondary to complete a 60-yard return for a touchdown that erased the early Christian lead. Cuff's place-kick try for the seventh point was wide and it again was the Texans' inning to bat.

Here's how quickly they made a home run. Montgomery returned the kickoff 20 yards to his 22. Roberts, McCall and Montgomery carried for 4, 4 and 5 yards to make it first down for T.C.U. on its 35. Roberts lacked less than a yard of first down on a quick opener through the middle, then made the distance for first down on the 45 after Meyer had dropped a dazzling, whirling pass from Baugh. Marquette here went into a 5-1-2-2-1 defense as a guard against the vaunted Frog aerial attack, managed to stop Roberts on a ground play for no gain and then — Sam went to slinging again. Little Dutch Meyer, who scored all the Christians' points, raced down the field, got behind Art Guepe and made a magnificent, leaping catch of a beautifully timed 31-yard throw from Baugh and raced the remaining 24 yards for what proved the winning touchdown. He also place-kicked the extra point and the score was 10 to 6.

The last touchdown came late in the second quarter, when the Frogs put on a 62-yard drive from their own 38-yard line, where they went into action after a 22-yard return by Baugh of one of Cuff's punts. Two quick openers through the middle, which the Marquetters seemed utterly unable to solve, saw Roberts pound out a first down on the Purple 49. A reverse by McCall got 5 and a right end sweep by Montgomery made first down on the Marquette 40. Roberts waded through the middle again for 10, and after McCall picked up 6 more on a reverse inside left end. Donkey splashed center for first down on the visitors' 18. The Goldshirts were staying with their five-man line defense despite the steady progress of the Lone Star Staters. Here the Frogs pulled a clever bit of strategy that crossed up the Northerners when Montgomery went back to pass instead of Baugh and whirled a long one over the goal line to Little Dutch, who plucked the leather between two defenders, juggled and finally tucked it to his bosom. This time Reif broke through and blocked Meyer's extra point kick to leave the final score 16-6.

For the rest of the half the Wisconsin lads were trying desperately to close the gap with an aerial offense of their own but it was hopeless. The vastly superior Purple line charged through repeatedly to rush Buivid off his feet. He had no time to get set or hunt receivers but could only peg wildly and try for long yardage, a mistake S.M.U. made a year ago in the Rose Bowl.

Throughout the third period the Christians maintained the upper hand, keeping Marquette at a distance except for one rally featuring a pass from Buivid to Cuff when the invaders drove into T.C.U. territory. This offensive wilted when Aldrich intercepted a throw while standing on his goal line and fought his way out 34 yards. A speedy back doubtless could have turned it into a length-of-the-field touchdown run.

Throughout the early stages of the fourth quarter the Purple reserves furnished most of the show. Once David O'Brien whirled a pass to Pat Clifford to complete a first down on the Marquette 19 and McClure plowed for three more paces but the drive went awry when Cuff stepped in to intercept one of the former Woodrow Wilson High star's heaves. There was not another serious threat by either side and the game closed with the Cowtown Christians on top of the gridiron world with victories in the last two starts over a highly touted Midwestern power and a previously untied, unbeaten eleven that only Friday was surprise winners of the Sugar Bowl spectacle.

Attendance- 22,000

Scoring Summary

First Quarter:
TCU- FG Meyer 33
UM- Art Guepe 60 punt return (Ward Cuff kick fail)
TCU-Meyer 55 yard pass from Baugh (Meyer kick)

Second Quarter:
TCU- Meyer 18 yard pass from Montgomery (Meyer kick fail)

First Downs 10 16
Rushes-Net Yards 32-5534-169
Net Yards Passing 134 149
Passes 11-21-39-20-3
Total Plays 53 54
Total Net Yards 189 318
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties-Yards 3-25 5-35
Punts-Average 6-39.54-32.5
Marquette 6 0 0 0 - 6
TCU 10 6 0 0 - 16

Marquette - Art Guepe 12-31, Cuff 7-
30, Al Guepe 1-2, Buivid 12- (-8).
TCU - McClure 5-48, Roberts 11-46,
Baugh 2-28, Montgomery 4-26, McCall
5-17, Clifford 1-4, Hall 1-3,Wilkinson
2-2, Blackmon 2-(-1), O’Brien 1-(-4).

Marquette - Buivid 9-18-3, 111 yards;
Art Guepe 2-3-0, 23 yards
TCU - Baugh 5-13-2, 100 yards;
O'Brien 3-6-1, 33 yards;
Montgomery 1-1-0, 18 yards.

Marquette - Cuff 3-30, Anderson 3-
14, Buivid 2-23, Art Guepe 1-41,
Al Guepe 1-19, Cooper 1-7.
TCU - Meyer 3-79, McCall 2-32,
Roach 2-26, McClure 1-7, Montgomery

SBC Cotton Bowl Look-Back

The dream of J. Curtis Sanford finally became a reality, a New Year’s Day bowl game in Dallas, and the teams selected to kick off this new venture were the TCU Horned Frogs and the Marquette Golden Avalanche.

It was a game that pitted two of the nation’s premier passers, TCU’s Slingin’ Sammy Baugh and Marquette’s Ray “Buzz” Buivid. Buivid had finished third in the balloting that season for the Heisman Trophy while Baugh was fourth.

Two solid teams led by two outstanding athletes gave Sanford’s new bowl the kind of drawing card it so desperately needed. However, the duel between these two All-Americas never materialized. The TCU line stole the show, swarming Buivid time after time and never allowed Marquette’s highly publicized Art Guepe to become a factor. Before the game had aged five minutes, TCU had jumped to a 3-0 lead on a 33-yard field goal by L. D. Meyer, the nephew of Frog coach Dutch Meyer. Minutes later, the Avalanche answered back when Guepe knifed through Purple defenders en route to a 60-yard punt return and the Avalanche’s only score. But, before the opening quarter had expired, Meyer struck again, combining with Baugh for a 55-yard scoring play to push TCU back in front for good, 10-6. The first quarter proved to be a thrill a minute.

In the second period, Baugh and company went to work again, driving 62 yards for one last Frog touchdown. Marquette was expecting TCU to put the ball in the air and that’s precisely what the Frogs did. With the ball resting on the Avalanche 18, Vic Montgomery took the snap and looked downfield for Meyer. Meyer worked himself free between Guepe and another Hilltopper, leaped high for the pass, juggled it momentarily, then tucked it away as he crossed the goal line. The two teams produced 22 points in the first two quarters.

By halftime, the scoring came to a sudden stop. Seeing victory slipping away, Marquette tried to open up with Buivid’s passing, only to see the TCU lineman come tearing through to squelch each threat. Midway through the contest, Coach Meyer had used all 27 men on his bench. Frog reserves, led by a young sophomore named Davey O’Brien, played a greater part of the last half.

In total, Meyer accounted for each of TCU’s 16 points — a field goal, two touchdowns and an extra point. A gritty performance.

As for the game itself, it was a fine beginning for what would become an age-old classic. A fitting end came in the game’s waning minutes. With TCU reserves on the field and Baugh and company on the bench, Coach Meyer reinserted his star player into the game at the insistence of the crowd who wanted to see Sammy play one last time.

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men_s_football/cotton_bowl_1937.txt · Last modified: 2020/12/07 16:49 (external edit)