1907 Vanderbilt Commodores Football Team
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1907 Vanderbilt Commodores Football Team
1907 Vanderbilt Commodores football
SIAA champion
Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1907 record 5-1-1 (3-0 SIAA)
Head coach Dan McGugin (4th season)
Offensive scheme Short punt
Captain Bob Blake
Home stadium Dudley Field
Seasons
1906
1908 ->
1907 SIAA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Vanderbilt $ 3 - 0 - 0     5 - 1 - 1
Sewanee 6 - 1 - 0     8 - 1 - 0
Alabama 3 - 1 - 2     5 - 1 - 2
LSU 2 - 1 - 0     7 - 3 - 0
Tennessee 3 - 2 - 0     7 - 2 - 1
Auburn 3 - 2 - 1     6 - 2 - 1
Georgia 3 - 3 - 1     4 - 3 - 1
Mississippi A&M 2 - 3 - 0     6 - 3 - 0
Georgia Tech 2 - 4 - 0     4 - 4 - 0
Clemson 1 - 3 - 0     4 - 4 - 0
Mercer 0 - 3 - 0     3 - 3 - 0
Howard 0 - 5 - 0     2 - 5 - 0
Ole Miss 0 - 5 - 0     0 - 6 - 0
Nashville   -         -  
  • $ - Conference champion

The 1907 Vanderbilt Commodores football team represented Vanderbilt University during the 1907 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association football season. The team's head coach was Dan McGugin, who served his fourth season in that capacity. Members of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the Commodores played five home games in Nashville, Tennessee and finished the season with a record 5-1-1 and 3-0 in SIAA.

Vanderbilt gave a shock to the football world by tying Eastern power Navy 6-6. The Commodores also beat Georgia Tech by the largest margin in coach John Heisman's tenure, and beat a powerful Sewanee team on a double pass play which Grantland Rice called the greatest thrill in his years of watching sports. The only loss suffered all season was to Western power Michigan.

Schedule

Date Time Opponent Site Result
October 5 Kentucky State* Dudley Field o Nashville, TN (Rivalry) W 40-0  
October 12 2:30 p.m. Navy* Worden Field o Annapolis, MD T 6-6  
October 19 Rose Polytechnic* Dudley Field o Nashville, TN W 65-10  
November 2 Michigan* Dudley Field o Nashville, TN L 0-8  
November 9 vs. Ole Miss Unknown o Memphis, TN. (Rivalry) W 60-0  
November 16 2:30 p.m. Georgia Techdagger Dudley Field o Nashville, TN W 54-0  
November 29 2:15 p.m. Sewanee Dudley Field o Nashville, TN (Rivalry) W 17-12  
*Non-conference game.

[1]

Season summary

Week 1: Kentucky State

Vanderbilt opened the season with a 40-0 defeat of Kentucky State, boosting morale.[2]

The starting lineup against Kentucky State: V. Blake (left end), McLain (left tackle), Sherrill (left guard), Stone (center), King (right guard), Hasslock (right tackle), B. Blake (right end), Costen (quarterback), Campbell (left halfback), Craig (right halfback), Morton (fullback).[2]

Week 2: at Navy

Vanderbilt at Navy
1 2 Total
Vanderbilt 0 6 6
Navy 6 0 6

The Commodores held the Navy team to a 6-6 tie in one of the highlights of the season. McGugin proved prophetic; before the game he said "We have an even chance with the Navy."[3] The Nashville papers said Vandy should've won,[4] and Grantland Rice criticized the officiating,[5] as did coach McGugin.[6] Navy's captain Tootsie Douglas called the tie "the bitterest pill I have ever had to swallow."[7]

The starting lineup against Navy: V. Blake (left end), McLain (left tackle), Sherrill (left guard), Stone (center), King (right guard), Hasslock (right tackle), B. Blake (right end), Costen (quarterback), Campbell (left halfback), Craig (right halfback), Morton (fullback).[3]

Week 3: Rose Polytechnic

Vanderbilt smashed Rose Polytechnic 65-10. Rose had played Vanderbilt close in prior seasons, and so was a good warm-up act to Michigan.[8]

Week 4: Michigan

Michigan at Vanderbilt
1 2 Total
o Michigan 8 0 8
Vanderbilt 0 0 0

Vanderbilt's only loss was the first home loss in three years, and only the third in the four years of Dan McGugin's coaching career at Vanderbilt --and all were to Michigan teams. The Commodores had a 26 game home win streak until Michigan stopped them on November 2. The Commodores lost to the Michigan Wolverines 8-0, in front of a crowd of 8,000 at Dudley Field in Nashville, snapping a 26-game home win streak. The crowd was the largest up to that date to see a football game south of the Mason-Dixon Line.[9][10] The game was "a big society event in the south," and the elite of Nashville, Chattanooga, and Memphis were in attendance.[n 1] The game matched Michigan head coach Fielding H. Yost against his former player and brother-in-law, Dan McGugin. Owing to the relationship between Yost and McGugin, the two teams played nine times between 1905 and 1923, with Michigan winning eight games and tying one.[11]

The game was played under clear skies and warm weather, the temperature being too warm "for the invaders' liking."[10]"Octy" Graham scored all of Michigan's points, converting on two of three field goal attempts. The tide of the game was set when Vanderbilt's quarterback, Sam Costen, dropped six of the first punts he received.

Germany Schulz depicted on a football card, c. 1955

The game most prominently featured a duel between star German centers. The Michigan Alumnus wrote: "'Germany' Schulz was far and away the star of the game. In his usual style he was in every play, tackling runners for loss, falling on the ball in fumbles, and opening wide holes in the line for Michigan gains. . . . [H]e showed conclusively that he has no equal in the keystone position."[9] A Nashville source wrote "In the duel of centers, Stone of Vanderbilt, had the best of "Germany" Schulz. Michigan's massive center. Stone's play was spectacular all the way."[12]

The starting lineup against Michigan: V. Blake (left end), McLain (left tackle), Sherrill (left guard), Stone (center), King (right guard), Hasslock (right tackle), B. Blake (right end), Costen (quarterback), Campbell (left halfback), Craig (right halfback), Morton (fullback).[9]

Week 5: vs. Mississippi

In a heavy rain, the Commodores defeated Mississippi 60-0. Vanderbilt had the substitutes in after ten minutes of play; and made ten touchdowns and ten goals.[13]

The starting lineup against Mississippi: V. Blake (left end), McLain (left tackle), Sherrill (left guard), Stone (center), Hall (right guard), King (right tackle), B. Blake (right end), Costen (quarterback), Campbell (left halfback), Craig (right halfback), Morton (fullback).[13]

Week 6: Georgia Tech

In the sixth week of play, Vanderbilt beat Georgia Tech by the largest margin in coach John Heisman's tenure, 54-0.[14] "The rooters stridently called: "We want sixty! We want sixty!"[15] According to sportswriter Grantland Rice, Heisman's team had a fine line but weak ends and backfield.[14]

The highlight of the first half came on a triple pass. Sam Costen passed the ball to Honus Craig, Craig passed it to Morton and Morton passed it to Bob Blake, who ran to the side and passed it 25 yards back to Costen. Costen ran the remaining 20 yards for a touchdown.[14]

Towards the end of the game, every regular with the exception of Stone was relieved with reserves.[14]

The starting lineup against Georgia Tech: V. Blake (left end), McLain (left tackle), Sherrill (left guard), Stone (center), King (right guard), Hasslock (right tackle), B. Blake (right end), Costen (quarterback), Campbell (left halfback), Craig (right halfback), Morton (fullback).[14]

Week 7: Sewanee

Sewanee at Vanderbilt
1 2 Total
Sewanee 6 6 12
o Vanderbilt 11 6 17

Vanderbilt faced one of Sewanee's greatest teams in its annual rivalry game which would decide the SIAA championship. Vanderbilt won a close game 17-12.

Stein Stone (pictured) caught the pass to beat Sewanee.

With the Commodores down 11-12, the game featured a 35-yard catch by Vanderbilt center Stein Stone, on a double-pass play then thrown near the end zone by Bob Blake that set up the 3-yard Honus Craig touchdown run to win at the very end.[16] The double pass was cited by Grantland Rice as the greatest thrill he ever witnessed in his years of watching sports.[17][18] McGugin in Spalding's Football Guide's summation of the season in the SIAA wrote "The standing. First, Vanderbilt; second, Sewanee, a mighty good second;" and that Sewanee back Aubrey Lanier "came near winning the Vanderbilt game by his brilliant dashes after receiving punts."[19]

Bob Blake

The starting lineup against Sewanee: V. Blake (left end), McLain (left tackle), Sherrill (left guard), Stone (center), King (right guard), Hasslock (right tackle), B. Blake (right end), Costen (quarterback), Campbell (left halfback), Craig (right halfback), Morton (fullback).[20]

Post-season

End Bob Blake made Walter Camp's All-America Honorable Mention, as well as the first team All-American selection of Michigan coach Fielding Yost. Sam Costen was elected captain for next year.[21] Vandy claimed the championship of the South.[22]

Players

Depth chart

The following chart provides a visual depiction of Vanderbilt's lineup during the 1907 season with games started at the position reflected in parenthesis. The chart mimics a short punt formation while on offense, with the quarterback under center.

LE
Vaughn Blake (6)
J. J. King (0)
LT LG C RG RT
Fatty McLain (6) Horace Sherrell (6) Stein Stone (6) J. J. King (5) Louis Hasslock (5)
Fatty McLain (0) Hall (1) J. J. King (1)
RE
Bob Blake (6)
 
QB
Sam Costen (6)
Hugh Potts (0)
FB
David Morton (6)
 

Varsity letter winners

"Wearers of the V."[23]

Line

Player Position Games
started
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
Bob Blake End 6 Cuero, Texas Bowen School 6'0" 170 22
Vaughn Blake End 6 Cuero, Texas Bowen School 160 19
Louis Hasslock Guard 5 Nashville, Tennessee Montgomery Bell Academy 173 19
J. J. King End, tackle, guard 6 Louisville, Kentucky
Fatty McLain Guard 6 Gloster, Mississippi 196 22
Horace Sherrell Guard 6 Dellrose, Tennessee 21
Stein Stone Center 6 Nashville, Tennessee Mooney School 6'3" 180 25

Backfield

Player Position Games
started
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
Vin Campbell Halfback 6 St. Louis, Missouri 6'0" 185 19
Sam Costen Quarterback 6 McKenzie, Tennessee 25
Honus Craig Halfback 6 Culleoka, Tennessee Branham & Hughes School 5'9" 165 25
David Morton Fullback 6 Louisville, Kentucky Branham & Hughes School
Hugh F. Potts Quarterback 0 Dallas, Texas Webb School

Unlisted

  • Pickens
  • Pittman
  • Souby
  • Stewart
  • Williams

Staff

  • H. E. Palmer, manager

Notes

  1. ^ Students from every college and preparatory school in Tennessee, including Belmont College and "other seminaries," also attended the game.[10]

References

  1. ^ "Coaching Records Game by Game: Dan McGugin 1907". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ a b Vanderbilt University, pp. 46-47
  3. ^ a b "Commodores Land At Annapolis". October 12, 1907. p. 8. Retrieved 2016 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  4. ^ Wm. J. Ewing, Jr. (October 13, 1907). "Commodores Play Middies To A Standstill". The Tennessean. p. 1. Retrieved 2016 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  5. ^ Grantland Rice (October 13, 1907). "Commodores and Navy Fight Drawn Battle". The Tennessean. p. 1. Retrieved 2016 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  6. ^ Grantland Rice (October 13, 1907). "Vandy Holds Navy Eleven To Tie Game". The Atlanta Constitution. p. 8. Retrieved 2016 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  7. ^ "The Navy's Captain". The Tennessean. October 13, 1907. p. 2. Retrieved 2016 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  8. ^ Vanderbilt University, p. 48
  9. ^ a b c "Michigan, 8; Vanderbilt, 0". The Michigan Alumnus. December 1907. pp. 104-105. 
  10. ^ a b c "Michigan Downs Vanderbilt: Defeat by Score of 8 to 0 Spreads Woe in Dixie Land: Graham's Kicking tells; Chicagoan Scores Twice From Placement; 8,000 See the Game". Chicago Daily Tribune. November 3, 1907. p. C1. ("Had there been another minute to play, though, the Michiganders would have negotiated a touchdown, for the ball was on Vanderbilt's one yard line when the last whistle blew.")
  11. ^ "Michigan vs Vanderbilt". College Football Data Warehouse. 
  12. ^ "Vanderbilt Beaten By Yost's Men". The Washington Times. November 3, 1907. Retrieved 2015 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  13. ^ a b "Vanderbilt 60, Mississippi 0". The Courier-Journal. November 10, 1907. p. 31. Retrieved 2016 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  14. ^ a b c d e Grantland Rice (November 17, 1907). "Tech Beaten Down". The Tennessean. p. 9. Retrieved 2016 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  15. ^ Vanderbilt University, p. 50
  16. ^ "Brown Calls Vanderbilt '06 Best Eleven South Ever Had". Atlanta Constitution. February 19, 1911. p. 52. Retrieved 2015 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  17. ^ closed access publication - behind paywall "Grantland Rice Tells Of Greatest Thrill In Years Of Watching Sport". Boston Daily Globe. April 27, 1924. 
  18. ^ http://www.vucommodores.com/genrel/120507aaa.html?wappref=std
  19. ^ Dan McGugin (1907). "Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association Foot Ball". The Official National Collegiate Athletic Association Football Guide. National Collegiate Athletic Association: 71-75. 
  20. ^ "Sewanee Gives Tough Battle". The Atlanta Constitution. November 29, 1907. p. 4. Retrieved 2016 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  21. ^ "Costen Will Lead Vanderbilt On Football Field Next Fall". Detroit Free Press. December 7, 1907. p. 8. Retrieved 2016 - via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read
  22. ^ http://www.vucommodores.com/genrel/120507aaa.html?wappref=std
  23. ^ Vanderbilt University, p. 237

Bibliography


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