1943 Rose Bowl
The 1943 Rose Bowl game, played on January 1, 1943, was the 29th Rose Bowl game. The University of Georgia Bulldogs defeated the UCLA Bruins 9-0. The game returned to the Rose Bowl stadium after being played at Duke Stadium the year before. 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.
|1943 Rose Bowl|
|29th Rose Bowl Game|
|Date||January 1, 1943|
|MVP||Charley Trippi, Georgia|
|National anthem||UCLA Band|
|Halftime show||UCLA Band, Pasadena City College band|
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 continued on in the Rose Bowl Stadium. Few Georgia fans were able to make the trip because of travel restrictions. There were a large number of military servicemen in attendance. The Tournament of Roses parade itself still was not held due to the war. Due to the number of American servicemen stationed in Australia, the game was broadcast live on Australian radio.
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.
The previous season saw UCLA and USC tie 7-7 in a matchup of lower tier teams. They had played that year on the eve of America's entry into World War II, on December 6, 1941.
In 1942, the Bruins and Trojans met with the Rose Bowl on the line for both teams. On December 12, 1942, UCLA defeated USC for the first time 14-7.
The Tournament of Roses committee were responsible for selecting and inviting the opposing team. Georgia was the number two team in the nation behind number 1 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 Ten and Pacific Coast Conference. 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.
The Temperature was 72 and sunny in Pasadena. UCLA wore gold helmets, white jerseys, and gold pants. Georgia had silver helmets, red jerseys, and gray pants.
Both teams went 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.
- No score
- No score
- No score
- Georgia — Willard "Red" Boyd blocks Bob Waterfield's punt out of bounds for an automatic safety.
- Georgia — Frank Sinkwich, one-yard run. Leo Costa converts.
|Net Yards Rushing||212||88|
|Net Yards Passing||167||69|
The UCLA Bruins had 5 first downs to Georgia's 25 and were regarded as no match for the Bulldogs. The Bruins were considered lucky to have held Georgia to 9 points. Georgia coach Wally Butts was reportedly sweating over the Bruins' defense during the game. A spectator in the stadium died of a heart attack during the game. The Georgia team remained in town a day to celebrate after the game. The team got a studio tour and met with Hollywood stars.
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. 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. 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.
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.
- Official 2007 NCAA Division I football records book – PDF copy available at NCAA.org
- 2008 Rose Bowl Program Archived 2008-03-06 at the Wayback Machine, 2008 Rose Bowl. Accessed January 26, 2008.
- University of Georgia Living History – Leo Costa Interview Archived 2017-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. University of Georgia, June 11, 2008
- 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.
- 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.
- "U.S.A. FOOTBALL BROADCAST". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 January 1943. p. 7. Retrieved 21 March 2014 – via National Library of Australia.
- Poi Bowl
- 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.
- 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.
- National Climatic Data Center, Record of Climatogical Observations. Pasadena, California, for Jan 1, 1943
- 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.
- 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
- 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."
- 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
- 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."
- 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"
- Spectator Dies in Grandstand, Excitement Brings Fatal Heart Attack to 52-Year-Old Fan. Los Angeles Times, January 2, 1943.
- 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."
- 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."
- Lynn Compton aka Buck (90) died from complications of a heart attack. April 4, 2012.
- McLellan, Dennis – Lynn D. 'Buck' Compton dies at 90; judge also known for World War II service Los Angeles Times, February 29, 2012
- Ralph D. Russo – Georgia, USC would make good championship matchup. Associated Press College Football, Appeared in Honolulu Advertiser, January 2, 2008.