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1954 UCLA Bruins football team

The 1954 UCLA Bruins football team represented the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the 1954 college football season. They played their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and were coached by Henry Russell Sanders. It was Sanders' sixth season as the UCLA head coach. The Bruins finished 9–0 overall, and were Pacific Coast Conference Champions with a 6–0 record.[1] The Bruins compiled 367 points against their opponents in nine games, and allowed only 40 points. The Bruins were not eligible to play in the Rose Bowl vs. Ohio State because of the "no repeat" rule in effect at the time. No team was allowed to participate in consecutive Rose Bowl games, and since UCLA had played in the 1954 Rose Bowl, they were excluded from the 1955 event. The game likely would have made for a de facto national championship game, but thus, rival USC (whom the Bruins soundly defeated 34-0 during the season) competed in the Rose Bowl instead, losing to Ohio State. Following the outcome, UCLA and Ohio State split the national championship.

1954 UCLA Bruins football
UCLA Bruins script.svg
Consensus national champion
PCC champion
ConferencePacific Coast Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 1
APNo. 2
1954 record9–0 (6–0 PCC)
Head coachRed Sanders (6th season)
Offensive schemeSingle wing
Home stadiumLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Seasons
← 1953
1955 →
1954 PCC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 2 UCLA $ 6 0 0     9 0 0
No. 17 USC 6 1 0     8 4 0
Oregon 5 3 0     6 4 0
California 4 3 0     5 5 0
Washington State 3 4 0     4 6 0
Stanford 2 4 0     4 6 0
Idaho 1 2 0     4 5 0
Washington 1 6 0     2 8 0
Oregon State 1 6 0     1 8 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

UCLA was selected national champion by NCAA-designated major selectors of Dunkel, FW, Litkenhous, National Championship Foundation, and UPI/coaches, and co-champion by both Football Research and Helms.[2]:113 This consensus national championship is claimed by the school.[2]:120[3] Ohio State was selected national champion by the AP Poll among other selectors.

During the season, the Bruins debuted their powder blue uniforms, referred to as "powder-keg blue" by head coach Sanders, that featured two white stripes around the shoulders.[4] The white uniforms with blue stripes were used the previous season during the game against USC but this was the earliest known instance of the stripes becoming a regular part of the UCLA uniform.[5][6]

Previous seasonEdit

The Bruins finished the 1953 regular season with a 9–1 overall record, and won the Pacific Coast Conference with a 6–1 record. Their only loss on the season came at Stanford, where they lost 20–21. UCLA participated in the 1954 Rose Bowl, losing to the #5 Michigan State Spartans 20–28.

ScheduleEdit

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteResultAttendance
September 188:30 p.m.San Diego NTC*No. 8W 67–024,793[7]
September 251:00 p.m.at Kansas*No. 8W 32–725,000[8]
October 18:30 p.m.No. 6 Maryland*No. 4
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
W 12–773,376[9]
October 92:00 p.m.at WashingtonNo. 2W 21–2035,678[10]
October 162:00 p.m.StanfordNo. 3
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
W 72–070,555[11]
October 231:30 p.m.at Oregon StateNo. 3W 61–08,500[12]
October 302:00 p.m.at CaliforniaNo. 3W 27–665,000[13]
November 62:00 p.m.OregonNo. 1
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
W 41–046,435[14]
November 202:00 p.m.No. 7 USCNo. 2
  • Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
  • Los Angeles, CA
W 34–0102,548[15]
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Pacific time

Game summariesEdit

San Diego NavyEdit

San Diego Navy at UCLA
1 234Total
San Diego Navy 0 000 0
Bruins 13 27720 67

The Bruins had originally scheduled Santa Clara to open their season but after the Broncos suspended football, the San Diego Naval Training Center was scheduled as a replacement. Although the San Diego NTC featured players such as All-American Bucky Curtis from Vanderbilt and All-PCC Earl Stelle from Oregon, UCLA was favored three touchdowns.[16]

Primo Villanueva scored the first two touchdowns of the game and the Bruins led 13–0 within 7 minutes. Bruce Ballard, Sam Brown, Villaneuva, and Bob Davenport would each score another running touchdown giving the Bruins a 40–0 halftime lead. Davenport, Gerry McDougal, and Doug Peters would each score three more running touchdowns and Ronnie Loudd would score a passing touchdown from Gerry McDougal to give UCLA a punishing 67–0 victory.[17][18]

KansasEdit

UCLA at Kansas
1 234Total
Bruins 18 0014 32
Jayhawks 0 700 7
Overall record Last meeting Result
1–0 1953 UCLA, 19–7

The Bruins scored three consecutive touchdowns in the first quarter. Kansas player Ralph Moody scored the first Kansas touchdown on an 82-yard punt return. Jack Ellena would score on a 50-yard punt return in the fourth quarter and Don Shinnick would score on a 73-yard run to give the Bruins a 32–7 victory.[8][19][20][21]

MarylandEdit

Maryland at UCLA
1 234Total
Terrapins 0 007 7
Bruins 6 006 12
Overall record Last meeting Result
Overall record Last meeting Result
First meeting

Maryland were the 1953 national champions. Bob Davenport gained 89 yard on 23 carries and scored both of UCLA's touchdowns. Maryland's Howard Dare scored a touchdown on a pass from Charley Boxold to give the Terrapins the led early in the fourth quarter. Davenport scored the go ahead touchdown in the middle of the fourth quarter to give the Bruins the victory.[22][23]

WashingtonEdit

UCLA at Washington
1 234Total
Bruins 7 0140 21
Huskies 0 0713 20
  • Date: October 9, 1954
  • Location: Husky Stadium
    Seattle, WA
  • Game start: 2:00 p.m. PST
  • Game attendance: 35,700
  • Game weather: Weather: Warm-Overcast
  • Referee: Jack L. Sprenger, Melvin W. Nicherson, Ted T. Fehring, Albert A. Bodner, Rudolph E. Hansen, Fred L. Gali
Overall record Last meeting Result
8–8–1 1953 UCLA, 22–6

Bob Davenport scored two rushing touchdowns, Primo Villanueva scored one rushing touchdown, and Johnny Herman converted all three extra points to give UCLA a 21–0 led midway through the third quarter. After Bruins Coach Sanders would replaced his starters with his second and third string players, Washington quarterback Bob Cox threw a passing touchdown to Dean Derby and Bob Dunn converted the extra point to reduce UCLA's lead to 21–7 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Sam Brown fumbled which allowed Washington to recover at the UCLA 25. Cox threw another touchdown, this time to Corky Lewis but Dunn missed the extra point kick. Brown fumbled again for a 13-yard loss and Washington scored another passing touchdown on a 56-yard drive. Dunn's extra point reduced the UCLA lead to 21–20 with 2:30 minutes left. The Bruins would hold out to win the game.[24]

StanfordEdit

Stanford at UCLA
1 234Total
Indians 0 000 0
Bruins 13 142124 72
Overall record Last meeting Result
0–0 1953 Stanford, 20–21

The Bruin defense intercepted Stanford quarterbacks Jerry Gustafson and John Neff eight times and returned them for 210 total yards. Sam Brown set a new conference record for punt returns with 132 yards in three returns. Villanueva, Davenport and Brown each scored twice while Decker, Loudd, Heydenfeldt and McDougall scored once each for a total of 10 touchdowns.[25]

Oregon StateEdit

UCLA at Oregon State
1 234Total
Bruins 13 201414 61
Beavers 0 000 0
Overall record Last meeting Result
11–4–3 1953 UCLA, 41–0

Sam Brown scored two touchdowns and Bob Davenport, Johnny Hermann, Primo Villanueva, Doug Peters, Don Shinnick, Russ Hampton, and Clarence Norris each scored a touchdown to give UCLA the 61–0 victory over Oregon State. The Bruins rushed for 498 yards and 593 total yards while holding Oregon State to 88 rushing yards and 111 total yards.[26]

CaliforniaEdit

UCLA at California
1 234Total
Bruins 7 7013 27
Golden Bears 0 600 6
Overall record Last meeting Result
9–14–1 1953 UCLA, 20–7

Primo Villanueva rushed for two touchdowns in the first half and threw a touchdown pass to Johnny Hermann in the fourth. Cal's Paul Larson set new Bears record for passes (38), pass completions (25), and pass yards (280) and Williams scored the Bear's lone touchdown on a 7-yard run.[27]

OregonEdit

Oregon at UCLA
1 234Total
Webfoots 0 000 0
Bruins 7 14614 41
Overall record Last meeting Result
14–10 1953 UCLA, 12–0

With the victory, UCLA set a new single scoring record of 333 points, surpassing the previous record of 327 points in just 8 games. Rommie Loudd scored the first points of the game on a 16-yard pass from Primo Villanueva. Bob Davenport, Jim Decker, Doug Bradley, Sam Brown, and Rommie Loudd each scored rushing touchdowns. Oregon only moved passed the 50 yard line two and the UCLA defense limited George Shaw, the country's leading passer with 178 yard per game, to only 29 yards.[28]

USCEdit

USC at UCLA
1 234Total
Trojans 0 000 0
Bruins 7 0027 34
Overall record Last meeting Result
5–14–4 1953 UCLA, 13–0

A 48-yard pass from Primo Villanueva to Bob Heydenfeldt gave UCLA a 7–0 first quarter lead. The Bruins poured on with four touchdowns in the fourth quarter: Bob Davenport scored from the one-yard line, Villanueva passed to Terry Debay for a 12-yard touchdown, Rommie Loudd caught a pass from Doug Bradley for an 8-yard touchdown, and Sam Brown passed to Bruce Ballard for a 17-yard touchdown. USC had only 5 yards rushing.[29]

PersonnelEdit

RosterEdit

1954 UCLA Bruins Football

Halfbacks

Fullbacks

Quarterbacks

  • 40 Terry Debay – Senior
  • 44 Bob Bergdahl – Sophomore
  • 46 Gerry Okuneff – Senior
 

Centers

  • 50 John Peterson – Senior
  • 52 Jack McKay – Sophomore
  • 53 Steve Palmer – Junior

Guards

 

Tackles

  • 71 Gil Moreno – Junior
  • 74 Preston Dills – Junior
  • 75 Warner Benjamin – Senior
  • 77 Jack EllenaSenior
  • 78 Joe Ray – Senior

Ends


Sources:[30][31][32]

Coaching staffEdit

Henry "Red" Sanders returned to coach the Bruins for the sixth season. The Bruin coaching staff included four future college head coaches, including three (Barnes, Dickerson, and Prothro) who would eventually serve as UCLA head coaches.[33]

Name Position Years
at UCLA
Alma mater (Year)
Henry "Red" Sanders Head Coach 6 Vanderbilt (1926)
William F. Barnes Ends Coach 5 Tennessee (1939)
Deke Brackett Assistant Coach 5 Tennessee (1933)
George W. Dickerson Assistant Line Coach 8 UCLA (1936)
Jim Myers Line Coach 6 Tennessee (1946)
Tommy Prothro Backfield Coach 6 Duke (1941)
Johnny Johnson Freshman Coach 6 UCLA (1946)[34]

StatisticsEdit

TeamEdit

UCLA Opp
Points per Game 40.8 4.4
First Downs 151 95
  Rushing 119 35
  Passing 31 58
  Penalty 1 2
Rushing Yardage 2,578 659
  Rushing Attempts 454 314
  Avg per Rush 5.6 2.1
  Avg per Game 286.4 73.2
Passing Yardage 721 1,049
  Avg per Game 80.1 116.6
  Completions-Attempts 52-107 (48.6%) 92-216 (83.8%)
Total Offense 3,299 1,708
  Total Plays 561 470
  Avg per Play 5.9 3.7
  Avg per Game 366.6 195.3
Fumbles-Lost 23–12 32–21
UCLA Opp
Punts-Yards 40-1497 (37.4 avg) 57-1932 (33.9 avg)
Punt Returns-Total Yards 32-588 (18.4 avg) 23-271 (11.8 avg)
Kick Returns-Total Yards 16-323 (20.2 avg) 58-862 (14.9 avg)
Onside Kicks
Avg Time of Possession per Game
Penalties-Yards 34-400 41-355
  Avg per Game 44.4 39.4
3rd Down Conversions
4th Down Conversions
Sacks By-Yards
Total TDs 45 6
  Rushing 35 2
  Passing 10 4
Field Goals-Attempts 0-0 (0%) 0-0 (0%)
PAT-Attempts 37-55 (67.3%) 4-6 (66.7%)
Total Attendance 317,707 134,178
  Games-Avg per Game 5 – 63,541 4 – 33,544

Scores by quarterEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Opponents 0 13 7 20 40
UCLA 91 82 62 132 367

OffenseEdit

RushingEdit

PassingEdit

ReceivingEdit

DefenseEdit

Special teamsEdit

(Statistics compiled from individual NCAA game summaries)[7][20][9][10][11][12][13][12][15]

RankingEdit

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Final 
AP 8 (1) 8 (2) 4 (3) 2 (20) 3 (10) 3 (23) 3 (45) 1 (72) 1 (117) 2 (92) 2 (85) 2 (133)  
Coaches Not released 4 (1) [35] 2 (5) [36] 3 (2) [37] 3 (6) [38] 1 (8) [39] 1 (19) [40] 1 (26) [41] 1 (23) [42] 1 (22) [42] 1 (21) [43]

Awards and honorsEdit

All-American

  • First Team All-American (Consensus)
    • Jack Ellena (AAB, AFCA, AP, INS, NEA, SN, UP)
  • First Team All-American
    • Bob Davenport (AP-2, FWAA, INS-2, NEA-2, UP-3, CP-2)
    • Jim Salsbury (AFCA, AP-3, FWAA, INS-2, NEA-2, UP-2, CP-3)
  • Second Team All-American
    • Primo Villaneva (AP-HR, UP-2, CP-HR, NEA-HR)
  • Honorable Mention All-American
    • Sam Boghosian (UP-HR)
    • Herdiman Cureton (UP-HR, UP-HR)
    • Bob Heydenfeldt (UP-HR)
    • Bob Long (AP-HR)
    • Ronnie Loudd (UP-HR)
    • Terry Debay (UP-HR)
    • Jim Decker (UP-HR)
    • John Peterson (UP-HR, CP-HR)
    • Joe Ray (AP-HR, UP-HR)

Coaches' All-PCC

  • All-PCC First Team
    • Bob Davenport
    • Jim Salsbury
    • Primo Villaneva
    • Jack Ellena
  • All-PCC Second Team
    • Sam Boghosian
    • Herdiman Cureton
    • Bob Long
    • Jim Decker
    • Joe Ray
  • Honorable Mention
    • John Hermann
    • Terry Debay
    • Gil Moreno
    • John Peterson

UP All-Coast Team

  • All-Coast First Team
    • Bob Davenport
    • Jack Ellena
    • Jim Salsbury
    • Primo Villaneva
  • All-Coast Second Team
    • Sam Boghosian
    • Herdiman Cureton
    • Bob Heydenfeldt

AP All-Pacific Coast Team

  • All-Pacific First Team
    • Bob Davenport
    • Jack Ellena
    • Bob Long
    • Jim Salsbury
  • All-Pacific Second Team
    • Sam Boghosian
    • Herdiman Cureton
    • Joe Ray
    • Primo Villaneva

[44]

1955 NFL DraftEdit

Rnd. Pick # NFL team Player Pos. College Conf. Notes
2 18 Los Angeles Rams Bob Long  B UCLA PCC
2 24 Detroit Lions Jim Salsbury  G UCLA PCC
11 127 Los Angeles Rams Joe Ray  T UCLA PCC

source:[45][46]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2011 UCLA Football Media Guide" (PDF). UCLABruins.com. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  2. ^ a b 2018 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Records (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. August 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  3. ^ "UCLA Football 2017 Information Guide" (PDF). University of California at Los Angeles. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  4. ^ Hoffman, Jeane. "Bruin Grid Players Sport Shoulder Hoops". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ "The first use by UCLA of "UCLA stripes" on pale-blue jerseys: the 1954 San Diego Navy game . ." Southern Branch, University of California! Unofficial notes on the early days of UCLA—when she went by a different name! The emphasis here is on pre-1955 football!. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  6. ^ Southern Campus (1954 ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Associated Students, University of California at Los Angeles. pp. 268–271.
  7. ^ a b "UCLA vs San Diego Navy Summary of Football Game Statistics" (PDF). NCAA Football Statistics. NCAA. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b "U. C. L. A. WHIPS KANSAS". Chicago Daily Tribue (26 September 1954). Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  9. ^ a b "UCLA vs Maryland Summary of Football Game Statistics" (PDF). NCAA Football Statistics. NCAA. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Washington vs UCLA Summary of Football Game Statistics" (PDF). NCAA Football Statistics. NCAA. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  11. ^ a b "UCLA vs Stanford Summary of Football Game Statistics" (PDF). NCAA Football Statistics. NCAA. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  12. ^ a b c "Oregon State vs UCLA Summary of Football Game Statistics" (PDF). NCAA Football Statistics. NCAA. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  13. ^ a b "California vs UCLA Summary of Football Game Statistics" (PDF). NCAA Football Statistics. NCAA. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  14. ^ "UCLA vs Oregon Summary of Football Game Statistics" (PDF). NCAA Football Statistics. NCAA. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  15. ^ a b "UCLA vs USC Summary of Football Game Statistics" (PDF). NCAA Football Statistics. NCAA. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  16. ^ Hyland, Dick (17 September 1954). "SC, UCLA GRIDDERS: Bruins Taper Off for Navy Opener". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  17. ^ Hyland, Dick (19 September 1954). "Bruins Scuttle Navy, 67 to 0, in Grid Opener". Los Angeles Times.
  18. ^ Hyland, Dick (20 September 1954). "Bruin Backfield Sharp in Victory". Los Angeles Times.
  19. ^ Hyland, Dick (26 September 1954). "Bruins Rip Jayhawks for 32-7 Victory". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  20. ^ a b "Kansas vs UCLA Summary of Football Game Statistics" (PDF). NCAA Football Statistics. NCAA. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Sports to see Hear Today On TV, Radio". Los Angeles Times. 25 September 1954. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  22. ^ Hyland, Dick (7 October 1954). "UCLA Surprises Maryland; Play Washington Saturday". Los Angeles Times.
  23. ^ Hyland, Dick (3 October 1954). "UCLA Rally Beats Maryland, 12-7". Los Angeles Times.
  24. ^ Hyland, Dick (10 October 1954). "Bruins Edge Past Pesky Huskies, 21-20". Los Angeles Times.
  25. ^ Hyland, Dick (17 October 1954). "Bruins scalp Indians in 72-0 Massacre". Los Angeles Times.
  26. ^ Hyland, Dick (24 October 1954). "Point-a-Minute Bruins Run Roughshod Over Beavers: Bruins Run Wild Again, Win, 61-0". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  27. ^ Hyland, Dick (31 October 1954). "Villanueva Sparks Bruins to 27-6 Win". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  28. ^ Hyland, Dick (7 November 1957). "Uclans Run Over Duck Grids, 41-0: Bruins Ruin Ducks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  29. ^ Zimmerman, Paul (21 November 1954). "102,548 Watch UCLA Crush SC: Zimmerman's Report of UCLA Win". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  30. ^ Southern Campus (1955 ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Associated Students, University of California at Los Angeles. pp. 268–271.
  31. ^ "All-Time Grantland Rice Trophy Winners". sportswriters.net. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  32. ^ "LINE-UPS FOR UCLA-OREGON CONTEST: COLISEUM LINE-UPS". Los Angeles Times (6 November 1954). Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  33. ^ Southern Campus (1955 ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Associated Students, University of California at Los Angeles. pp. 268–271.
  34. ^ Bolch, Ben. "John L. Johnson, a former UCLA football player and teammate of Jackie Robinson, dies at 96". Los Angeles Times (17 October 2017). Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  35. ^ Associated Press (29 September 1954). "Notre Dame's Footballers Top AP Poll". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  36. ^ "Bruins Second to Oklahoma: Sanders' Team Runner-up in Nationwide Balloting". Los Angeles Times. 5 October 1954.
  37. ^ Associated Press (13 October 1954). "Oklahoma First, UCLA 3rd in Poll". Los Angeles Times.
  38. ^ Associated Press (19 October 1954). "Bruins Remain Third in Poll: Oklahoma, Wisconsin Top Teams in Nation". Los Angeles Times.
  39. ^ "Bruins Take First Place in UP Poll: Oklahoma, Ohio St. Tie for Second in Weekly Balloting". Los Angeles Times. 26 October 1954. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  40. ^ Associated Press (2 November 1954). "Bruins Top Nation in AP and UP Polls". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  41. ^ Associated Press (10 November 1954). "Bruins Expand Lead in Polls: UCLA Voted Tops by 117 on AP Football Ballots". Los Angeles Time.
  42. ^ a b "UP's Coaches Poll: Men Who Know Best Tab UCLA UP POLL". Los Angeles Times. 24 November 1954. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  43. ^ "Bruins Voted UP National Champion: Coaches Tab UCLA Over OSU". Los Angeles Times. 30 November 1954.
  44. ^ "Tradition" (PDF). 2016 UCLA Football Information Guide. UCLA Athletics. pp. 126–142. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  45. ^ "NFL Draft History". nfl.com. NFL Enterprises LLC.
  46. ^ "1955 NFL Player Draft". databasefootball.com. databaseSports.com. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2018.