1939, UCLA vs Texas Christian

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The Texas Chrisitan University Horned Frogs ball carrier is effectively squashed by a trio of UCLA Bruins including fullback/linebacker BILL OVERLIN (# 5) and two-way lineman MLADEN ZARUBICA (# 24) during the dramatic NCAA inter-regional meeting between the Pacific Coast Conference hosts and their highly regarded Southwest Conference guests at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in southern California.
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September 29, 1939
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Attendance : 55,000

UCLA BRUINS vs TEXAS CHRISTIAN HORNED FROGS

UCLA starting line-up
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LE – # 54 … Chuck CASCALES ………….. LH – # 13 … Kenny WASHINGTON
LT – # 10 … Ernest HILL …………………… FB – # 5 ….. Bill OVERLIN
LG – # 12 … John FRAWLEY …………….. QB – # 55 … Ned MATTHEWS
OC – # 6 ….. Martin MATHESON ………. RH – # 25 … Dale GILMORE
RG – # 30 … Louis KYZIVAT
RT – # 24 … Mladen ZARUBICA
RE – # 41 … Jim MITCHELL

substitutions (not necessarily complete)
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E – Woody STRODE (# 27), Don MACPHERSON (# 38), Ray BARTLETT (#9)
T – Del LYMAN (# 15), Jack COHEN (# 14)
G – Jack SOMMERS (# 11), Robin WILLIAMS (# 35)
C – Ted JONES (# 37), Lynn HALE (# 17)
LH – Chuck FENENBOCK (# 45)
FB – Leo CANTOR (# 2)
QB – Ben KVITKY (# 16)
RH – Jackie ROBINSON (# 28)

“UCLA BRUIN STARTERS AGAINST T.C.U. ANNOUNCED – STRODE, ROBINSON NOT IN OPENING LINEUP AS PART OF UCLA STRATEGY”

http://www.mocavo.com/California-Eagle-Volume-60/402981/99

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UCLA BRUINS 6 – TEXAS CHRISTIAN HORNED FROGS 2

Game Statistics
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net total yards from scrimmage …….. UCLA 179, TCU 259
first downs …………………………………… UCLA 8, TCU 15
net rushing yardage ……………………… UCLA 154, TCU 152
net passing yardage ……………………… UCLA 25, TCU 107
passes completed/attempted ……….. UCLA 2/7, TCU 15/27
passes intercepted by …………………… UCLA 1, TCU 2
fumbles recovered by …………………… UCLA 2, TCU 1
punts / average …………………………….. UCLA 9 – 36.8, TCU 6 – 40.8
yards penalized …………………………….. UCLA 55, TCU 15

scoring plays
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3rd qtr – BRUINS 6-0
Bill OVERLIN 9 yard run (kick failed)
3rd qtr – HORNED FROGS 2-6
safety, TCU defense tackled UCLA ball carrier in end zone

(statistics as reported by San Bernadino County Sun)

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(Associated Press – The Milwaukee Journal, Saturday, September 30, 1939) … UCLA tackle DEL LYMAN (# 15) looks on as Bruins star left halfback KENNY WASHINGTON is brought down by Texas Christian University Horned Frogs defensive back JACK ODLE (# 12) during the landmark NCAA inter-sectional match-up contested at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
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UCLA BRUINS vs TEXAS CHRISTIAN HORNED FROGS
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“Mighty TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY fell off its football pedestal Friday night. The famed Horned Frogs, mythical national champions in 1938, were beaten by the UNIVERSITY of CALIFORNIA at LOS ANGELES Bruins, 6 to 2. A brilliant third period touchdown drive proved the margin of the Uclans’ triumph over a team that had not been beaten in fourteen consecutive games (and), as a clincher, just when the Horned Frogs seemed headed for a touchdown in the final minutes of play, a Bruin quarterback, NED MATTHEWS intercepted a Texas Christian pass on his own 10-yard line … Mixed in from the opening kickoff to the final gun was evidence of another powerful team from Fort Worth but one not powerful enough to batter down a Bruin team that wouldn’t be beaten.” — Associated Press

Indeed, TCU outgained UCLA by eighty yards and accumulated almost twice as many first downs as their hosts in the process but were still unable to generate a single point while on offense. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs defense had noticeable difficulties in dealing with both the new “man-in-motion” offensive scheme adopted by Bruins first-year head coach BABE HORRELL and the speed of UCLA backs KENNY WASHINGTON and JACKIE ROBINSON. In particular, the visitors from the Southwest Conference were mesmerized by the backfield ball-handling skills of Washington and quite frequently had no idea who was actually carrying the pigskin until either “the Kingfish” or Robinson had broken into the clear.

As for the new UCLA wingback who had transferred in after starring at Pasadena Junior College the season before, the United Press wrote that “Jackie Robinson slashed off long gains and generally lived up to his advance ballyhoo as the fastest thing in cleats on the Pacific Coast.”

Still, the game remained scoreless until well into the third period when JACK ODLE, the new Horned Frogs quarterback who was tasked with replacing the 1938 Heisman Trophy winner, fumbled and Bruins guard JACK SOMMERS, the husky (6’2″ 210 lbs) junior guard from Norristown, Pennsylvania, pounced on the loose ball at the UCLA 29-yard line … from there, the underdog Bruins began an unstoppable eight-play march with nary a single pass thrown along the way :

Washington ………… 1 yard run
Washington ………. 12 yard run
Robinson ………….. 15 yard run
Overlin ……………….. 2 yard run
Washington ………. 19 yard run
Robinson ……………. 8 yard run
Washington ………… 5 yard run
Overlin ……………….. 9 yard touchdown run

The decisive scoring play against the defending national champions from TCU came straight out of UCLA’s new playbook — the left halfback, Washington, took the direct snap from center and, immediately after faking a handoff to the “man-in-motion” wingback, Robinson, circling back around on an end run to the left, gave the football to the fullback, BILL OVERLIN, who slashed through the right side of the Bruins’ line before crashing gloriously into the end zone.

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Texas Christian University Horned Frogs defensive back LOGAN WARE (# 6) cannot prevent UCLA Bruins fullback BILL OVERLIN (# 5) from carrying the football across the goal line late in the third quarter of the eye-opening NCAA inter-sectional contest at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
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Now, the Horned Frogs had not trailed at any point while racking up ten consecutive victories during their 1938 NCAA regular season and had rallied to defeat Carnegie Tech after going down in the 1939 Sugar Bowl game, as well. So after the Bruins went out in front, perhaps it should have come as no surprise that TCU right halfback LOGAN WARE returned ensuing kickoff 56 yards to the UCLA 34-yard line before the hustling lineman Sommers was able to make a touchdown-saving tackle. As a portent of things to come, however, this threat from the visitors would be effectively snuffed out soon enough.

Having regained possession of the football on a punt, Texas Christian would come right back for more in the final period. Odle, Ware and Horned Frogs fullback CONNIE SPARKS strung together some good runs and a 13-yard dash by TCU captain DON LOONEY on the “end around” play set the pigskin on the home team’s 5-yard line. There had been questions with respect to the quality and depth of the UCLA line heading into this 1939 NCAA campaign but, after four more running plays from the Horned Frogs, the bend-but-don’t-break Bruins were celebrating possession a mere yard away from their own line.

Texas Christian did manage to collect its only points on the evening shortly thereafter when the UCLA fullback Overlin, who was standing in punt formation deep in his own end zone, fumbled the snap on first down and then shovel passed the ball laterally to Bruins right halfback DALE GILMORE, who was summarily dumped behind the goal line by the Horned Frogs for a two-point safety.

With Odle now spraying forward passes all over the slippery and wet field, TCU mounted one final drive late in the fourth quarter of this Friday night contest but Matthews, the homegrown junior from Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles who lined up as the right halfback in UCLA’s regular 6-2-2-1 defensive scheme, sealed a historic victory for the Bruins by picking off a Horned Frogs aerial on his own 10-yard line and hauling it back 61 yards before finally being tackled.

Attendance according to newspaper references
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60,000 …… The Lodi News-Sentinel ………………… 09/30/39
60,000 …… The Modesto Bee & News-Herald ….. 09/30/39
60,000 …… The Pittsburgh Press …………………….. 09/30/39
55,000 ……. The Spokesman Review ……………….. 09/30/39
55,000 ……. San Bernardino County Sun …………. 09/30/39
55,000 ……. Eugene Register-Guard ………………… 09/30/39

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