UCLA Bruins vs Santa Clara Broncos – By 1939’s Numbers

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UCLA left halfback KENNY “Kingfish” WASHINGTON (# 13) had already scored four touchdowns rushing and thrown passes for three more through the Bruins’ first six games on their 1939 NCAA schedule while Santa Clara right end WILLIAM “Hawaiian Bill” ANAHU (# 35) had caught a touchdown pass in each of the Broncos’ last two games this term as the two nationally-ranked California schools prepared to meet at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on the third week of November that year.
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’39 UCLA Offense : yards per game
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vs T.C.U. ……………….. 154 rush ……… 25 pass ……. 179 total ………. 6 points
vs Washington ……….. 159 rush ……. 100 pass ……. 259 total ……. 14 points
vs Stanford …………….. 127 rush ……… 35 pass ……. 162 total ……. 14 points
vs Montana …………….. 245 rush …….. 80 pass ……. 423 total …… 20 points
vs Oregon ……………….. 177 rush ……… 66 pass ……. 243 total …… 16 points
vs California ……………. 218 rush ……. 133 pass ……. 352 total …… 20 points
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average …………. rush = 180.0 … pass = 73.2 … total = 253.2 … points = 15.0

UCLA Offensive Touchdowns Scored (12)
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LHB – Washington 4, FB – Overlin 2, RHB – Robinson 2, RHB – Gilmore 1,
FB – Cantor 1, RE – MacPherson 1, LE – Strode 1

UCLA Extra Points Scored (9)
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G – Frawley 6, RHB – Robinson 2, G – Kyzivat 1

UCLA Field Goals Made (1)
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G – Sommers 1

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Although often used as a decoy in the Bruins’ new “Man-In-Motion” offensive scheme installed by UCLA’s first-year head coach Babe Horrell, the explosive JACKIE ROBINSON (# 28) excelled at right halfback during his first season at the elite NCAA level. The transfer from Pasadena Junior College had already produced his fair share of big plays in each of the Bruins’ first five games of the 1939 NCAA campaign but was suddenly injured during a practice session prior to the Pacific Coast Conference game against the California Golden Bears. Thus, the Santa Clara Broncos caught a bit of a break and would not have to deal with the speedy UCLA Bruin who was destined to lead the entire nation that year in both average yards per punt return as well as average yards per rushing play.
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’39 SANTA CLARA Offense : yards per game
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vs Utah …………………… 141 rush ……. 102 pass …… 243 total ……… 7 points
vs Texas A&M ………….. 74 rush ……… 26 pass …… 100 total ……… 3 points
vs San Francisco ……… 154 rush ……… 37 pass …… 191 total …….. 13 points
vs St. Mary’s …………… 163 rush ………. 89 pass …… 252 total ……… 7 points
vs Purdue ……………….. 159 rush ……… 44 pass …… 203 total ……. 13 points
vs Stanford ……………… 225 rush ……. 128 pass …… 353 total ……. 27 points
vs Michigan State ……………………………. unavailable ……………………. 6 points
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average …………. rush = 152.6 … pass = 71.0 … total = 233.6 … points = 10.9

(Note — Santa Clara’s average points scored per game includes all seven contests but the figures for rushing & passing yards reflect the Broncos’ first six games only)

Santa Clara Offensive Touchdowns Scored (10)
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FB – Roche 4, RE – Anahu 2, LE – Sanders 1, LE – Lacey 1, RHB – Peterson 1, LHB – Casanega 1

Santa Clara Extra Points Scored (7)
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LHB – Johnson 4, RE – Anahu 2, T – Stubler 1

Santa Clara Field Goals Made (1)
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LHB – Johnson 1

Note — Santa Clara’s defense also added an important touchdown against the Stanford Indians when substitute tackle BILL BRAUN, the sophomore whose professional playing rights would ultimately be reserved by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 18th round (# 163 overall) of the 1942 National Football League Draft, returned an interception 40 yards to give the Broncos what proved to be an insurmountable 21-7 advantage.

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Santa Clara Broncos left halfback JIM JOHNSON (# 9), seen as the second-best player at his position on the Pacific Coast in 1939 by no less of an authority than the Associated Press, attempts to sweep around right end against the St. Mary’s College of California Gaels during the late October clash of regional rivals witnessed by the crowd of 50,000 spectators at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. Johnson, the junior who was eventually tabbed by the mighty Chicago Bears in the 13th round (# 119 overall) of the 1941 NFL Draft, missed virtually the entire game against the Michigan State Spartans after going down injured on just the second play from scrimmage but recovered in time to face the UCLA Bruins one week later. At far right in the above photo is Santa Clara Broncos guard RUPE THORNTON (# 26), the sturdy sophomore from Portland, Oregon, who was honored as a Second Team All-Pacific Coast selection by the Associated Press in both 1940 and 1941 before ultimately being chosen by the Chicago Cardinals in the seventh round (# 54 overall) of the 1942 NFL Draft.
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’39 UCLA Defense : yards per game
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vs T.C.U. ……………….. 152 rush …….. 107 pass …… 259 total ……… 0 points *
vs Washington …………… 0 rush ………. 48 pass …….. 48 total ……… 7 points
vs Stanford …………….. 189 rush ………. 37 pass …… 226 total ……. 14 points
vs Montana ………………. 63 rush ……. 122 pass ……. 185 total ……… 6 points
vs Oregon ……………….. 222 rush ……… 79 pass ……. 301 total ……… 6 points
vs California …………….. 94 rush ………. 65 pass ……. 159 total ……… 7 points
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average …………… rush = 120.0 … pass = 76.3 … total = 196.3 … points = 6.7 *

The UCLA defense intercepted 10 forward passes and recovered nine of their opponents’ fumbles for a total of 19 turnovers created through the first six games on the Bruins’ 1939 NCAA schedule. Quarterback NED MATTHEWS, the homegrown junior from Los Angeles who operated as a modern day cornerback in the Bruins’ 6-2-2-1 defensive formation typical of the Single Wing Era, made a critical interception in the fourth quarter of UCLA’s opener against Texas Christian University and also picked off passes against the Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks, respectively. Right halfback JACKIE ROBINSON, the Bruins’ other regular first team defensive cornerback who would sit the Santa Clara Broncos game out injured, also snatched an enemy aerial in the contest with the University of Oregon and returned another interception 51 yards to directly pave the way UCLA’s equalizing points in the early-season Pacific Coast Conference encounter with the Stanford Indians, as well.

* Note — the two points registered by T.C.U. during the Horned Frogs’ 6-2 season-opening loss to the UCLA Bruins were, of course, scored on a safety that was conceded by the UCLA offense (and not by the the Bruins defense).

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A quartet of UCLA defenders including right end JIM MITCHELL (# 41), fullback LEO CANTOR (# 2) and quarterback JOE VIGER (# 32) surround the ball carrier during the Bruins’ 20-7 thumping of the visiting California Golden Bears at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 4, 1939.
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’39 SANTA CLARA Defense : yards per game
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vs Utah ……………………. 166 rush ……… 45 pass …… 211 total ……… 7 points
vs Texas A&M …………. 126 rush ……… 62 pass …… 188 total ……… 7 points
vs San Francisco ………… 65 rush ……… 12 pass …….. 77 total ……. 13 points
vs St. Mary’s ……………… 73 rush ……… 17 pass …….. 90 total ……… 0 points
vs Purdue ………………… 139 rush ……… 87 pass …… 226 total ……… 6 points
vs Stanford ………………… 11 rush ……. 172 pass …… 183 total ……… 7 points
vs Michigan State …………………………….. unavailable ………………….. 0 points
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average ……………. rush = 96.7 … pass = 65.8 … total = 162.5 … points = 5.7

(Note — Santa Clara’s average for points conceded per game includes all seven contests but the figures for rushing & passing yards reflects the Broncos’ first six games only)

“Among close students of football (Broncos head coach) BUCK SHAW is rated a master of defensive formations,” it was stated in the United Press article, “BRUINS WILL TEST BRONCOS DEFENSES”, that was published in the Berkeley Daily Gazette on November 14, 1939 … “During his four years at Santa Clara, he has stalemated the offenses of some of the greatest teams in the nation by setting up defenses which the opponents found impossible to penetrate.”

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