Photo courtesy of Georgia Tech athletics
Most of our anniversary pieces involve games that were pretty close and in many cases, thrillers.
This one happens to be the most lopsided game in college football history. On this day 105 years ago, Georgia Tech blasted Cumberland College in a contest unlikely to ever be paralleled, 222-0.
Setting the Stage
It was safe to say that Georgia Tech was a healthy favorite as the team arrived at Grant Field on Oct. 7, 1916. The Engineers had opened the season with a 61-0 blowout of Mercer.
Cumberland on the other hand, had actually decided to cancel its season before it started. The Bulldogs however, were not allowed to back out of their previously scheduled game against Georgia Tech. Doing so would have cost the school $3,000.
For Georgia Tech, there was a bit of a revenge factor. Cumberland’s baseball team had topped the Engineers 22-0 earlier in the year amid allegations that the Bulldogs were using professionals. John Heisman’s team saw to it to avenge the baseball team’s embarrassment.
As for the game itself, it would have been nearly impossible for it to have been any more lopsided. The Engineers scored at least 42 points in every quarter, including 63 in each of the first two.
At halftime, Georgia Tech led 126-0. In total, Georgia Tech finished with 32 total touchdowns and 922 yards of offense — all on the ground.
Cumberland, on the other hand, was unable to manage a first down. The Bulldogs turned the ball over 15 times in the loss.
Cumberland took a beating not only on the scoreboard, but physically. The Bulldogs’ quarterback was actually carted off the field three different times with a concussion.
For Cumberland, the lopsided contest would be its only game of the season. Known as a political figure under three U.S. presidents, it would also be the only game that George E. Allen ever coached.
As for Georgia Tech, beating teams soundly was a theme in 1916. The Engineers shut out six of their nine opponents during an 8-0-1 campaign in which they were retroactively named national champions. None were more memorable than the one that took place on this day 105 years ago.
Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.