Georgia Tech: 21
On January 1st, 1940 the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets would face off against the Missouri Tigers in the Orange Bowl. The game would be Tech’s second ever bowl game. The Tigers, led by All-American quarterback and Heisman finalist Paul Christman, were the favorite to win. Georgia Tech entered the game ranked 16th in the AP poll whereas Missouri held the 6th spot.
Missouri struck first, gaining possession on Bob Waldorf’s recovery of Howard Ector’s fumble at the Tech 45 yard line. After two runs for little gain, Christman passed 22 yards to Blane Currence for a first down at the Yellow Jacket 22 yard line. After two more short runs, Christman passed again, connecting with Currence to advance the Tigers to the Tech 5. After little success on 1st and 2nd downs, Christman punched the ball into the end zone on 3rd down from inside the 1, giving the Tigers a 7-0 advantage after the made extra point.
Tech would follow up the score with a strong 63 yard drive. After Ector’s 15 yard return to the 27, Johnny Bosch got started quickly, hitting Paul Sprayberry for 15 yards and a first down at the Tech 42. A few plays later, Bobby Pair took a reverse 16 yards to the Missouri 33 yard line. After a short run and an incomplete pass, a 15 yard end around by Rob Ison would advance the ball to the 16. Pair then gained 1 on a run, and Bosch hit Ison for 9 yards to the 6 yard line. Pair and Ector finished off the drive on several short runs, knotting up the score at 7-7.
Tech’s second score was much more explosive. After holding the Tigers on 4th down in Yellow Jacket territory, Tech took over at their own 37 yard line. Pair gained 4 on the drive’s first play, and then Rob Ison burst through a seam off right tackle, taking the ball 59 yards for the touchdown after shaking off Christman near the 15 yard line. Tech led 14-7.
The Ramblin Wreck’s final score came on a reverse by Earl Wheby from the Missouri 34 yard line. After taking the ball, Wheby juked deep into Tech backfield before getting to the outside. He was nearly tackled at the 25, but shook loose the final Tiger and raced into the end zone for a 21-7 Tech advantage after the made extra point.
Missouri’s only other attempt at a score came in the 4th quarter when they mounted a drive to the Tech 1 yard line. The Jackets held strong, however, forcing a turnover on downs and ensuring the final score of 21-7.
The victory gave Tech its second bowl victory, and its first since the 1929 Rose Bowl victory over Cal. The Yellow Jackets were now a perfect 2-0 in bowl games.
Johnny Bosch (GT) – 5-10-61 Passing
Paul Christman (MIZZ) – 8-24-74 Passing
Notable Individual Statistics:
Robinson (GT): 83 yards rushing, 42 yards receiving (~20 avg. yards per touch)
Bradberry Johnny. “Dazzling Jackets Whip Missouri, 21-7…” The Atlanta Constitution. 1940 Jan. 1
– First five plays are from the 1940 Orange Bowl