Georgia Tech: 12
William Alexander’s final game as Tech’s head coach came in the 1945 Orange Bowl. The game would feature a rematch of the 1944 Sugar Bowl between the Alexander’s Yellow Jackets and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. The Ramblin’ Wreck came back to win the previous meeting 20-18 after trailing 18-7 at halftime. Tech would enter the game holding the 13th spot in the AP poll and carrying a record of 8-2, with losses at home to Duke and Notre Dame. Tulsa was unranked and carried a record of 7-2, their losses coming at the hands of Iowa Navy Pre-Flight and Southwestern University, both at home.
Tulsa would score on the game’s opening drive when Perry Moss connected with Ed Shedlosky for a 10 yard touchdown pass on fourth down. The Hurricane drive went 65 yards for an early 7-0 lead. Later in the first quarter, Tulsa caught a break when Tech’s Red Broyles fumbled a second down carry and Shedlosky recovered at the Tech 22 yard line. This time, the Hurricane would run the ball seven straight times with Shedlosky sweeping into the end zone on a Statue of Liberty play for the score. Tulsa led 14-0, and would carry this lead into the second quarter.
While the Yellow Jackets outplayed the Hurricane in the second period, they were unable to put any points on the board. On three promising drives, Tech came up short, throwing interceptions at the Tulsa 12 and 24 yard lines and turning the ball over on downs after advancing to the Hurricane 22. The Ramblin’ Wreck would trail by 14 at half.
Tech’s opening drive of the third quarter went nowhere and the Hurricane took over at its own 35 after the punt. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Moss connected with Clyde Goodnight, who promptly lateralled to Barney White on the hook and lateral play! White raced in from the Tech 40 yard line to give Tulsa a 20-0 lead after the missed extra point.
Trailing by three scores, the Jackets desperately needed a break. Tech quickly advanced to its own 49 to start the drive, and then Broyles shot a pass to Johnny McIntosh for 51 yards and the Ramblin’ Wreck touchdown; Tech would miss the extra point and trail 20-6. The Yellow Jacket celebration was short lived, however, as Camp Wilson took the kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown on the following play, extending the Tulsa lead back to 20 at 26-6.
Tech missed on yet another scoring chance early in the fourth quarter when C.H. Murdock lost a fumble near the Tulsa 16 yard line. The Jackets would bounce back on their next drive, however, as they marched 72 yards for a touchdown. The drive was capped off with a two yard run by Rumsey Taylor to cut the Tulsa lead to 28-12. But valiant as it was, Tech’s surge was too late, and the Jackets did not gain another possession. Tulsa had avenged its ’44 Sugar Bowl loss and handed Alexander a tough loss in his final game as the Tech head coach.
GT – 17
TUL – 14
GT – 40
TUL – 188
GT – 19-26-309
TUL – 6-16-131
GT – 6-3
TUL – 2-1
GT – 2
TUL – 0
GT – 4-25.7
TUL – 6-38.8
GT – 1-15
TUL – 4-41
Troy, Jack. “Tulsa Hurricane Blows Tech Out of Orange Bowl To Win, 26-12.” The Atlanta Constitution. 1945 Jan. 2
Orange Bowl Statistics: http://www.orangebowl.org/news/695667.aspx