Georgia Tech: 14
After capping off the regular season with a 7-3 victory over the hated Georgia Bulldogs, Bobby Dodd’s Yellow Jackets looked to improve their coach’s bowl record to 6-0 when they squared off in the institute’s first ever meeting with the Arkansas Razorbacks in the 1955 Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
The Razorbacks entered the contest at 8-2, having dropped two of their final three regular season games after starting the season at 7-0. Their most notable victory was a 6-0 decision over the 5th ranked Mississippi Rebels midway through the season.
The Jackets opened the game with a 58 yard drive to the Arkansas 5 yard line before Wade Mitchell eventually missed a 22 yard field goal more than 10 minutes into the contest.
The Hogs responded with a 12 play, 80 yard drive that carried into the second quarter and ended with a 1 yard George Walker touchdown, making it 6-0 after the missed extra point. The score was setup by a 22 yard pass from Walker to Joe Thomason during the last few plays of the opening period.
Tech threatened just once in the second quarter when they advanced to the Razorback 8 yard line. But the drive faltered when Bill Brigman was sacked for a 10 yard loss on fourth down, giving the ball back at the Arkansas 18. The Hogs burned the remainder of the first half and held a six point advantage at the break.
In the second half, the Ramblin’ Wreck switched to a run based attack in search of an offensive spark. The plan paid off on Tech’s second possession of the third quarter when Henry Humphreys, Paul Rottenberry, and Jimmy Thompson traded carries on a 58 yard scoring drive. Rottenberry accounted for the Yellow Jacket touchdown on a 3 yard pitch that gave the Jackets a 7-6 lead with 5:06 to play in the period.
The Yellow Jacket defense further shifted the momentum on the next series when Mitchell picked off Walker’s pass and returned the ball to the Razorback 37 yard line. But the Tech offense failed to capitalize on the opportunity and eventually gave the ball back on downs at the Arkansas 19.
The Razorbacks quickly punted back to the Jackets, giving them great field position at their opponent’s 43 early in the final quarter of play. John Hunsinger ran three times to advance to the 26, from which Thompson and Richard Mattison exchanged carriers en route to the half yard line. Mitchell plunged into the end zone to complete the drive, giving the Jackets a 14-6 lead with 6:53 left in the contest.
Mitchell’s score proved to be the final of the contest, as the Yellow Jacket defense forced a turnover on downs at its own 27 on the drive that followed.
With the victory, the Jackets finished the 1954 season with a record of 8-3 and kept Dodd’s bowl record unblemished. Furthermore, it made Georgia Tech the first team in history to win all four of the traditional major bowls: Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Cotton.
GT – 19
ARK – 10
GT – 285
ARK – 141
GT – 4-15-31
ARK – 7-10-86
GT – 0
ARK – 1
GT – 0
ARK – 0
GT – 30
ARK – 30
Bisher, Furman. “Tech Beats Arkansas; 6th Straight Bowl Win.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 1955 Jan. 2