75 Years Ago, Georgia Played In A Much Different Rose Bowl

75 Years Ago, Georgia Played In A Much Different Rose Bowl


75 Years Ago, Georgia Played In A Much Different Rose Bowl

It was a much different time in December 1942 when the Bulldogs began their four-day train journey to the west coast for the 29th Rose Bowl game.

The country was entering the second year of World War II and fuel rationing limited the amount of travel. Only a handful of Georgia fans were able to attend the game. The vast majority of the 93,000 fans in attendance were local residents, cheering for the UCLA Bruins.

Up to several weeks before the Rose Bowl, there was doubt the game would be played in Pasadena. The previous year’s game had been moved to Durham, North Carolina after¬†the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.¬†Six months later, after the Allies decisive naval victory at the Battle of Midway, the military deemed it safe to hold the game in Pasadena.

Georgia, while ranked No.1 for most of the season, entered the Rose Bowl with one loss. The Bulldogs fell to No.5 after a 27-13 loss to Auburn. Georgia came back and shutout No.2 Georgia Tech, to finish the regular season at No. 2. The team featured sophomore Charlie Trippi, the greatest athlete in University of Georgia history, Frank Sinkwich, the dashing 1942 Heisman Trophy winner and Saint Simons Island’s Lamar “Racehorse” Davis, a record breaking receiver.¬†The defense shut out six opponents )including Florida (75-0) and allowed only 76 points in 12 games.

Georgia dominated the Bruins but the game remained scoreless in the fourth quarter. On the final quarter’s first play, Georgia tackle Carl Willard “Red” Boyd blocked Bob Waterfield’s punt through the end zone for a safety. Sinkwich later scored the game’s only touchdown on a 1-yard run to secure Georgia’s 9-0 victory. Trippi had 25 carries for 130 yards, completed six passes for 96 yards and played 58 of 60 minutes. He was later named MVP of that 1943 Rose Bowl game.

The Bulldogs triumphantly returned to Athens but the great 1942 team was gutted by the war. Thirty-five of the teams 43 players enlisted in the military. Sinwich entered the Marines in June 1943, Trippi served in the Air Force and “Red” Boyd joined the Marines.

Three players from the 1942 team were killed in action. Offensive lineman William Burt, of Macon, Georgia, was shot down over Italy on May 25, 1944. Lineman Walter “Chief” Ruark, of Bostwick, Georgia, was killed in action in Aachen, Germany, on Nov. 22, 1944. Army Captain Winfred Goodman from Atlanta, was lost while leading an air/sea rescue in the Philippines in January 1945.

The rest of the team returned from the war as part of this country’s “Greatest Generation.” ¬†They were businessmen, athletes, coaches and educators. Members of the 1943 team contributed greatly to their University. They won a Rose Bowl but built a nation.


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