NCAA Football Blowout Was a Heisman Showcase
In NCAA football, if you beat a team by four or five touchdowns it’s called a blowout. So what do you call it when you knock off a team 222 to nothing? That’s exactly what happened when Georgia Tech took the field against Cumberland in 1916. Georgia Tech ran wild and turned in the most lopsided victory in college football history.
So how did this all happen and did sweet revenge play a part in the game? Earlier in the year Cumberland beat Georgia Tech in baseball winning 22 to nothing. At the time,rumors circulated accusing Cumberland of using professional baseball players. Nothing was ever proven, but Georgia Tech wanted to get even. What better place than the gridiron. Cumberland had a football team, but prior to the start of the season school officials decided to discontinue the sport.
Georgia Tech coach John Heisman, the same Heisman the trophy is named after, wasn’t about to take no for an answer. He pointed to the previously agreed to schedule and it came down to dollars and cents. If Cumberland failed to show up the school would have to pay Georgia Tech over three thousand dollars. That was a lot of money in 1916! So Cumberland student manager George Allen was given the task of putting together a team. Somehow he managed to convince 14 players to give it a try and off to Atlanta they went.
From the start of the game the Cumberland Bulldogs knew they were in trouble. Cumberland failed to make a first down on their opening possession. After a punt Georgia Tech scored on their first play. Then two straight Bulldog fumbles were turned into two more Tech TD’s. Then things started to improve, yes Cumberland fumbled again but this time it took Georgia Tech two plays to score. After the first quarter it was 63 to nothing and by halftime it was 126 to nothing score. The Georgia Tech Engineers eased up a bit in the third quarter scoring 54 points and in the fourth quarter tacking on only 42 more. Now it must be noted that the low scoring second half was due to the generosity of Coach Heisman. He agreed to cut the second half to 15 minutes.