Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Bombs in the Bowl

Sid Rocked the Bowl in 1938

Game of the Day (Day 74)

October 2, 1938

Columbia 27 Yale 14

Lou Little didn't have time to wait for his team to develop in 1938. The season began in murderous style with two road games against perennial powers Yale and Army. For Sid Luckman, 1938 was to be his senior season and he still had work to do.

Yale was coming off a brilliant 7-1-1 1937 campaign under the legendary coach Ducky Pond.

But it was Luckman who started the season in grand style with a stunning performance at Yale that left fans and newspaper reporters alike looking for new adjectives to describe just how great Luckman was. He did so well that even the Yale fans among the 35,000 spectators rose to applaud Luckman when he finally left the field a few minutes before the final gun. On offense, defense, and special teams, Luckman had dominated the Elis for 60 minutes.

It started with a 19-yard punt return by Luckman to the Yale 40 in the first quarter. Luckman accounted for 27 of those 40 yards himself, including the short run for the first TD of the game. Luckman did show he was human after all by missing the extra point and Yale scored a freak TD to take a 7-6 lead, but it was all Columbia after that.

Another 19-yard punt return by Luckman put the ball on the Eli 26. He hit John Siegal for a key nine yard gain and the Lion rushers took it from there for a TD. This time Sid nailed the PAT for the 13-7 lead.

But Luckman was just getting warmed up. Just before the half he hit Frank Stulgaitis for a 50-yard TD and the Lions were in control at 20-7.

In the fourth quarter, Luckman helped cap the scoring with a 40-yard bomb to the Yale 10 that set up a TD two plays later and the 27-14 win.

Luckman finished the day 10-of-17 passing for 146 yards and no interceptions. Remember, Luckman was always officially a halfback so his passes were all option passes executed without the kind of pass blocking a pocket QB gets nowadays.


At Thu Jul 10, 01:53:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great story on the great Sid Luckman. My father wanted me to go to Columbia because he was a huge Sid Luckman fan. We tend to forget how well rounded some of these players were. Imagine going both ways, for 60 minutes, especially as a QB. The last great two way QB was Archie Roberts as a sophomore, when he also played safety.

At Thu Jul 10, 02:16:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Thanks so much. Luckman was a friend of my grandfather's in Chicago in the 40's and 50's. A favorite family story is how my aunt once brought a date to the apartment when Luckman was there and the guy nearly fainted from excitement.


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