Bluebonnet Bowl

1961

 

Kansas 33
Rice 7

Kansas Fight Song

 

Note: The Rice Owls were coached by Jess Neely. Having played in the Sugar Bowl the previous January, they went 7-4 in 1961 and finished third in the SWC. Kansas, under Coach Jack Mitchell, went 7-3-1 to finish 3rd in the Big Eight. Rice had finished 17th in the AP poll and Kansas was ranked 15th in the UPI.

 

The game occurred against the background of a bidding war between the NFL and the newly formed, AFL. Controversy surrounded the game in the days before. John Hadl, Kansas' star quarterback, became the center of a battle between the American and National Football Leagues when the NFL Detroit Lions charged he had signed a contract with the AFL San Diego Chargers. That would have made Hadl ineligible to play in the Bluebonnet Bowl. But Hadl, when he arrived in Houston with a signed a statement that he had no contract with any pro team and San Diego coach Sid Gillman said no contract has been signed.

 

 

HOUSTON (AP) –Kansas ran Rice University ragged with; double reverses and the power of Ken Coleman Saturday as the Jayhawks crushed the favored Owls 33-7 in the third annual Bluebonnet Bowl football game.

 

Coleman, a 201 pound sophomore, scored twice while grinding out 107 yards in 18 carries. Roger McFarland got two more on neatly executed double reverses. John Hadl, who Friday denied charges he had signed a pro contract, directed all five Kansas scoring drives and. set up one of Coleman's touchdowns: with a 41 yard scamper on a faked fourth down punt.

 

Immediately after the game, a scout for the San Diego Chargers of the American Football League met Hadl under the south goalpost and signed the Kansas star to a 1962 contract.

 

Rice took a brief 7-0 lead with 6 yard drive late in the first period, but Hadl's beautiful run fed the Kansas comeback and the Owls made only one other serious threat.

 

A light rain that fell practically throughout the nationally televised game cut attendance at the 70,000-seat Rice Stadium to 52,000. Bluebonnet officials, however, said that 61,000 tickets had been sold.

 

Rice had been favored by 3 points to score its fifth victory in seven postseason bowl games. Kansas was making its first bowl appearance since losing to Georgia Tech 14-20 in the 1948 Orange Bowl.

 

 

Coleman was voted the game's most outstanding back. Elvin Basham, chunky Kansas guard was the outstanding lineman.

 

Rice's touchdown came on a five-yard pass from Randy Kerbow to Johnny Burrell.

 

The Kansas scoring drives covered 59, 65, 50, 36 and 69 yards. After Coleman had scored the first two touchdowns, Curtis McClinton ran the Jayhawk lead to 19-7 by carrying over from the four.

 

McFarland's touchdown runs caught Rice flatfooted and covered 9 and 12 yards each.

 

Hadl, who completed seven of 10 passes for 64 yards, started the first Kansas drive with a 14 yard pass to McFarland. Coleman then took over and moved 32 yards to the Rice four in four carries.

 

Gary Poage started Rice toward its only score with a 21 yard run to the Kansas 48. Kerbow passed 11 yards to Burrell and Butch Blume put the Owls within striking distance with an: 18-yard run to the 12. Blume also kicked the extra point.

 

Hadl's 41-yard run carried to the Rice 19 midway in the second period. On the next play Coleman ran over three Rice defenders while powering 18 yards to the one. He plunged over on the next play. In the last 28 seconds of the half, Kerbow completed three passes that moved Rice 61 yards. Bob Wayt caught a 35-yarder at the Kansas five as the halftime gun sounded.

 

Coleman and McFarland accounted for all but McClinton's four yard touchdown run on the 50-yard drive.

 

Late in the period, Fred Eisman recovered a Rice fumble at the Owl 36 and McFarland got his first double reverse six-pointer 11 plays later. A 13-yard pass from Hadl to Tony Leiker moved it to the 14, the only pass of the drive.

 

Kansas stayed on the ground all the way on its final drive, with Coleman contributing 21 of the 69 yards in four carries.

 

Roland Jackson of Rice tries the Kansas defensive line.

 

This game featured legends John Hadl of Kansas and Coach Jess Neely of Rice

 

 

Rice had a distinct advantage at the early Bluebonnet Bowls, which were played at Rice Stadium.

 

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