Rose Bowl

1948

 

Michigan 49

USC 0

 

 

Michigan Fight Song

 

PASADENA, CAL., Jan. 2. (UP)- Michigan's football team today was acclaimed the greatest in the land at least by the 93,000 New Year's Day fans who saw the Wolverines overwhelm a helpless University of Southern California squad, 49 to 0, in the Rose Bowl.

 

But there was one dissenter, Trojan Coach Jeff Cravath, who declared after the game that he felt Notre Dame could have beaten Michigan. Cravath qualifies, as an expert, having seen his team beaten, 38 to 7 by the Irish less than a month ago.

 

The Rose Bowl game was supposed to be a yardstick for comparison of Michigan and Notre Dame.

 

The argument over whether Michigan or Notre Dame is the greater team will bu debated in the football hot stove league for many moons. This much was established, however- Southern California's defeat by the Wolverines was the worst suffered in the school's 60 years of gridiron history.

 

Many compared the great Michigan backfield of Bob Chappuis, Jack Weisenburger, Bump Elliott and Howard Yerges to the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame fame.

 

It was a day of broken records for the Rose Bowl. Goal-kicking expert Jim Brieske set a new mark for the annual contest by booting seven consecutive conversions. Completion of 14 out of 24 passes, with Chappuis connecting 14 times, also set a new mark. It was Southern California's second unit worst licking In the Rose Bowl. Thu 491 yards gained on passing and running also was a new mark for offense.

 

Although the entire Michigan team was superlative, two men stood out as few others have in the Rose Bowl- Chappuis and Weisenburger.

 

Not since that day in 1935 when Dixie Howell of Alabama passed great Stanford team to defeat in the Rose Bowl has an aerial artist like Chappius performed in the stadium.

 

Weiseubuiger spun and slashed tho Trojan line to bits, scoring three touchdowns himself and helping set up several more. The other scores were made by Elliott, Yerges, Gene Derricotto and end Dick Riffenburg.

 

Only once, in the second period, did the Trojans unleash a long drive. Sparked by halfback Don Garlin, they drove 73 yards, from their own 12 to Michigan's 13, only to have fullback Dick Kempthorn intercept a pass and end the march. The Trojans got into Michigan territory only one more time and then just past the 50-yard line stripe.

 

The score of this year's Rose Bowl game. Michigan's second appearance here, duplicated the 49 to 0 victory In the 1902 game when Willie Heston led that point-a-minute team to victory over Stanford in the first Tournament of Roses football game.

 

In addition to his passing, Chappius also was the leading ground gainer with an average of seven yards for each of the 13 times he carried the ball. Weisenburger averaged 4.55 yards a try on 20 attempts.

 

Although Howard Verges' name was not prominent in the statistics, his field generalship was a major factor in the victory, while Bump Elliott, usually a receiver for Chappuis. acted as a decoy to fool the Trojans

 

Coach Herbert 0. (Fritz) Crisler hailed his Michigan team as the best he had ever coached. He said the game in the Rose Bowl was the best it had played all year. He singled out center Walt McCormlck and end Paul Cleary of Southern California as the outstanding Trojans. Tackle John Ferraro and guard Don Clark also fought valiantly against the Michigan onslaught.

 

Carvath summed it up by saying:

 

"We just weren't in the same class with Michigan."

 

Michigan felt out the Trojans during most of the first period, but starting from their own 36-yard line, they marched to the one in nine plays, Weisenburger punching over for the first score (video).

 

It took the Wolverines nine and a half minutes to get that first touchdown.

 

But with that taste, the Wolverines really began marching, again alternating drives by Weisenburger with passes by Chappuis to move to Trojan one.

 

Repeating the performance, Weisenburger drove over for the second score.

 

That touchdown came with only two minutes and 59 seconds played in the second period and resulted from a 41-yard drive in eight plays.

 

While the capacity crowd sat dumbfounded, the Wolverines resumed their drive minutes later and marched 83 yards in nine plays for their third score. A jump-pass from Chappuis to Bump Elliott accounted for the touchdown (video).

 

But the Trojans came to life late in the second period. Michigan had run up 11 first downs to none for Southern California when the home team started driving.

 

Sparked by halfback Garlin, they drove 75 yards and ran up six first downs, only to lose the ball on the 13-yard line where Dick Kempthorn intercepted George Murphy's pass.

 

The Wolverines marched through Southern California with ease again in the third period, driving to the nine, but there Gene Derricotte fumbled to give the Trojans a brief reprieve.

 

But it was not for long. The Wolverines recovered Trojan quarterback Dean Dill's fumble on the Trojan 18, and two plays later, Chappuis passed to Verges for another score (video).

 

It took only four minutes in the fourth period to rack up touchdown No. 5. Chappuis set up that store with a 38 yard run, breaking into the clear over tackle only to be hauled down from behind. Weisenburger again scored from the one yard line.

 

Substitute halfback Henry Fonde passed to Derricotte tor the sixth touchdown (video), and the final score came on a pass from Verges to end Dick Rifenburg.

 

The onesidedness of the game was demonstrated by the statistics, which showed Michigan with 21 first downs to Southern California's 10. The Wolverines ran up 191 yards on the ground and in the air to set another record for the Rose Bowl. The Trojans managed to gain 133 yards, but the story of the game was in completion of 14 passes of the 24 attempted by Chappuis.

 

Michigan's Jack Weisenburger scores the game's first touchdown.

 

USC's Micky McCardle tries to slip past a Michigan defender.

 

Weisenburger scores again in the second half.

 

Michigan's Jim Brieske set a Rose Bowl record with 7 PAT's.

 

Attendance: 93,000

 

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
UM- Weisenburger 1 run (Brieske kick)

Second Quarter
UM- Weisenburger 1 run (Brieske kick)
UM- Elliott 11 yard pass from Chappuis (Brieske kick)

Third Quarter
UM- Yerges 18 yard pass from Chappuis (Brieske kick)

Fourth Quarter
UM- Weisenburger 1 run (Brieske kick)
UM- Derricotte 45 yard pass from Fonde (Brieske kick)
UM- Rifenburg 29 yard pass from Yerges (Brieske kick)

Individual Statistics


Rushing
UM- Chappuis 13-91, Weisenburger 20-91, Ford 2-21
USC- Garlin 5-25, Betz 4-16

Passing
UM- Chappuis 14-24-188, Fonde 1-1-45, Yerges 1-1-29, Derricotte 1-1-10
USC- Powers 4-5-22, Robertson 1-1-22
 

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