Rose Bowl

1958

 

Ohio State 10

Oregon 7

 

 

Ohio State Fight Song

 

The 1957 college football season had witnessed "Woody Hayes Football" at its best. In his seventh season at Ohio State, a strong OSU line featuring Bill Jobko and All-American guard Aurealius Thomas enhanced Hayes’ reputation for conservative football. After a shocking, season-opening loss to TCU (18-14), Ohio State found its stride. Sophomore fullback Bob White’s 66 yards on a clutch, 68-yard drive was the key to a dramatic 17-13 victory over fifth-ranked Iowa. A 31-14 win at Michigan completed a perfect conference season and sent OSU to the Rose Bowl. OSU, which had captured the Big Ten Conference crown for the third time in four years, had already been proclaimed national champions entering the Rose Bowl.

In 1957 Oregon was surprisingly crowned Pacific Coast Conference champion. A Time magazine article, dated November 4, 1957, reported on the Oregon Ducks with a picture entitled, “Oregon’s Tourville Crossing California, Scents of the Rose Bowl.” The article included the following report:

“The brief words echoed like a bomb in the strained silence of the dressing room ‘Rose Bowl,’ muttered Oregon quarterback Jack Crabtree, as if the very syllables were sacred. His silver-haired coach, Len Casanova, cut him short: ‘It’s a silly thing to discuss.’ But it was too late to button anybody’s lip. The desperately quiet Oregon Ducks had just beaten California, 24-6. They were still unbeaten in Pacific Coast Conference play, and their hometown of Eugene was already planning a New Year’s visit to Pasadena."

The Ducks finished 7-3 and claimed the Conference's Rose Bowl bid. It would be the Ducks first appearance in the Rose Bowl since meeting Harvard in 1920. Through the 1957 game, the Big Ten’s record over the Pacific Coast Conference in the Rose Bowl series stood at ten wins against one loss, and football fans gave Oregon little hope and Ohio State entered the game as a whopping 21 point favorite (video).

Ohio State started in dominating fashion, driving 79 yards on its first possession. The Buckeyes scored when Frank Kremblas dove over center from the one (video). Kremblas then converted the extra point. The Buckeyes’ touchdown drive was kept alive by a pair of key third down conversions. But, Oregon responded in the second period by driving 80 yards in 10 plays. Jim Shanley capped the drive with a five yard scoring run and the game was tied 7-7 at the half.

The nation's attention was riveted on the game as the Ducks had a chance to lead the Buckeyes in the third period with a field goal attempt. But, Jack Morris’ three-point try from the Ohio State 24 hooked to the left at the 5:20 mark in the third quarter. The contest remained tied through the quarter and into the fourth. The quarter that had been so kind to the Buckeyes all season was good once again.

On a drive that started with more than five minutes remaining in the third period, the Buckeyes went 56 yards in 14 plays to take a 10-7 lead on a 34 yard field goal by the sure-footed kicker, Don Sutherin, with 14:02 to go in the game. From then on, it was a defensive struggle as the Ducks were unable to get an offensive attack going. Oregon drove to the Ohio State 24 yard line following Crabtree’s 23 yard completion to Ron Stover, but a Stover fumble stopped the drive. The Ducks began their last-gasp effort against the nation’s No. 1 ranked Buckeyes from their own 17 yard line with 4:29 to play. A pass interference call, a 17 yard Crabtree pass to Stover and the Oregon field general’s six-yard run advanced the ball to the Ohio State 43 before the team’s final two attempts failed to move the ball closer to victory. Crabtree’s fourth-down pass to Stover fell incomplete with 47 seconds remaining to allow Ohio State to avert one of the biggest upsets in the 44 year history of the New Year’s Day classic.

Much of the nation had rooted for the underdog Oregon and Casanova. Oregon outgained Ohio State in total yards and first downs. Bill Leiser of the San Francisco Chronicle Sporting Green, on January 2, 1958, reported in part: “A kick that sailed true, 34 yards through the upright posts, as against one that did not, won for Ohio State the finest football game of modern Tournament of Roses history this balmy afternoon, 10-7. Tabbed for a three touchdown licking, Casnova’s Oregon Ducks refused to accept the odds and matched the more numerous and more powerful athletes from the Big Ten blow for blow, yard for yard, and touchdown for touchdown.

It wasn't easy for Hayes' men who were outgained and out-first-downed by Oregon. "The field goal and the four breaks, two interceptions and two recovered Oregon fumbles, were the only real edge in the game, and we got 'em all," said Hayes. Oregon's Crabtree completed 10 to 17 passes for 135 yards to receive player of the game honors, becoming only the third player in the bowl’s history to earn that distinction playing for the losing team. In addition, Stover established a Rose Bowl record for most yards receiving by a Pacific Coast Conference participant.
 

It was a moral victory for the Ducks, but on the scoreboard, it was a victory, a second Rose Bowl title and a national championship for Ohio State. It capped a 9-1 season in which OSU outscored opponents 267-92. Ohio State claimed the UPI crown while finishing second to Auburn in the AP poll.

 

Ohio State's Don Clark carries ball with #22 Frank Kremblas leading

 

Oregon's Ron Stover caught 10 passes for 144 yards.

 

Ohio State brings down Oregon ball carrier.

 

Sutherin's field goal was the difference.

 

Oregon's Len Casanova and assistant John McKay (third from left) take the field at Pasadena.

 

Attendance: 98,202

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
OSU- Kremblas 1 run (Kremblas kick)

Second Quarter
UO- Shanley 5 run (Morris kick)

Fourth Quarter
OSU- FG Sutherlin 34

Individual Statistics

Rushing
OSU- White 25-93, Clark 14-82, Kremblas 13-43, Cisco 7-29
UO- Shanley 11-59, Morris 11-57

Passing
UO- Crabtree (UO) 17-10-135, West 3-3--42
OSU- Kramblas 6-2-59

Receiving
UO- Stover 10-144, Tourville 2-27
OSU- Houston 2-59
 

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