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A Bunch of Farmers Upset Football Tradition
Dave Anderson
December 24, 1962
They all laughed when Alabama went to the 1926 Rose Bowl, but when the game was over, nobody looked down on southern teams again
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December 24, 1962

A Bunch Of Farmers Upset Football Tradition

They all laughed when Alabama went to the 1926 Rose Bowl, but when the game was over, nobody looked down on southern teams again

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Early in the second half, with Wilson on the bench to rest bruised ribs, Washington punted out of bounds on its 42-yard line. Hubert, taking Coach Wade at his word, carried the ball five plays in a row for a touchdown: to the 31, to the 5 and almost yard by yard in the final three plunges. Bill Buckler converted with a place-kick. Again Washington, unable to move, punted to the Alabama 37. With the Washington defenses set to stop Hubert, Johnny Mack Brown ran to the right, sped downfield, slanted to the midd'e and caught a pass from Left Halfback Grant Gillis for a 59-yard touchdown play. Buckler again converted and suddenly Alabama had a 14-12 lead.

Moments later Washington fumbled and Enis recovered the ball on the Washington 30-yard line. Brown, whom Pop Warner called "one of the fastest football players I've ever seen," ran the identical pattern and this time Hubert hit him with a touchdown pass.

In less than seven minutes Alabama had scored three touchdowns and, although Wilson returned in the final quarter to throw another touchdown pass for Washington, the "bunch of farmers from Alabama," as Johnny Mack Brown describes his team, "had won the Rose Bowl for the whole South" in a 20-19 upset.

The crowd that New Year's Day in 1926 was an estimated 45,000, about half of the attendance in recent years. "That 45,000 was close to capacity then," says Brown, "because the Rose Bowl wasn't really a bowl; it was more of a horseshoe. One end wasn't closed. Alabama closed it for them."

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