Long before the famous award was named in his honor, John Heisman coached 3 sports at Georgia Tech. His baseball team lost big to Cumberland College, who ran up the score to a humbling 22-0. Despite Cumberland cancelling their football program over the summer, they were still in a contract to play that fall against Tech in Atlanta. Heisman denied their cancellation requests, and the buyout was too high, so Cumberland was forced to send up a squad.
The local newspapers (see photo) predicted it would be an easy contest for the hometown "Engineers" football team. But no one thought the matchup would be such a historic beatdown, the most lopsided game in the history of the sport.
After a quick three-and-out, Georgia Tech scored on its first offensive play. It was all Engineers from there. They often scored on their first play, while not surrendering any yardage to Cumberland. In fact, Cumberland only had a handful of plays that resulted in positive yardage. Cumberland attempted 14 passes, 2 were completed while 6 were intercepted. Their 27 rushing attempts rendered negative 96 yards rushing and resulted in 9 fumbles lost.
Meanwhile, Georgia Tech was a machine, churning out an entire season's worth of production in just four quarters. The GT Engineers carried the ball 40 times, for 1,620 rush yards and 32 touchdowns! Average yards per carry: 40.5 yards!
This single game was more points than 10 FBS teams scored all season (2013), and more rushing yards than 21 teams' seasons.
This 1916 Georgia Tech team finished undefeated, but wasn't recognized as National Champions until another undefeated season in 1917. This tenure at Tech was Heisman's longest; he also coached at Oberlin, Buchtel, Auburn, Clemson, Penn, Washington & Jefferson, and Rice, going 37 seasons. All but one season, his last, were winning seasons, and Heisman retired with a career record of 186-70-18. Heisman brought many innovations to the game including: pre-snap shifts, dividing the game into quarters not halves, the center toss the ball back to quarterback, snap count, guard pulls on outside runs, and was a major proponent of the forward pass. Clearly, he didn't need any forward passing in this historic beatdown.
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