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The 1942 Season Through The Words Of The Past, 10/12/1942

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Matt Gutridge's picture
October 12, 2017 at 6:16am
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10/12/42

2017 is the 75th anniversary of Ohio State's first national championship season. To honor the achievement, this series will post articles from the Columbus Citizen Journal on the day they ran in 1942.

Following the win over USC, Ohio State was back to the grind as they prepared for Purdue. The Boilermakers pulled off an upset of Northwestern and had the confidence to shock the college football world again.

Ohio Opens Grid Drill

Ohio State, with its third victory of the season tucked away, today begins preparation for Purdue this Saturday and Coach Paul Brown is trying to determine whether or not the Bucks really won after there is time for consideration of things.

Two of the Buckeye gridders, Dante Lavelli and Bill Durtschi were injured severely enough against USC to keep them inactive for some time while the entire squad took such a beating physically that it will not be back to full speed for another day or so.

Dante Lavelli had just recovered enough from a charleyhorse that he was able to go full speed. He had impressed Coach Brown very favorably with his half-speed play against Indiana and was playing bang-up football until his knee was twisted severely with but seconds to go in the first half. How long he will be forced to ride the bench is not known but it seems probable that he will not play for at least three or four weeks.

Durtschl Also Out

Bill Durtschl was just well on the way to filling Brown's crying need for a consistent as well as capable punter. His kicking was consistently good in both the Indiana and Southern California games. Although the average might not look so huge, it is good and it must be remembered that Bill was kicking with the idea of getting the ball out of bounds and thus shortened his average distance. Although he injured his left knee and will be able to punt before he can play, it will be at least a couple of weeks before he will be able to enter the game.

Stepping up to take the place of Lavelli at left end will be two other ends now recovering from injuries. John White was in the game against the Trojans for a while but was unable to go at top speed while Don Steinberg was not used at all due to a bruised shoulder sustained in the game against Indiana. Both of these men, according to Trainer Ernie Biggs, will be in the fine fettle for the Boilermakers.

Brown will be without a very capable receiver in Lavelli and the team's best punter. If Tressel were in charge, the squad would be in full panic mode. 

To See Game Pictures

Coach Brown will give the squad a look at the pictures of the Trojan game tonight and will begin plans for a defense and offense that will halt the Boilermakers, surprise 7-6 winners over a rugged Northwestern team this last week.

The outstanding feature of the Purdue win is the fact that the Wildcat offense was stalled with only one touchdown despite the fact that the Boilermakers scored in the first quarter while Northwestern could not score until the last minute of play.

Northwestern, behind the eight ball all the way desperately trying to score has on of the best passers in the Big Ten in Otto Graham and two of the best targets in ends Bob Moti and Bud Hasse. It is inconceivable that these offensive weapons were not used and just as sure that it took a very alert Purdue secondary to throttle the Wildcats passing attack.

All along the line, Northwestern has outstanding players, mos of them veterans from last year. Yet the Purdue forwards were able to stop Sophomore Fullback Hirsch and the stabbing runs at tackle and end by Graham and were able to charge through to smother the attempted conversion of the extra point after the last-minute touchdown.

From the early report on Purdue, Ohio State had better heal up quickly or the Boilermakers could have back-to-back upset victories.

The fall-out from the USC game and the word of the coaches isn't finished. Sports editor Lew Byrer took to the typewriter to add his opinion to the matter.

Lew Byrer

It might be much better if college football coaches would count to 10---if some of them can count that far---before popping off after losing a football game.

Or perhaps return to the good old days is indicated. Back in the time surrounding World War No. 1 when Dr. John W. Wilce was turning out Big Ten championship teams at Ohio State, a reporter had as much chance of getting into the Buckeyes dressing room just after a game as he'd have had invading the dressing room of Hinda Wausau of Ann Corlo a tthe old Lycaum.

On second thought, he'd have had a better chance of getting in to see the strippers than to watch the Buckeyes immediately after a game.

As a result, when a player or a coach did finally emerge from the dressing room and talk for the publication he'd cooled off.

But in the late 20's, with Doc Wilce through at Ohio State, a free and easier era came along. Photographers started snapping photos of players in the showers, on the dressing table, being mobbed by admiring old grads.

It made for a lot more intimate touches in stories and news coverage, of course.

But it also led to things like the outburst from Coach Jeff Cravath of Southern Cal. following his team's third disappointing showing in a row Saturday afternoon in losing to Ohio State 28 to 12.

Jeff Charged that Ohio State's Paul Brown had said to him at the end of the first half when Dante Lavelli, Buckeye end, was hurt and carried from the field on the final play of the period: "I'll settle with you for this in the next half."

Ohio's Mr. Brown, and I believe him, says what he said to Cravath , who was arguing with the officials over the play, was "I'd settle for that if I were you." 

Paul's obvious meaning was that Cravath's Trojans had been lucky to escape having another touchdown scored against them at the moment.

Like Paul Brown, I'm not sure why Cravath would have words with the officials when his team was able to keep the Buckeyes out of the end zone. From the game reports, most of the calls that afternoon went the way of USC.  

When Tempers Flare

Even such a canny veteran as Ohio State's Athletic Director L. W. St. John lost his perspective in a similar circumstance following Ohio State's second defeat at the hands of Carl Snavely's Cornell team a couple of seasons back.

In the bitterness of that disappointing defeat at the hands of the Ivy Leaguers, Saint made a statement for publication charging that Snavely had been coaching from the bench during the game.

Of course Saint knew, or should have known, that all football coaches---including Ohio State's---coach from the bench. But he blasted anyhow.

A few hours later he'd probably have been glad to recall the blast. But it was too lat then. It had gone clicking over the wires.

Today it's Twitter, Snapchat and the internet, back then it was the old clicking of the wires. 

Cravath would probably be glad to recall his Saturday night blast, too.

But he made it, not only in the presence of newspapermen but also in the presence of Ohio's Governor John Bricker. So it's news.

It did Cravath and Southern Cal more harm than it did Paul Brown.

It made Jeff look like a crybaby and a poor loser. I'm informed that he isn't---that he's really quite a guy and a good coach.

It's too bad he had to make such a spectacle of himself in the heat of the disappointment following a defeat.

Maybe an inventor could turn out a zipper for the mouths of football coaches with a time-lock arrangement which wouldn't unzip until an hour or more after a game.

Amazing how coaches and players of today's game could still benefit from a time-locked zipper across the mouth.

Tougher and Tougher

Saturday's happenings among Ohio State's future opponents on the gridiron this fall didn't make the row to be hoed by the Buckeyes look soft in any way.

Purdue nosed out Northwestern 7-to-6. The Buckeyes play Purdue here next Saturday and Northwestern at Evansville the following week:

Wisconsin defeated Missouri 17-to-9. The Bucks go to Madison Oct. 31 to play Harry Stuhldreher's Badgers.

Pitt played Great Lakes and was nosed out 7-to-6 by an improving Naval Station team. Pitt plays here on Nov. 7.

Illinois surprised the football world by defeating mighty Minnesota 20-to-13. The Bucks play Illinois in Cleveland Nov. 14.

Michigan gave Bernie Bierman's mighty Iowa Cadets quite a battle before losing 26-to-14.

And Bierman's Cadets would up a trip of wins over three of the Western Conference's toughest teams. The Sea Hawks have now defeated Northwestern, Minnesota and Michigan on successive Saturdays.

They wind up the Buckeye season here Nov. 28.

Taking it all in all its the busiest and toughest season ever faced by an Ohio State football squad.

Finishing the season with Iowa Pre-Flight is a daunting task, but one that might be a blessing for the Buckeyes.

The first AP Poll of the 1942 season was released on Oct. 12, 1942. It was not in the CJ, but it should have been.

AP POLL 10/12/1942
RANK TEAM RECORD (1ST PLACE VOTES)
1 GEORGIA 3–0 (25)
2 OHIO STATE 4–0 (12)
3 MICHIGAN 2–1 (12)
4 ALABAMA 3–0 (10)
5 ILLINOIS 3–0 (18)
6 GEORGIA TECH 3–0 (5)
7 WISCONSIN 3–0–1
8 PENN 2–1 (5)
9 COLGATE 3–0 (2)
10 WASHINGTON STATE 3–0 (3)
11 BOSTON COLLEGE 2–0 (1)
12 VANDERBILT 3–0
13 DUQUESNE 3–0 (2)
14 MINNESOTA 1–2 (1)
15 SANTA CLARA 3–0 (1)
15 TENNESSEE 2–0–1 (1)
17 TCU 3–0
18 ARMY 2–0
19 IOWA 3–1
20 TEXAS 3–1

5 Surprises 10/12/1942 AP Poll

  1. Minnesota is ranked 14th despite having a 1–2 record.
  2. Michigan has a loss and is still ranked third.
  3. The Big Ten has three teams ranked fifth or better and five in the top 20.
  4. Penn, Colgate, Duquesne and Santa Clara are in the top 20 and
  5. Notre Dame is not ranked. 
Joe Louis Retires

In news from other sports, Joe Louis decided to step away from the square circle.

Sgt. Joe Louis, busiest champion and most destructive puncher in heavyweight history, has retired from the ring to concentrate on fighting for Uncle Sam.

Louis, second Negro to wear pugilism's most coveted crown, admitted his retirement and abdication of the throne on the day he originally was scheduled to make his 22nd defense against Billy Conn in a return battle. The fight was cancelled at direction of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson.

Jolting Joe explained that the war and his increasing years had rung down the curtain on his career. At 28, the man who had developed from an Alabama plantation pickaninny into one of the ring's greatest fighting machines, said he was hanging up his gloves.

He said:

"By the time I'll be out of the Army, I'll be in the 30's, and that's too old for a champion. I'm too old now.

I knew that Joe Louis was considered a great boxer, but I never heard that he retired to join the Army and fight in WWII. A shame that Louis' story doesn't get as much run as Ali's Vietnam protest does.

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Previous Articles
OPPONENT PREVIEW PREVIEW PREVIEW PREVIEW GAME pics GAME RECAP
FT. KNOX 9/22/42 9/23/42 9/24/42 9/25/42 9/26/42 9/27/42  
INDIANA 10/1/42 10/2/42 10/3/42     10/4/42  
USC 10/5/42 10/6/42 10/7/42 10/8/42 10/9/42 10/10/42 10/11/42
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