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The 1942 Season Through The Words Of The Past, 10/14/1942

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Matt Gutridge's picture
October 14, 2017 at 6:00am

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.

The Wednesday before the game against Purdue, the CJ highlights Gene Fekete's play, sheds light on the "Student Quarterbacks" club, has the background story on Purdue's new coach and posts the individual stats of the Big Ten.


Gene Fekete, Ohio State's outstanding sophomore fullback, heads up the scoring and rushing divisions of the Western Conference individual football statistics based on the one-game reports of six member teams.

The shifty, hard-running lad indicated that he will live up to his advance notices by gaining a total of 131 yards in 23 rushes for a 5.9 yard average against Indiana two weeks ago. Fekete scored three touchdowns and kicked two extra points in five attempts for a total of 20 points.

Three Big Ten teams, Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin, have yet to compete in a Conference game. All will encounter Conference competition this coming Saturday.

Three Games Played

Three Conference games have been played to date: Ohio State defeated Indiana, 32 to 21; Illinois upset Minnesota, 20 to 13, and Purdue came back from two non-conference defeats to edge Northwestern, 7 to 6.

One game figures tend to be misleading because of the high "average" figures.

Nine Big Ten back have scored one touchdown and six points each. Behind Fekete in the scouring column comes Alexander Agase, Illinois guard, with 12 points. Agase, hero of the Fighting Illini's unexpected win over Minnesota, the 1941 Big Ten leader, scored two touchdowns as the result of alert play. He ran 25 yards after taking the ball from Bill Daley for one score and then recovered a free ball in the Minnesota zone late in the fourth quarter to clinch the victory.

Purdue Back Third

Lou Saban, Purdue junior quarterback, is third in scoring as the result of his proficiency in booting extra points. Lou has scored one touchdown and has connected for three extra points in three attempts.

Paul Sarringhaus, Ohio State halfback, chalked up the most effective passing performance in the season's first Conference games by 89 yards on three completed passes. Otto Graham, Northwestern ace, stands second in both the rushing and passing departments. 

I think Hawk erred when stating that Lou Saban was on Purdue's team. Saban played for Indiana.

FEKETE FB OSU 3 4 2 20
AGASE G ILL 2 0 0 12
SABAN QB IND 1 3 3 9


FEKETE FB OSU 23 131 131.0 5.7
GRAHAM QB N.U. 25 119 119.0 4.8
HORVATH HB OSU 12 91 91.0 7.6


GRAHAM QB N.U. 15 4 44 44.0

It's always nice to see Buckeyes at the top.

Student Quarerbacks

Second meeting of the Ohio State "Student Quarterbacks" club will be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Commerce Auditorium.

Coach Paul Bixler, who scouted Purdue, will pre-view the Ohio State-Purdue game and show pictures of the Ohio State-Southern Cal game.

Admission is the purchase of a 10 cent War Stamp.

10 cents to get advanced scouting from Coach Paul Bixler? Sign me up. This is something that won't come back, but I'd easily give $100 to watch Kerry Coombs break down film on a Thursday night before the game.


It will be youth against youth so far as the coaches are concerned when Purdue's Boilermakers come to town to take on Ohio State's gridiron warriors Saturday in Ohio Stadium. Coach Elmer Burnham is in his first year as head coach of the Indiana team while Coach Paul Brown is in his second season with the Buckeyes.

Although he is new in the head coaching job, Burnham is not new to Purdue since he had served as head freshman coach for a total of seven years before he moved up to fill the shoes of the lateNoble E. Kizer, former athletic director and head coach of the Boilermakers.

Burnham was a close friend of Kizer and it was that friendship, along with an outstanding record as a high school coach, that brought the youthful Purdue's mentor his first start at the collegiate coaching.

Started In 1916

In the fall of 1916, Burnham started his coaching career at Central High School in South Bend, Ind. Then followed several years of skipping about. First, Burnham joined the Army in Europe, then returned to Central in 1919, but retired to enter the dairy business at the end of the 1919 season.

He was not long to remain a dairy farmer, however, and again returned to Central in the fall of 1921 to remain for 14 consecutive years. When he was called in to Purdue in 1935, his teams had won 118 games while losing only 30 and tying eight.

During his last five years at Central, Burnham's teams racked up three conference championships, 1931, '33 and '35; accumulated a winning streak of 23 games, and won 42 games against only six losses and five ties while scoring 1,083 points as against the opponents' 181.


This year, advance reports say, Burnham has instilled a winning spirit in his team seldom equalled in Big Ten play. After the narrow win against Northwestern, the players rushed the coach off his feet, raised him to their shoulders, and paraded around the field with him before going down the runway to the dressing room, a rare demonstration in the Big Ten.

Early indications are that the Boilermakers picked a good one wiht Burnham. The team appears to have come together and is riding high off of the upset victory over Northwestern. 

Hawk turns his attention to the Purdue players.

Purdue Offense Fooler

The Purdue offense is patterned around the short-punt formation and is one of the most deceptive in the Big Ten. In fact, it is so deceptive that it is difficult to learn properly since two or three men either handle the ball or (are) fake handling it on almost every play.

Any one of three backs, Left Half Kenny Smock, 185 pounder; Bill Buffington, 190-pound fullback; or Right Half John Andretich, a five-foot 11 inch, 195 pound bull of a runner is set to hit the Buck line every play.

Purdue has been improving steadily since the start of the season. After losing to Vanderbilt in 90-degree southern heat, the Boilermakers held Fordham to a narrow 14-7 margin and last week edged past the Wildcats from Northwestern.

It appears that gimmick offenses are in the DNA of Purdue football.

Purdue's probable actors in Saturday's grid drama
Four sophomore backs have been receiving considerable attention from Coach Elmer Burnham at Purdue and may see considerable action in Ohio Stadium here Saturday are pictured above. All native Hoosiers, they are, left to right, Joe Winkler of Hammond, fullback; Bob Bachmann of LaPorte, halfback; Charles Clowe of Fort Wayne, fullback; and Henry Stram of Gary, halfback.
Lew Byrer

You've heard that old saw about too many cooks spoiling the broth?

That's what sponsors of this swell sport banquet being served up to Columbusites and Central Ohioans are worrying at the present.

For cocktails the banquet had the fine spurt of the Red Birds which took them from last place to first and finally landed them third in the American Association race.

For appetizers the feast had the victories over Kansas City and Toledo in the Association playoffs and the victory over Syracuse in the Junior World Series, along with the St. Louis Cardinal big World Series victory under the leadership of Columbusite Billy Southworth and with a dozen former Red Birds on the team.

The main courses have been doing swell with that 59-to-0 victory over Ft. Knox, 32-to-21 win over Indiana and 28-to-12 triumph over Southern Cal.

Now if someone just doesn't interject a sour not it will be just about the swellest sport dis ever served in these parts.

But they're cooking with gas right now at Purdue, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Michigan and at the Iowa Pre-Flight School to try to concoct that sour dish.

It's been swell eating so far. 

Let's keep it swell.

Today's fans in Central Ohio can relate to Byrers words as the Buckeyes have been dominant, the Cavs won a title and the Indians were a game away. A shame the Cubs (and now the Yankees) injected their sour on the Indians' dish.

Byrer continues and brings the reader back to the reality of WWII.  

Blackouts, Here and There

One of those chronic gripers was griping yesterday.

"It isn't enough," he was yipping, "that we can't get enough sugar, coffee, tires, gas and a lot of other stuff. It isn't enough that we've gotta pay double prices for food. Naw. They gotta have practice blackouts, too. What a lot of apple sauce that is. There ain't no bombers ever gonna get this far inland." Then he took another drink.

When I got home I read our last letter from mother in Honolulu.

They've had blackouts over there every night in every week since last Dec. 7. They start at 7:30 at night. And that means blackout, too. Any unauthorized person on the street after that is arrested and imprisoned or fined either cash or a blood contribution to the medical blood banks.

"We turn the radio on and that helps some," mother writes. "But we can't get much on ours but war bulletins and we get tired of those. We've gotten into the habit of getting up early. Daylight seems beautiful after an all night blackout."

In Columus, O., last night before, during and after the practice blackout in our end of town we listened to Ginny Sims, Al Jolson, Burns and Alle, Fibber McGee, Bob Hope and Red Skelton.

I wonder what that Griper would be saying if he were in Honolulu?

And I wonder if he remembers a year ago when a lot of folks like him were saying the Axis didn't want any war with us, that we'd never have tire rationing or gas rationing or food shortages.

In short I wonder if anyone has told him that his country is at war.

That was your perspective piece of the day. Now, back to Buckeye football.

Pupil vs. Teacher

It will be pupil against teacher again Saturday at Ohio Stadium when Purdue's Boilermakers furnish the opposition for Paul Brown's Ohio State eleven.

Vincent "Rocky" Snyder, veteran Purdue quarterback, played quarterback for three years for Paul Brown's Washington high school elevens at Massillon High School.

Snyder is known as a keen strategist on the gridiron as well as a driving ball carrier and good blocker and tackler.

In his senior year at Massillon he was named captain of the mythical all-Ohio high school eleven.

Snyder is a senior, playing his last season at Purdue. He has already enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve and expects to enter the service soon after completion of the football season.

I searched, but could not find any information on what became of Vincent Snyder after his playing days.

Some other Purdue briefs:

John Andreitch, junior fullback, has completed seven of 11 forward passes he's tried this fall for a total yardage of 139 yards...Fred Smerke, former quarterback, is now a star and has been sensational as a pass receiver, catching six so far this season for a total gain of 137 yards...The Boilermakers will leave the Purdue campus shortly before noon Friday, arriving in Columbus Friday evening, too late for practice.

No Trips

For the first time in several years, the famous Buckeye All-American Marching Band will not travel with the football team to any of the Buckeye games, it was disclosed today by Director Manley Whitcomb of the Ohio State department of music.

"When the transportation situation first became a problem," Whitcomb stated, "we cut the number of band trips from the usual two to a single one. We planned, before the start of the season, that the band would go to Cleveland for the Illinois game.

"The transportation situation has become so grave now," he continued, "that to attempt to crowd trains, hotels and other public conveniences with the 120 members of the band would be unpatriotic."

The band is a co-operative effort between the campus ROTC department and the department of music. ROTC officers instruct the bandsmen in marching while the music department teaches the tunes and the two co-operate in planning formations.

Today's paper did not have an old school alcohol ad, but it did have this drawing by Getchell:


Not sure if the Purdue can has "Doo-Doo" or "Poo-Poo" written on it. Either way, Getchell was getting in a hidden dig. The Michigan can has con-carne written on the bottom.

Old School Alcohol Ad

Wine Week

It's wine week and it's your duty to buy a bottle and  partake. At least that's what this ad was selling.

You are invited

to select excellent stocks at your Wine Dealer's this



(October 11-18)

This is National Wine Week. Your wine dealer invites you particularly this week to try for yourself the wines of our own country. Let him help you select from his excellent stocks the wines you will enjoy the most. Wine Advisory Board, San Francisco.

Remember your pledge

Previous Articles
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
PURDUE 10/12/42 10/13/42          

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