Score by Quarters
All Washington needed was a little more of George Wilson.
During the 38 minutes that Wilson was healthy and on the field, the Huskies scored three touchdowns and gained 300 yards. During the 22 minutes he was on the sidelines nursing an injury, Washington gained just 17 yards and had no scores, giving up all three that Alabama would need to win in the third quarter in what many considered the greatest Rose Bowl Game played to that point.
The game by Wilson would surely go down as one of the greatest individual performances in Rose Bowl Game history. Wilson, who came to Washington along with his coach, Enoch Bagshaw, from a high school in nearby Everett, Wash., ran for 134 yards on 15 carries and completed five passes. He was described as a “terror” on defense and also punted. He was simply all over the field and was named the game’s most outstanding player.
From legendary sportswriter Damon Runyon: “As George Wilson went, so went Washington. If there was ever a one-man football team, George was it. When Wilson was on the field it was a ball game.”
Alabama countered with some stars of its own as quarterback “Pooley” Hubert and halfback Johnny Mack Brown wreaked havoc on the Washington defense all day, especially when Wilson was not on the field.
From Runyon: “He is a great football player, this George Wilson – one of the very greatest. His brief absence probably made a big difference to Washington, but, still “Pooley” Hubert was always on hand for Alabama. Half the struggle was between Wilson and Hubert, and it is not for me to say which was the better…. It was a great team that the South sent to California to take its part in the Tournament of Roses, probably the greatest that ever came out of the South.”
The powerful 1-2 Alabama duo were simply too much for Washington to overcome. Years later, Wilson wrote of Brown: “That Mack Brown was all they said of him and more. He was about the fastest man in a football suit I have ever bumped up against.”
And from legendary coach Glenn “Pop” Warner: “Mack Brown was the star of the Alabama team and played just as important a part as did Wilson.”
But it was Hubert who led the three scores, taking the first touchdown in on a 1-yard run and then passing to Brown for the final two scoring strikes of 59 and 30 yards. Bill Buckler’s two of three conversions made the difference.
From Maxwell Stiles’ book, The Rose Bowl, field judge Harry Springer couldn’t imagine witnessing a better game: “As long as I live, I never hope to see a greater game than that…. Hubert’s passes were the greatest I have ever seen…. Mack Brown’s receiving was sensational. All that has been said of George Wilson was not too much, he is a real All-American.”
Wash – Patton, 1-yard run (Guttormsen kick failed)
Wash – Cole, 20-yard pass from Wilson (Guttormsen kick failed)
Ala – Hubert, 1-yard run (Buckler kick good)
Ala – Brown, 59-yard pass from Gillis (Buckler kick good)
Ala – Brown, 30-yard pass from Hubert (Buckler kick failed)
Wash – Guttormsen, 27-yard pass from Wilson (Cook kick good)
Alabama: Wallace Wade
Washington: Enoch “Baggy” Bagshaw
The 1926 Rose Bowl Game was the first game to be broadcast on the radio. Pasadena sportswriter and former Olympic track star Charles Paddock announced the game.
Wash: Wilson 15-134; Patton 11-43; Guttormsen 8-34; Tesreau 6-11
Ala: Hubert 15-97; Mack 12-76; Barnes 11-36
Wash: Hubert 7-16-2, 94 yards.
Ala: Guttormsen: 4-14-3, 141 yards
Wash: Barnes 4-141
Ala: Tesreau 3-54 yards; Gillis 2-18; Barnes 1-12 yards; Winslett 1-10 yards