- 1956 Rose Bowl
Name=1956 Rose Bowl
January 2, 1956
Visitor School=University of California, Los Angeles
Visitor Name Short=UCLA
Home School=Michigan State University
Home Name Short=Michigan State
Walt Kowalczyk(Michigan State halfback)
UCLA Bandand Michigan State Marching Bandcombined
Halftime=UCLA Band, Michigan State Marching Band
Mel Allen, Sam Balter
The 1956 Rose Bowl game, played on
January 2, 1956was the 42nd Rose Bowl game. The Michigan State University Spartans defeated the UCLA Bruins 17-14. Michigan State halfback Walt Kowalczykwas named the Rose Bowl Player Of The Game. [http://www.bowlprograms.com/rosebowl/?pg=182 2008 Rose Bowl Program] , 2008 Rose Bowl. Accessed January 26, 2008.] The game was played on January 2, because New Year's Day was a Sunday. It featured two of the most racially integrated college football teams of the day with six African American players for the Bruins and seven for the Spartans. [MICHIGAN STATE VS. UCLA JET'S ROSE BOWL PREVIEW * * *. Jet Magazine, December 1955, Quote:"A record number of Negro football players-13-are eligible for the 42nd annual Rose Bowl game to be played by Michigan State and UCLA on January 2."] [Smith, John Matthew - [http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/mihr/33.2/smith.html "Breaking the Plane": Integration and Black Protest in Michigan State University Football during the 1960s] . The Michigan Historical Review Vol. 33, Issue 2.] This stood in stark contrast to the 1956 Sugar Bowl, where there was controversy over whether Bobby Grierfrom Pitt should be allowed to play and whether Georgia Tech should even play at all due to Georgia governor Marvin Griffin's opposition to integration. [Mulé, Marty - [http://www.blackathlete.net/artman/publish/article_01392.shtml A Time For Change: Bobby Grier And The 1956 Sugar Bowl] . Black Athlete Sports Network, December 28, 2005] [*Zeise, Paul - [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05280/584401.stm Bobby Grier broke bowl's color line. The Panthers' Bobby Grier was the first African-American to play in Sugar Bowl] Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 07, 2005] [Thamel, Pete - [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/01/sports/ncaafootball/01grier.html?ex=1293771600&en=8a6a5b2ca5956881&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss Grier Integrated a Game and Earned the World's Respect] . New York Times, Published: January 1, 2006.] Only one month previous, Rosa Parksmade her famous protest in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Michigan State College Spartans
The Ohio State Buckeyes were the undefeated Big Ten conference champions. However, Ohio State would not be invited to the Rose Bowl because of the no-repeat rule in the Big Ten conference. This left Michigan State to be accepted. Ohio State was ranked number 4 with a 7-2 record, and Michigan State was ranked number 2 with a 9-1 record. [ [http://www.appollarchive.com/football/ap/seasons.cfm?appollid=185 AP Poll archive 11/21/1955] ] The teams did not play each other during the regular season. Michigan State opened with a 20-13 win at Indiana. Then they lost to in State rival Michigan 7-14. This was their only loss. They won 38-14 over Stanford. They defeated rival Notre Dame 21-7. The Spartans did not play Northwestern, Iowa, or Ohio State. Ohio State had lost at Duke, and also 0-6 to Stanford.
UCLA was the defending National Champion and had an undefeated season in 1954. The Bruins began the 1955 season ranked number one. In a showdown at #5 Maryland, the Bruins lost 0-7 to the Terrapins. A 38-0 win over Oregon State ultimately proved to be the game for the conference championship. The Bruins would win the rest of their regular season games, including a 21-13 win over Stanford. With the Pacific Coast conference championship already won, the Bruins won their third straight game in the
This was the second meeting between the two schools, the first being a 28-20 victory for the Spartans over the Bruins in the 1954 Rose Bowl. In a Sports Illustrated article preceding the 1956 Rose Bowl, UCLA coach Red Sanders was quoted as saying "Sure, winning isn't every thing, It's the only thing." [Sayre, Joe - He Flies On One Wing. Sports Illustrated, December 26, 1955]
The Spartans wore their green home jerseys and the Bruins wore their white road jerseys.
Jim Decker of UCLA intercepted a pass from Michigan State quarterback
Earl Morrallon the first play from scrimmage. Decker returned 4 yards to the MSU 16 yard line. Four plays later, Bob Davenport scored on a 2-yard run over left guard to give the Bruins a 7-0 lead.
Midway through the second quarter, Michigan State put together an 11-play, 80-yard drive to pull even at 7.
Walt Kowalczyk's 30-yard run to the UCLA 17 set up Morrall's 13-yard touchdown toss to Clarence Peaks. On the second play of the fourth quarter, the Spartans took their first lead at 14-7 on Peaks’ 67-yard TD pass to John Lewis, who caught the ball on the 50 and took it the distance. Five minutes later, The UCLA Bruin passing game produced a big play as UCLA quarterback Ronnie Knox connected with Jim Decker with a 47-yard pass play to the Spartan 7 yard line. Three plays later, Doug Peters scored on a 1-yard plunge at center. Morrall directed an 11-play, 59-yard drive to the UCLA 24, but Gerald Planutis missed a 41-yard field-goal attempt.
Five penalties were called in the closing minutes and field position shifted in Michigan State's favor when UCLA was whistled for three-straight penalties. UCLA was called for an intentional grounding infraction which pushed the ball back to its own one-yard line. The Bruins' punt gave the Spartans the ball at the UCLA 40 yard line. The Bruins were cited for interference with the kick returner on the punt play and the Spartans received the ball at the Bruin 19 yard line. Replacing Gerald Planutis,
Dave Kaiserof Michigan State converted his first career field-goal attempt, a 41-yard kick, with seven seconds remaining in the game to give the Spartans a 17-14 win.
*UCLA – Bob Davenport 2 run (Jim Decker kick), 11:48 left. Drive: 4 plays, 16 yards.
*MSU – Clarence Peaks 13 pass from Earl Morrall (Gerald Planutis kick), 5:52 left. Drive: 11 plays, 80 yards.
*MSU – John Lewis 67 pass from Clarence Peaks (Gerald Planutis kick), 14:11 left. Drive: 3 plays, 80 yards.
*UCLA – Doug Peters 1 run (Jim Decker kick), 6:07 left. Drive: 5 plays, 56 yards.
*MSU – FG Dave Kaiser 41, 0:07 left. Drive: 3 plays, -5 yards
Although it was UCLA penalties in the final minutes that gave field position to Michigan State, the Spartans' 98 yards given up on 10 penalties are a Rose Bowl game record as of 2008. The Spartans were named National Champions by Boand. [ [http://www.ncaa.org/champadmin/ia_football_past_champs.html Past Division I-A Football National Champions] . NCAA, January 11, 2006] [Boand, William F. "Azzi Ratem." 1930. Booklet. "Azzi Ratem - Boand Football Ranking System."] Oklahoma would be named National champion by all the other organizations. In the 1956 Orange Bowl, the #1 Oklahoma Sooners defeated the #3 Maryland Terrapins 20-6 in a battle of undefeated teams. The Sugar Bowl was the last bowl game to be integrated. The Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Sugar Bowl were not integrated until 1948, 1955, and 1956 respectively. [football, gridiron. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-234274 www.britannica.com/eb/article-234274] . Football in the United States - The racial transformation of American football.
Rose Bowl Game
1955 college football season
1956 Sugar Bowl
* UCLA Football Media Guide (PDF copy available at [http://www.uclabruins.com www.uclabruins.com] )
* Michigan State University Media Guide (PDF copy available at [http://msuspartans.cstv.com msuspartans.cstv.com] )
* [http://www.rosebowlhistory.org/rose-bowl-1956.php Summary at Rosebowlhistory.org]
* [http://www.tournamentofroses.com/rosebowlgame/ Rose Bowl Game official site]
* [http://www.mmbolding.com/bowls/Rose_1956.htm Game Summary]
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