Today's Tidbit... 1934 Alabama Double Reverses Your Pleasure
When your team has one of the greatest ends in football history, one would expect the first touchdown pass of his senior year to come before the season's seventh game, but that is what happened with Don Hutson and the 1934 Alabama team. Hutson was a fabulous, fluid athlete who played left end for Bama during the days when every end was tight. The counterweight on the right side of Alabama's line was a junior named Paul "Bear" Bryant.
The 1934 season opened with easy wins over Howard (now Samford), Sewanee, and Mississippi State, so perhaps they did not need Hutson and All-American halfback Dixie Howell to connect on pass plays in those games. Their fourth game was a tight battle with Tennessee, as the Tide took an early lead only to see the Vols come back to tie the game on a drive that also saw Bear Bryant booted from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct. Alabama protested the expulsion, though they acknowledged someone had punched the Volunteer in the nose, but Bear was 15 yards away from the incident, so it was not him. Nevertheless, Bear was forced into hibernation, leaving it to Hutson to score the game-winning touchdown in the third quarter on a double reverse end around.
An easy home win over Georgia preceded a trip to Lexington and the Kentucky Wildcats. Alabama got off to a quick start by driving down the field on their first possession and scoring on another Don Hutson double reverse end around en route to another win.
Hutson caught two touchdown passes the following week versus Clemson, one more against Georgia Tech, and then snagged 46- and 59-yarders against Stanford in the 1935 Rose Bowl to give Alabama the victory, an undefeated season, and a shared national title.
After graduation, Don Hutson joined the Green Bay Packers, becoming what many consider the first modern receiver. He regularly split out from the tight formation, leading the league in scoring a record five times. He was named to the NFL's All-Time team upon the league's 50th, 75th, and 100th anniversaries.
Bryant went to the Brooklyn Dodgers in the fourth round of the 1936 NFL Draft but never played professionally. However, he remained involved in football and had some success as a coach.
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