Today's Tidbit... Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis
Six schools have enjoyed back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners:
Yale: Larry Kelly (1936), Clint Frank (1937)
Army: Doc Blanchard (1945), Glenn Davis (1946)
Ohio State: Archie Griffin (1974, 1975)
USC: Matt Leinhart (2004), Reggie Smith (2005 – vacated)
Oklahoma: Baker Mayfield (2017), Kyler Murray (2018)
Alabama: DeVanta Smith (2020), Bryce Young (2021)
Of the six, the pair that competed for Army during and after WWII is the most legendary. Both were running backs, but they were different types of players, leading Earl Blaik to identify separate plays as highlighting their distinct skills.
Glenn Davis' special play is the Quick Sweep from the T Formation against a 6-2 front. The line executes reach blocks or heads downfield to pick up the trash, so the blocks at the point of attack come from the backs. The right halfback roll blocks the defensive end to keep him inside while Blanchard, the fullback, confirms the defensive end is blocked before heading downfield. Meanwhile, the quarterback shows the look of the Split T option and tosses to Davis, who regularly ran free.
Blanchard's focal play took advantage of the threat presented by Davis, who motions right before heading into a pass pattern. The left end has a tough block on the defensive tackle while the guard pulls and kicks out the defensive end. The quarterback fakes the dive in the backfield before turning and giving it to Blanchard on the counter.
As the only team to have a Heisman-winning fullback and halfback on the same team, the 1944 team went 9-0, won the national titles, and never gave up more than 7 points while scoring 46 or more points seven times.
The 1945 national champion West Pointers blew through their schedule with a 28-7 victory over #9 Michigan (the first two-platoon game), a 48-17 win over #19 Duke, a 48-0 blasting of #2 Notre Dame, and a 61-0 pasting of #6 Penn.
They finished the season by beating #2 Navy 32-13. Few, if any, college teams have had a more impressive season.
By comparison, without the graduated Blanchard, the 1946 team was less impressive than the 1944 and 1945 teams. All they managed was to win a third-straight national championship, going 9-0-1 with four top-13 wins while tying #2 Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium.
Quite a run for some of the best teams college football has ever witnessed.
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