|1915 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football|
|Head coach||John Heisman (12th season)|
|Offensive scheme||Jump shift|
|Home stadium||Grant Field|
|1915 NCAA independents football records|
|Washington & Jefferson||–||8||–||1||–||1|
|Franklin & Marshall||–||6||–||2||–||0|
|New Mexico A&M||–||5||–||2||–||0|
|Louisiana Normal College||–||4||–||2||–||0|
|North Texas State Normal||–||4||–||2||–||1|
|Michigan State Normal||–||4||–||2||–||1|
|Southwest Texas State||–||5||–||3||–||2|
|St. Thomas (MN)||–||2||–||2||–||1|
|Rhode Island State||–||3||–||5||–||0|
|William & Mary||–||0||–||9||–||1|
The 1915 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football team represented the Georgia Tech Golden Tornado of the Georgia Institute of Technology during the 1915 college football season. The Tornado was coached by John Heisman in his 12th year as head coach, compiling a record of 7–0–1 and outscoring opponents 233 to 24. Georgia Tech played its home games at Grant Field. The Tech team claims a Southern championship, and had what was then the greatest season in its history.
Before the season
Coach John Heisman's backfield used the pre-snap movement of his "jump shift" offense. The team's captain was Froggie Morrison,[note 1] Tech's first great quarterback. Fullback Tommy Spence was a future World War I casualty, and halfback Wooch Fielder was later a prominent figure in World War II.
New halfback Everett Strupper was partially deaf; because of his deafness, he called the signals when he played, instead of the team's quarterback. When "Strupe" tried out for the team, he noticed that the quarterback shouted the signals every time he was to carry the ball. Realizing that the loud signals would be a tip-off to the opposition, Strupper told Heisman: "Coach, those loud signals are absolutely unnecessary. You see when sickness in my kid days brought on this deafness my folks gave me the best instructors obtainable to teach me lip-reading." Heisman recalled how Strupper overcame his deafness: "He couldn't hear anything but a regular shout. But he could read your lips like a flash. No lad that ever stepped on a football field had keener eyes than Everett had. The enemy found this out the minute he began looking for openings through which to run the ball."
|October 2||Mercer||W 52–0|
|October 9||Davidson*||W 21–7|
|October 16||3:05 p. m.||Transylvania*||W 57–0|
|October 22||at LSU*||W 36–7||3,000|
|October 30||North Carolina*||W 23–3|
|November 6||Alabama*||W 21–7||5,000|
|November 13||Georgia||T 0–0||9,000|
|November 25||Auburn||W 7–0||10,000|
Week 1: Mercer
Week 2: Davidson
In the second week of play, Davidson had the upper hand for three quarters, but Tech managed to pull ahead in the third quarter, and won 21–7. In the first quarter, Davidson scored on a punt fumbled by Everett Strupper. Froggie Morrison hit Jim Senter with a 35-yard pass for a touchdown in the third quarter. Tech managed to score again, and the third quarter ended with the Yellow Jackets at the 1-yard line. Tommy Spence carried over on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The starting lineup for Tech against Davidson: Goree (left end), Alexander (left tackle), Reynolds (left guard), Phillips (center), Lang (right guard), Carpenter (right tackle), Senter (right end), Morrison (quarter), Johnston (left halfback), Fielder (right halfback), Spence (fullback).
Week 3: Transylvania
The Yellow Jackets romped over Transylvania 57–0. Tech made 333 yards on end runs to 7 for Transy, and 31 first downs to 5. Heisman used most of his subs. Everett Strupper was the star of the game, scoring four touchdowns. Duncan also played well.
The starting lineup for Tech: Goree (left end), Bell (left tackle), Preas (left guard), Phillips (center), Lang (right guard), Carpenter (right tackle), Senter (right end), Morrison (quarterback), Johnston (left halfback), Fielder (right halfback), Spence (fullback).
Week 4: LSU
The season's lone road game was in New Orleans. Georgia Tech handily defeated the LSU Tigers 36–7 using conventional football, at the expense of Heisman being ejected from the game for arguing with an official. Tech repeatedly hammered LSU's left end. "Except for a brief period in the second quarter, when Louisiana executed three consecutive passes for average gains of 25 yards, the Tigers practically were helpless". Just before the game ended, Tommy Spence returned an interception 85 yards. Everett Strupper was injured, blaming Phillip Cooper.
The starting lineup was Goree (left end), Bell (left tackle), Reynolds (left guard), Phillips (center), Lang (right guard), Carpenter (right tacle), Senter (right end), Morrison (quarterback), Johnston (left halfback), Fielder (right halfback), Spence (fullback).
Week 5: North Carolina
Tech beat the Tar Heels 23–3. Early in the first quarter, Wooch Fielder circled end for 40 yards and a touchdown. Next, two forward passes set up a Tommy Spence run for a touchdown. Conventional football got the last touchdown, a score by Mathias. The last score was a 40-yard drop kick field goal by Spence.
The starting lineup was Bell (left end), Duncan (left tackle), Reynolds (left guard), Phillips (center), Lang (right guard), Carpenter (right tackle), Senter (right end), Morrison (quarterback), Johnston (left halfback), Fielder (right halfback), Spence (fullback).
Week 6: Alabama
Tech beat Alabama 21–7. Wooch Fielder scored first. In the second period, Everett Strupper had a 7-yard touchdown run. Tommy Spence scored on a 5-yard run in the third. Alabama's lone score came on the first play of the fourth quarter on an elaborate trick play, a 30-yard forward pass from Bully Van de Graaff, Alabama's first All-American, to Stevenson.
The starting lineup against Alabama: Goree (left end), Bell (left tackle), Reynolds (left guard), Phillips (center), Lang (right guard), Carpenter (right tackle), Senter (right end), Morrison (quarter), Mathias (left halfback), Fielder (right halfback), Spence (fullback).
Week 7: Georgia
The year's only blemish was a scoreless tie against the rival Georgia Bulldogs in inches of mud. John G. Henderson headed a group of three men, one behind the other with his hands upon the shoulders of the one in front, to counter Heisman's jump shift offense. Georgia outplayed Tech throughout. Georgia was once on Tech's 8-yard line, in the first quarter, but Walter Neville fumbled and Tommy Spence recovered.
The starting lineup against Georgia: Goree (left end), Mauck (left tackle), Reynolds (left guard), Phillips (center), Lang (right guard), Barnwell (right tackle), Senter (right end), Johnston (quarter), Mathias (left halfback), Fielder (right halfback), Spence (fullback).
Week 8: Auburn
Tech closed what was then the greatest season in its history with a 7–0 defeat of the Auburn Plainsmen. To begin the second quarter, Everett Strupper had two key plays, the last of which was the game-deciding touchdown. First he made 20 yards around with a pass from Morrison before being forced out of bounds. Next was the 19-yard touchdown. Strupper started around left end, then cut back into the center of the field, away from his blockers. He juked and eluded "every man on the Auburn team." On the last move Strupper faked right and then dove left underneath the outstretched arms of Baby Taylor into the endzone.
The starting lineup against Auburn: Goree (left end), Mauck (left tackle), Reynolds (left guard), Phillips (center), Lang (right guard), Barnwell (right tackle), Senter (right end), Morrison (quarter), Johnston (left halfback), Fielder (right halfback), Spence (fullback).
Tech claimed the right to dispute the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) title with Vanderbilt, despite no longer being a member. The Atlanta Constitution declared it a tie between Vanderbilt and Tech. The Tech team was awarded a 17 x 45 foot pennant as Southern champion.
The following chart provides a visual depiction of Tech's lineup during the 1915 season with games started at the position reflected in parenthesis. The chart mimics the offense after the jump shift has taken place.
- "Georgia Tech Claims S.I.A.A. Championship". The Tennessean. November 26, 1915. p. 8. Retrieved March 27, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Froggy Morrison Slated To Return Tech; Bulldogs Driven". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. September 10, 1933. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
- "'Froggy' Started March of Great Quarterbacks", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, pp. 3B, September 10, 1933
- "Everett Strupper, Tech Immortal, Passes Suddenly". Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. 28 (4). 1950.
- "Ex-Tech Great Dies Suddenly: Everett Strupper, Member of Unbeaten Teams, Passes in Atlanta". The Anniston Star (AP wire story). 1950-02-05.
- John Heisman (1923-11-09). "Heisman Tells Inside Story of Strupper's Play". Atlanta Constitution.
- "1915 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Schedule and Results".
- "Georgia Techs Down Mercer". Greensboro Daily News. October 3, 1915. p. 6. Retrieved April 27, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Davidson Makes Techs Go Some". The Charlotte Observer. October 10, 1915. p. 11. Retrieved March 27, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Outplaying Georgia Tech For Three Quarters Lapsed In the Third, The Yellow Jackets Winning". The Charlotte News. October 10, 1915. p. 11. Retrieved March 27, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Possessing No Offense and a Weak Defense, Carolina Proved Easy For The Jackets". Charlotte News. October 31, 1915. p. 12. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
- Dick Jemison (October 17, 1915). "Yellow Jackets Win In A Romp". The Atlanta Constitution. p. 3. Retrieved March 27, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Vincent, Herb (2008). LSU Football Vault: The History of the Fighting Tigers. Whitman Publishing, LLC. p. 27. ISBN 0794824285.
- "Jackets Win Over Louisiana 36 to 7; Strupper Injured". Atlanta Constitution. October 24, 1915. p. 3. Retrieved May 4, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Georgia Tech Beats Louisiana". Waco Morning News. October 24, 1915. p. 13. Retrieved May 4, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Georgia Techs Walloped Tigers of Louisiana". The Charlotte News. October 24, 1915. p. 10. Retrieved May 4, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Tech Team Wins Fiercely Fought Game". Atlanta Constitution. November 7, 1915. p. 5. Retrieved May 4, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Tech Outplayed By Georgia Is Held To Scoreless Tie". The Tennessean. November 14, 1915. p. 33. Retrieved May 4, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Alabama vs. Tulane (PDF). November 6, 1937. pp. 5, 11.
- Dick Jemison (November 26, 1915). "Yellow Jackets Earn Tie To Football Championship By Defeating Plainsmen". Atlanta Constitution. p. 9. Retrieved March 2, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Blue Print, 1916
- "A Lip-Reading Football Star". The Volta Review. Volta Bureau: 102–105. 1925.
- Traughber 2011, p. 61
- Dick Jemison (December 5, 1915). "Talley Johnston Named Captain 1916 Jackets; Carpenter Is Alternate". The Atlanta Constitution. p. 3. Retrieved June 28, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Dick Jemison (November 30, 1915). "Composite All-Southern Of Ten Of The Dopesters". Atlanta Constitution. p. 10. Retrieved March 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.