American Football Database
1955 Gator Bowl
1 2 3 4 Total
Vanderbilt University 7 6 6 6 25
Auburn University 0 7 0 6 13
Date December 31, 1955
Season 1955
Stadium Gator Bowl Stadium
Location Jacksonville, Florida
MVP RB Joe Childress (Auburn)[1]
QB Don Orr (Vanderbilt)[1]
Favorite Auburn by 6[2]
Attendance 32,174[3]
Payout US$70,000[4]
United States TV coverage
Network CBS[4]
Gator Bowl
 < 1954 1956

The 1955 Gator Bowl, part of the 1955 bowl game season, was the eleventh annual contest and took place on December 31, 1955, at the Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The competing teams were the Auburn Tigers and the Vanderbilt Commodores, both representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Vanderbilt upset favored Auburn 25–13 to secure their first ever bowl victory.[2][5] This remained the lone bowl victory for the Commodores through their 16–14 victory over Boston College in the 2008 Music City Bowl.[6]



The 1955 Auburn squad finished the regular season 8–1–1.[4] The Tigers lost to Tulane and tied Kentucky en route to their third place finish in the conference. They accepted an invitation to play in the Gator Bowl against Vanderbilt in the days following their victory over long-time rival Alabama.[4] The appearance was the fifth overall bowl appearance and third consecutive in the Gator Bowl for the Tigers.[4]


The 1955 Vanderbilt squad finished the regular season 7–3.[7] The Commodores lost to Georgia, Ole Miss and Tennessee.[7] They accepted an invitation to play in the Gator Bowl in the days following their loss to Tennessee.[4] The appearance was the first all-time bowl appearance for Vanderbilt.

Game summary

Vanderbilt got on the scoreboard first after Don Orr threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Joe Stephenson to give the Commodores a 7–0 lead.[8] Auburn responded on the next drive to tie the game at seven after Howell Tubbs connected with Fob James for a 38-yard touchdown reception.[8] The Commodores retook a 13–7 lead on the next drive after Orr scored on a three-yard touchdown run to cap a five-play, 76-yard drive that included a 45-yard run by Orr himself.[8] After having a 51-yard Orr touchdown pass called back because of a holding penalty, Vanderbilt scored later in the quarter on a one-yard Orr touchdown run.[8] The Commodores then scored their final points on the first play of the fourth quarter when Don Hunt scored on a one-yard touchdown run to give Vanderbilt a 25–7 lead.[8] Auburn scored the final points of the game late in the fourth when Joe Childress caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Cook to make the final score 25–13. For their performances, Vanderbilt quarterback Don Orr and Auburn running back Joe Childress mere named co-MVPs of the game.[1]

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring Information Score
Plays Yards TOP Vanderbilt Auburn
1 4:25 39 Vanderbilt Joe Stephenson 7-yard touchdown reception from Don Orr, Earl Jalufka kick good 7 0
2 14:10 10 73 Auburn Fob James 38-yard touchdown reception from Howell Tubbs, Howell Tubbs kick good 7 7
2 11:59 5 76 Vanderbilt Don Orr 3-yard touchdown run, Earl Jalufka kick no good 13 7
3 4:02 51 Vanderbilt Don Orr 1-yard touchdown run, Earl Jalufka kick no good 19 7
4 3 26 Vanderbilt Don Hunt 1-yard touchdown run, Earl Jalufka kick no good (blocked) 25 7
4 6 66 Auburn Joe Childress 7-yard touchdown reception from Jimmy Cook, Howell Tubbs kick no good 25 13
"TOP" = Time of Possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 25 13


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). "Bowl/All-Star Game Records: Most Valuable Players in Former Major Bowls" (PDF). 2011 NCAA Division I Football Records. p. 96. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Auburn six point choice over Vandy today". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press: p. 11. December 31, 1955. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  3. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). "Bowl/All-Star Game Records: Major Bowl Game Attendance" (PDF). 2011 NCAA Division I Football Records. p. 34. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "Vanderbilt, Tigers Gator Bowl foes". St. Petersburg Times. Associated Press: p. 12. November 29, 1955. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  5. Vanderbilt University (Spring 2009). "Where Are They Now?". Vanderbilt Magazine. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  6. Walker, Teresa M. (January 1, 2009). "Vanderbilt wins first bowl game since 1955". The Tuscaloosa News. Associated Press. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Yearly Results" (PDF). 2009 Commodore Football Media Guide. Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University. 2009. p. 159. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Anderson, Norris (January 1, 1956). "Vandy surprises favored Auburn". The Miami News: p. C1. Retrieved October 3, 2011.