1956 Alabama Crimson Tide football
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
1956 record2–7–1 (2–5 SEC)
Head coachJennings B. Whitworth (2nd season)
CaptainJim Cunningham
CaptainWes Thompson
Home stadium
Seasons
← 1955
1957 →
1956 SEC football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#2 Tennessee 6 0 0     10 1 0
#4 Georgia Tech 7 1 0     10 1 0
Florida 5 2 0     6 3 1
Ole Miss 4 2 0     7 3 0
Auburn 4 3 0     7 3 0
Kentucky 4 4 0     6 4 0
Tulane 3 3 0     6 4 0
Vanderbilt 2 5 0     5 5 0
Alabama 2 5 0     2 7 1
Mississippi State 2 5 0     4 6 0
LSU 1 5 0     3 7 0
Georgia 1 6 0     3 6 1
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1956 Alabama Crimson Tide football team (variously "Alabama", "UA" or "Bama") represented the University of Alabama in the 1956 NCAA University Division football season. It was the Crimson Tide's 62nd overall and 23rd season as a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The team was led by head coach Jennings B. Whitworth, in his second year, and played their home games at Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Legion Field in Birmingham and at Ladd Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. They finished with a record of two wins, seven losses and one tie (2–7–1 overall, 2–5 in the SEC).

In 1956 the Crimson Tide improved somewhat from the year before—but not much. Alabama opened the season with four straight losses by a combined score of 99–26 to Rice, Vanderbilt, TCU and Tennessee. At this point, the all-time school record losing streak ran to 17 consecutive games, and the winless streak reached 20 games back to the 1954 season. Then against Mississippi State, Alabama won a game for the first time since October 16, 1954. The Tide scored with 2½ minutes to go and kicked the extra point to beat Maroons 13–12. After a loss to Georgia Alabama managed a 13–7 victory over Tulane. They then closed the season with a 13–13 tie with Mississippi Southern between losses to Georgia Tech and Auburn.

Schedule[edit | edit source]

DateOpponentSiteResultAttendance
September 22at Rice*L 13–2043,000
October 6No. 18 VanderbiltL 7–3223,071
October 13No. 4 TCU*L 6–2320,000
October 20at No. 7 TennesseeL 0–2427,500
October 27Mississippi Statedagger
  • Denny Stadium
  • Tuscaloosa, AL (rivalry)
W 13–1226,000
November 3GeorgiaL 13–1625,000
November 10at TulaneW 13–730,000
November 17at No. 4 Georgia TechL 0–2738,000
November 24Mississippi Southern*
  • Denny Stadium
  • Tuscaloosa, AL
T 13–1316,000
December 1vs. Auburn
L 7–3444,000
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • Source: Rolltide.com: 1956 Alabama football schedule[1]

Game summaries[edit | edit source]

Rice[edit | edit source]

by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 7 0 6 0 13
Rice 7 7 0 6 20
  • Date: September 22
  • Location: Rice Stadium
    Houston, TX
  • Game attendance: 43,000

The Crimson Tide opened the 1956 season with their 14th consecutive loss, while their opponent, the Rice Owls, ended their own seven-game losing streak with their 20–13 victory at Houston.[2][3][4] The Owls scored the first touchdown of the game on their opening drive when Frank Ryan threw a 12-yard pass to Buddy Dial.[2] Alabama responded in the final minute of the quarter with a one-yard Clay Walls touchdown run to tie the game at 7–7.[2] Rice then took a 14–7 halftime lead after King Hill threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Williams in the second quarter.[2] After a 17-yard Donald Comstock touchdown run brought the Crimson Tide within a point of the Owls lead, Rice closed the game with an 18-yard Ryan touchdown pass to Dial in the fourth to win 20–13.[2][3] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Rice to 0–3.[5]

Vanderbilt[edit | edit source]

by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
#18 Vanderbilt 0 13 6 13 32
Alabama 0 0 7 0 7
  • Date: October 6
  • Location: Ladd Stadium
    Mobile, AL
  • Game attendance: 23,071

In their annual home game at Ladd Stadium, the Crimson Tide were defeated by the Vanderbilt Commodores 32–7 to open conference play.[4][6] After a scoreless first quarter, the Commodores took a 13–0 halftime lead with second-quarter touchdowns scored on a short pass from Donald Orr to Gerald Hudson and later on a three-yard Danny McCall run.[6] Hudson extended the Vandy lead to 19–0 with his three-yard touchdown run before the Crimson Tide scored their only points of the game on a one-yard Donald Comstock touchdown run that made the score 19–7.[6] Vanderbilt then closed the game with a pair of touchdowns on runs of 25-yards by Phil King and three-yards by William Smith to win 32–7.[6] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Vanderbilt to 18–16–1.[8]

TCU[edit | edit source]

by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
#4 TCU 7 9 7 0 23
Alabama 0 0 0 6 6
  • Date: October 13
  • Location: Denny Stadium
    Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Game attendance: 20,000

For the second consecutive season, Alabama played host to the Texas Christian University (TCU) Horned Frogs of the Southwest Conference, and for the second time in as many years lost 23–6.[4][9][10] TCU took a 7–0 first quarter lead on a 46-yard Ken Wineburg touchdown run that capped an 81-yard drive.[9][10] In the second quarter, the Frogs scored on an 11-yard Buddy Dike touchdown run and on a 21-yard Vernon Hallbeck field goal and took a 16–0 halftime lead.[9][10] After a 41-yard Wineburg run in the third gave TCU a 23–0 lead, Alabama scored their lone points in the fourth on a 10-yard James Loftin touchdown run that made the final score 23–6.[9][10] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against TCU to 0–2.[11]

Tennessee[edit | edit source]

Third Saturday in October
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 0 0 0 0
#7 Tennessee 6 6 6 6 24
  • Date: October 20
  • Location: Shields-Watkins Field
    Knoxville, TN
  • Game attendance: 27,500

In their annual rivalry game against Tennessee, Alabama was shut out for the second consecutive year by the Volunteers in a 24–0 loss in Knoxville.[4][12][13] In the game, Tennessee scored a touchdown in all four quarters. The Vols took a 12–0 halftime lead after Tommy Bronson scored on a three-yard run in the first and Al Carter scored on a 44-yard run in the second.[12] After Johnny Majors scored on a short run to open the third quarter, Carter scored the final touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter on a one-yard run that made the final score 24–0.[12] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Tennessee to 18–15–5.[14]

Mississippi State[edit | edit source]

by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Mississippi State 12 0 0 0 12
Alabama 0 6 0 7 13
  • Date: October 27
  • Location: Denny Stadium
    Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Game attendance: 26,000

On homecoming in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide upset the Mississippi State Maroons 13–12 at Denny Stadium that ended both a 17-game losing streak that stretched back to the 1954 season and gave Whitworth his first victory as Crimson Tide head coach.[4][15][16] The Maroons took a 12–0 first quarter lead on touchdown runs of two-yards by Frank Sabbatini and 22-yards by Billy Stacy.[15][16] The Crimson Tide responded in the second quarter on a 46-yard Clay Walls touchdown pass to Jimmy Bowdoin that made the halftime score 12–6.[15][16] After a scoreless third quarter, Walls tied the game 12–12 with his one-yard touchdown run in the fourth. The Pete Reeves extra point that followed gave Alabama the 13–12 victory and ended their 17-game losing streak.[15][16] The victory improved Alabama's all-time record against Mississippi State to 29–9–3.[17]

Georgia[edit | edit source]

by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Georgia 0 0 7 9 16
Alabama 7 0 0 6 13
  • Date: November 3
  • Location: Legion Field
    Birmingham, AL
  • Game attendance: 25,000

One week after they won their first game in nearly two years, the Crimson Tide lost to the Georgia Bulldogs 16–13 at Legion Field.[4][18][19] Alabama took a 7–0 lead into halftime after Charles Nelson scored on a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.[18][19] After Georgia tied the game 7–7 in the third quarter on an 80-yard J. B. Davis punt return, they took a 10–7 lead early in the fourth quarter after Clenton Cooper kicked a 29-yard field goal.[18][19] They extended their lead further to 16–7 after a short William Hearn touchdown run, before Alabama scored their final points on a 24-yard Marshall Brown touchdown run that made the final score 16–13.[18][19] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Georgia to 21–17–4.[20]

Tulane[edit | edit source]

by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 13 0 0 13
Tulane 0 0 0 7 7
  • Date: November 10
  • Location: Tulane Stadium
    New Orleans, LA
  • Game attendance: 30,000

On the road in New Orleans, the Crimson Tide won their second game of the season with this 13–7 victory over the Tulane Green Wave.[4][21][22] After a scoreless first quarter, Alabama scored both of their touchdowns in the second quarter. Both were scored on one-yard runs, first from Donald Comstock and second from George Salem.[21][22] After a scoreless third, Tulane made the final score 13–7 on a 29-yard Fred Wilcox touchdown pass to T. Eugene Newton.[21][22] The victory improved Alabama's all-time record against Tulane to 17–8–2.[23]

Georgia Tech[edit | edit source]

by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Alabama 0 0 0 0 0
No. 4 Georgia Tech 7 0 6 14 27

Against Georgia Tech, Alabama was shut out, 27–0, by the Yellow Jackets at Grant Field.[4][24][25] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Georgia Tech to 18–17–3.[26]

Mississippi Southern[edit | edit source]

by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Miss Southern 0 7 6 0 13
Alabama 0 7 6 0 13
  • Date: November 24
  • Location: Denny Stadium
    Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Game attendance: 16,000

In their final non-conference game of the season, Alabama tied the Mississippi Southern Golden Eagles 13–13 at Denny Stadium.[27][28] After a scoreless first quarter, Bo Dickinson scored on a 38-yard touchdown run for Southern and then Bobby Smith threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Donald Comstock for Alabama to tie the game 7–7 at halftime.[27][28] In the third quarter, Smith threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Comstock for the Crimson Tide and the Dickinson scored on a 37-yard touchdown run to again tie the game 13–13, which stood as the final score after a scoreless fourth quarter.[27][28] The tie brought Alabama's all-time record against Mississippi Southern to 6–2–1.[29]

Auburn[edit | edit source]

Iron Bowl
by Quarter 1 2 3 4 Total
Auburn 0 27 7 0 34
Alabama 0 0 7 0 7
  • Date: December 1
  • Location: Legion Field
    Birmingham, AL
  • Game attendance: 44,000

Against the rival Auburn Tigers, Alabama lost 34–7 at Legion Field in the season finale.[4][30][31] The loss brought Alabama's all-time record against Auburn to 9–11–1.[32]

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Varsity letter winners[edit | edit source]

Player Hometown Position
Willie Beck Northport, Alabama End
Ralph Blalock Cullman, Alabama End
Baxter Booth Athens, Alabama End
Jimmy Bowdoin Elba, Alabama Halfback
William Brooks Tuscaloosa, Alabama Center
Marshall Brown Ladysmith, Wisconsin Fullback
Phil Clark Columbus, Georgia Guard
Donald Comstock Lincoln, Nebraska Halfback
Benny Dempsey Brantley, Alabama Center
Roy Forbus Alexander City, Alabama End
Glen Graham Florence, Alabama Center
Charles Gray Pell City, Alabama End
Max Kelley Cullman, Alabama Fullback
Donald Kinderknecht Hays, Kansas Fullback
James Loftin Dothan, Alabama Halfback
Sidney Neighbors Northport, Alabama Tackle
Charles Nelson Opp, Alabama Quarterback
Donald Owen Memphis, Tennessee End
Edward Pharo Birmingham, Alabama Fullback
Douglas Potts Evergreen, Alabama Guard
Billy Raines Moulton, Alabama Guard
Kenneth Roberts Anniston, Alabama Center
George Salem Birmingham, Alabama Halfback
Dave Sington Birmingham, Alabama Tackle
Bobby Smith Brewton, Alabama Quarterback
John Snoderly Montgomery, Alabama Center
Wesley Thompson Decatur, Alabama Tackle
Roy Vickery Charlotte, North Carolina Tackle
Clay Walls Bessemer, Alabama Halfback
Reference:[33]

Coaching staff[edit | edit source]

Name Position Seasons at
Alabama
Alma Mater
Jennings B. Whitworth Head coach 2 Alabama (1932)
Lew Bostick Assistant coach 13 Alabama (1939)
Hank Crisp Assistant coach 29 VPI (1920)
Dorsey Gibson Assistant coach 1 Oklahoma A&M (1953)
Howard "Moose" Johnson Assistant coach 2 Georgia (1948)
Joe Kilgrow Assistant coach 13 Alabama (1937)
Malcolm Laney Assistant coach 13 Alabama (1932)
Barney Poole Assistant coach 1 Ole Miss (1948)
Joe Thomas Assistant coach 2 Oklahoma A&M (1947)
Reference:[34]

References[edit | edit source]

General

Specific

  1. "1956 Alabama football schedule". RollTide.com. University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Archived from the original on December 2, 2011. https://www.webcitation.org/63dbQSj7C?url=http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-footbl/archive/m-footbl-results-archive.html. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Bassett, Norman (September 23, 1956). "Tide fails to turn, loses 20–13". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives): p. 1. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=YGQeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=7JkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6537%2C2544243. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Rice defeats 'Bama, 20–13". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press (Google News Archives): p. 3B. September 23, 1956. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=GPRVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=YeIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4392%2C3839122. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 1956 Season Recap
  5. DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Rice". College Football Data Warehouse. http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/alabama/opponents_records.php?teamid=2700. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Land, Charles (October 7, 1956). "Commodores' power too much as Tidesmen fall again, 32–7". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives): p. 1. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bGQeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=7JkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5155%2C4303240. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  7. "Commodores run roughshod, over Crimson Tide, 32 to 7". The Gadsden Times. Associated Press (Google News Archives): p. 11. October 7, 1956. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ax8pAAAAIBAJ&sjid=btcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3830%2C3266327. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  8. DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Vanderbilt". College Football Data Warehouse. http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/alabama/opponents_records.php?teamid=3363. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Land, Charles (October 14, 1956). "TCU belts Bama 23–6". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives): p. 13. https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=XUmZziu-z7kC&dat=19561014&printsec=frontpage&hl=en. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Thomas, Rex (October 14, 1956). "Rated Frogs brush by Crimson Tide, 23 to 6". The Gadsden Times (Google News Archives): p. 8. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ch8pAAAAIBAJ&sjid=btcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2269%2C3905731. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  11. DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Texas Christian". College Football Data Warehouse. http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/alabama/opponents_records.php?teamid=3204. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Bassett, Norman (October 21, 1956). "Vol lightning strikes Tide, 24–0 win". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives): p. 10. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=eWQeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=7JkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=5138%2C6134007. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Thompson, Escar (October 21, 1956). "Tennessee Vols defeat Alabama again, 24 to 0". The Florence Times. Associated Press (Google News Archives): p. 12. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=zgYsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=eMYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2156%2C2080875. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  14. DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Tennessee". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on October 14, 2013. https://web.archive.org/web/20131014173115/http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/alabama/opponents_records.php?teamid=3180. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Land, Charles (October 28, 1956). "Tide gives Whit first win as State falls, 13–12". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives): p. 1. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=gGQeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=7JkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6534%2C6928171. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Cox, Don (October 28, 1951). "Tide wins, 13 to 12". The Gadsden Times (Google News Archives): p. 1. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=fR8pAAAAIBAJ&sjid=btcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1776%2C5237005. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  17. DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Mississippi State". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. https://web.archive.org/web/20111023093940/http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/alabama/opponents_records.php?teamid=2049. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Land, Charles (November 4, 1956). "Georgia stuns fighting Tide with fast second half scores". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives): p. 1. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=X2MeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5ZkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4844%2C279119. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 "Georgia gowns Alabama on field goal, long run". The Miami News. Associated Press (Google News Archives): p. 2B. November 4, 1956. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=oK0yAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CuwFAAAAIBAJ&pg=3637%2C1225778. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  20. DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Georgia". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. https://web.archive.org/web/20131216010856/http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/alabama/opponents_records.php?teamid=1265. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Land, Charles (November 11, 1956). "Bama swamps Tulane's Wave". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives): p. 1. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ZGMeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5ZkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7276%2C1240410. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Saggus, James (November 11, 1956). "Tide topples Tulane". The Gadsden Times. Associated Press (Google News Archives): p. 11. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0RQpAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XNcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=1045%2C1020611. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  23. DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Tulane". College Football Data Warehouse. http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/alabama/opponents_records.php?teamid=3267. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Land, Charles (November 18, 1956). "Vann's passes feature Tech win over Alabama". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives): p. 1. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=aWMeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5ZkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3982%2C2154323. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Vann and Thompson spark Ga. Tech over 'Bama, 27–0". The News and Courier. Associated Press (Google News Archives): p. 3D. November 18, 1956. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=mZdJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=cQwNAAAAIBAJ&pg=2202%2C3099899. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  26. DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Georgia Tech". College Football Data Warehouse. http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/alabama/opponents_records.php?teamid=1273. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Robinson, Bill (November 25, 1956). "Ghost of '53, '54 Southerners steals across Denny Stadium". The Tuscaloosa News (Google News Archives): p. 1. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bmMeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5ZkEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7322%2C3060190. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 "Alabama battles to 13–13 tie with pesty Miss. Southern". The Gadsden Times. Associated Press (Google News Archives): p. 8. November 25, 1956. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=3RQpAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XNcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2713%2C2082444. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  29. DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Southern Mississippi". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on October 23, 2011. https://web.archive.org/web/20111023105802/http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/alabama/opponents_records.php?teamid=3052. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  30. 30.0 30.1 Halbrooks, Hap (December 2, 1956). "Auburn slaughters hapless Alabama, 34–7". The Florence Times (Google News Archives): p. 13. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=KSMsAAAAIBAJ&sjid=U54FAAAAIBAJ&pg=1195%2C126781. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Griffin, John Chandler (2001). "1956: Howell Tubbs leads Tiger romp over Alabama". Alabama vs. Auburn: Gridiron Grudge Since 1893. Athens, Georgia: Hill Street Press. pp. 151–153. ISBN 1-58818-044-1.
  32. DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs Auburn". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. https://www.webcitation.org/6HYiMTyHA?url=http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/sec/alabama/opponents_records.php?teamid=220. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  33. "All-Time Tide Football Lettermen". 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Record Book. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Athletics Media Relations Office. 2011. pp. 127–141.
  34. "All-Time Assistant Coaches". 2011 Alabama Crimson Tide Football Record Book. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Athletics Media Relations Office. 2011. pp. 142–143.
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