American Football Database
1947 Great Lakes Bowl
Bowl Game
1 2 3 4 Total
University of Kentucky 3 0 7 14 24
Villanova University 0 0 0 14 14
Date December 6, 1947
Season 1947
Stadium Cleveland Stadium
Location Cleveland, Ohio
Attendance 14,908
Great Lakes Bowl
 < 1946  1948

The Great Lakes Bowl was a college football bowl game that was played only once, on December 6, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio between the University of Kentucky and Villanova University.[1]

The Kentucky Wildcats of the Southeastern Conference was in its second season under coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Kentucky brought a 7-3 record into the game, their only losses coming to Mississippi (ranked #13 in the final AP poll of the season), Alabama (ranked #6 in the final AP poll of the season) and Tennessee.

The Villanova Wildcats, coached by Jordan Olivar, brought a 6-2-1 record into the game, having lost to Army and Boston College. It was the first bowl appearance for Kentucky and the second for Villanova, which in 1936 tied Auburn 7-7 in the Bacardi Bowl in Havana, Cuba. Neither team was ranked entering the game, though Kentucky had spent three weeks in the AP top twenty in October, rising as high as #13.

The game was played at Cleveland Stadium with attendance of 14,908.

In the first quarter Kentucky's George Blanda kicked a 27 yard field goal. At halftime Kentucky led 3-0. In the third quarter Kentucky's Jim Howe had a 29 yard touchdown run; Blanda's point after kick gave Kentucky a 10-0 lead. In the fourth quarter, Kentucky's Bill Boller had a 15 yard touchdown run on offense and on defense returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown. Blanda hit both extra point attempts to give Kentucky a 24-0 lead. Villanova also scored two late touchdowns late in the fourth quarter. Andy Gordon threw a 9 yard touchdown pass to John Sheehan to make it Kentucky 24, Villanova 7. Ralph Pasquariello had a 10 yard touchdown run for the game's last score. The final score was Kentucky 24, Villanova 14.

The Great Lakes Bowl was never played again as a major bowl game, but did take place in 1948 as a small college bowl game where John Carroll University defeated Canisius College 14-13.[2]

Oddly, Villanova's first two bowl appearances were in bowl games that were only played once, and in cities that never again hosted a college bowl game. Kentucky and Villanova met again in the regular season the following year. They tied 13-13 in Lexington, Kentucky, on November 6, 1948.

See also


  1. Foldesy, Jody. "Bowls burgeon as big business", The Washington Times. December 21, 1997. Page A1.