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What is the highest scoring college football game?

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2010-12-23 21:56:23
2010-12-23 21:56:23
AnswerIn the spring of 1915, Cumberland College of Lebanon, Tenn., was indiscreet. Its baseball team, fortified with professionals, routed Georgia Tech, 22-0.

The Georgia Tech coach, John Heisman (yes, that Heisman), vowed revenge. He got it a year later on Oct. 7, 1916 - 90 years ago today - when the Georgia Tech football team, which he also coached, overran Cumberland, 222-0, in the most lopsided game in college football history.

In that era, the Cumberland football team played teams like Mississippi, Tulane, South Carolina, Louisiana State and Tennessee. Cumberland discontinued football before the 1916 season, but forgot to tell Georgia Tech.

Heisman insisted that the game go on. If it did not, he said, he would hold Cumberland to a forfeit fee of $3,000, a large sum then.

Schedules were arranged by student managers then. The burden fell upon Cumberland's student manager, George Allen, later an adviser to United States presidents. He rounded up 13 students, many of them fraternity brothers, to go to Atlanta and play.

When the game began, Georgia Tech scored on its first play. Cumberland fumbled on the next play, and Tech returned it for a touchdown. Cumberland fumbled again on its first play, and Tech scored two plays later. And on and on.

After one quarter, Tech led, 63-0. At halftime, the score was 126-0. In a 1998 Georgia Tech alumni publication, Frank Burns, the Cumberland historian, quoted from Heisman's halftime pep talk:

"We're ahead, but you just can't tell what those Cumberland players have up their sleeves. They may spring a surprise. Be alert, men."

There was no surprise. As The Atlanta Journal wrote, "As a general rule, the only thing necessary for a touchdown was to give a Tech back the ball and holler, 'Here he comes' and 'There he goes.' "

Heisman finally showed mercy, agreeing to cut the second half to 15 minutes, but it mattered little. The game ended with no first downs for either team. Georgia Tech scored every time on its first, second or third play. Cumberland's only play of note was a 10-yard pass, little help since it came on fourth-and-22.

Among the game statistics:

Rushing: Georgia Tech 978 yards, Cumberland minus-42.

Passing: Georgia Tech 0 for 0. Cumberland 2 for 18 for 14 yards and 6 interceptions.

Turnovers: Georgia Tech 0, Cumberland 15.

You can read more about it in a 1983 book about the game, "You Dropped It, You Pick It Up," by Jim Paul. The book has 222 pages.

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