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1953 Orange Bowl

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1953 Orange Bowl
1234 Total
Syracuse 6000 6
Alabama 7142020 61
DateJanuary 1, 1953
StadiumBurdine Stadium
LocationMiami, Florida
FavoriteAlabama by 13[1]
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersRed Barber
 Orange Bowl 
 <  1952   1954

The 1953 Orange Bowl, part of the 1952 bowl game season, took place on January 1, 1953, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. The competing teams were the Alabama Crimson Tide, representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Syracuse Orangemen, competing as a football independent. Alabama won the game by a record margin of 61–6. The 55-point margin of victory remained the largest for a bowl game until the 2008 GMAC Bowl, and still stands as the largest margin of victory for an Alabama football team in a bowl game.

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  • ✪ 1953 Orange Bowl Classic Highlight Show Alabama vs Syracuse
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  • ✪ Orange Bowl- 1955 National Championship - OU vs Maryland *(from 1/01/56)
  • ✪ 1966 Orange Bowl, #3 Nebraska vs #4 Alabama (Crimson Classics)





The 1952 Alabama squad posted their best overall record the 1950s, finishing 9–2 leading into the postseason. However, losses to Tennessee and Georgia Tech cost the Tide an SEC title. The day after defeating Maryland 27–7, Alabama accepted a bid to play in the Orange Bowl on New Years Day.[2] The appearance marked the second for Alabama in the Orange Bowl, as they defeated Boston College 37–21 in the 1943 game.


The 1952 Syracuse squad finished the regular season with a record of 7–2 and as winners of the Lambert Trophy for the first time in school history.[1] The Orangemen accepted a bid to play in the Orange Bowl after Navy declined the initial bid.[3]

Game summary

Alabama opened the scoring on the afternoon with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Clell Hobson to Bobby Luna to take a 7–0 lead.[4] Syracuse responded on the following possession with their lone points of the game on a 15-yard, Joe Szombathy touchdown run. After the extra point failed, the score was 7–6. The Orangemen did not score again while the Crimson Tide scored 54 unanswered points.[4] Alabama extended their lead to 21–6 at the half with two touchdowns on a one-yard Bobby Marlow run and a 50-yard Thomas Tharp reception from Hobson.[4] The scoring continued in the third quarter with three more touchdowns on a 38-yard Bobby Luna run and runs of one and 30-yards by Tommy Lewis.[4] Leading 41–6, Alabama scored another three touchdowns in the fourth quarter on a 21-yard Joe Cummings reception from Bart Starr, an 80-yard Hootie Ingram punt return and a 60-yard Marvin Hill interception return.[4]

The final score of 61–6 set a NCAA record for largest margin of victory in a bowl game, surpassing the previous record of 49 points set by Michigan in both the 1902 and 1948 Rose Bowl Games.[5][6][7] The 55-point margin of victory stood as the all-time record for a bowl game through the 2008 GMAC Bowl where Tulsa defeated Bowling Green 63–7 for a 56 point margin of victory.[8] The 55-points still stands as the largest margin of victory for an Alabama football team in a bowl game.[9][10]

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP Syracuse Alabama
1 8:13 Alabama Bobby Luna 27-yard touchdown reception from Clell Hobson, Bobby Luna kick good 0 7
1 2:45 Syracuse Joe Szombathy 15-yard touchdown run, kick failed 6 7
2 13:11 Alabama Bobby Marlow 1-yard touchdown run, Bobby Luna kick good 6 14
2 4:40 Alabama Thomas Tharp 50-yard touchdown reception from Clell Hobson, Bobby Luna kick good 6 21
3 Alabama Bobby Luna 38-yard touchdown run, Bobby Luna kick good 6 28
3 Alabama Tommy Lewis 1-yard touchdown run, Bobby Luna kick good 6 35
3 Alabama Tommy Lewis 30-yard touchdown run, Bobby Luna kick failed 6 41
4 14:50 Alabama Joe Cummings 21-yard touchdown reception from Bart Starr, Bobby Luna kick good 6 48
4 Alabama 80-yard punt return by Hootie Ingram, Bobby Luna kick failed 6 54
4 Alabama Interception returned 60 yards for touchdown by Marvin Hill, Bobby Luna kick good 6 61
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 6 61


  1. ^ a b c Funk, Ben (January 1, 1953). "Syracuse puts up eastern prestige against Alabama". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 8. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  2. ^ "Tide gets bowl bid". The Tuscaloosa News. United Press Associations. November 24, 1952. p. 1.
  3. ^ Funk, Ben (November 25, 1952). "Syracuse signed for Orange Bowl". Beaver Valley Times. p. 10. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e Watkins, Edwin (January 2, 1953). "Bama smashes records, Syracuse, 61 to 6". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 1. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  5. ^ "Alabama routs Syracuse in 'Worst mismatch,' 61–6". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. January 2, 1953. p. Section 2, Page 4. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  6. ^ "Alabama eleven wins greatest bowl mismatch". Ellensburg Daily Record. Associated Press. January 2, 1953. p. 8. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  7. ^ "Bama gains most lop-sided win in bowl history, 61–6". The Pittsburgh Press. United Press Associations. January 2, 1953. p. 25. Retrieved January 4, 2011.
  8. ^ "Smith's 14th straight 300-yard game leads Tulsa past Bowling Green". Associated Press. January 6, 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  9. ^ Hurt, Cecil (January 2, 2011). "Capital punishment: Alabama takes down Michigan State". The Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  10. ^ "2011 Capital One Bowl Postgame Notes". January 1, 2011. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
This page was last edited on 5 August 2019, at 22:47
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