1925 Georgia Tech Golden Tornado football team

1925 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets football
Conference Southern Conference
1925 record 6–2–1 (4–1–1 SoCon)
Head coach William Alexander (6th year)
Assistant coach Don Miller
Assistant coach Bill Fincher
Offensive scheme Jump shift
Captain Doug Wycoff
Home stadium Grant Field
1925 Southern Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
Alabama + 7 0 0     10 0 0
Tulane + 5 0 0     9 0 1
North Carolina 4 0 1     7 1 1
Washington and Lee 5 1 0     5 5 0
Virginia 4 1 1     7 1 1
Georgia Tech 4 1 1     6 2 1
Kentucky 4 2 0     6 3 0
Florida 3 2 0     8 2 0
Auburn 3 2 1     5 3 1
VPI 3 3 1     5 3 2
Vanderbilt 3 3 0     6 3 0
Tennessee 2 2 1     5 2 1
South Carolina 2 2 0     7 3 0
Georgia 2 4 0     4 5 0
VMI 2 4 0     6 4 0
Sewanee 1 4 0     4 4 1
Mississippi A&M 1 4 0     3 4 1
LSU 0 2 1     5 3 1
NC State 0 4 1     3 5 1
Ole Miss 0 4 0     5 5 0
Clemson 0 4 0     1 7 0
Maryland 0 4 0     2 5 1
  • + Conference co-champions

The 1925 Georgia Tech Golden Tornado football team[note 1] represented the Georgia Tech Golden Tornado of the Georgia Institute of Technology during the 1925 college football season. The Tornado was coached by William Alexander in his 6th year as head coach, compiling a record of 6–2–1. The team was captained by Doug Wycoff. It had one of the best defenses in school history.[3]

The team most notably beat Penn State. It suffered losses to national champion Alabama and the defending national champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It also had a surprise tie with rival Auburn.

Before the season

1925 saw the south's widespread use of the forward pass.[4] Coach William Alexander was a Heisman protege and utilized his "jump shift". Don Miller of Four Horsemen fame assisted Alexander in the backfield, and former star Tech tackle Bill Fincher assisted with the line.[3]

Triple threat Doug Wycoff, mentioned for All-American by Lawrence Perry at the end of last year,[5] was elected captain of the 1925 team, having been "the outstanding back of the South for the past two years."[6] Coach Alexander called him "the best player ever to wear a cleat for Georgia Tech."[3]


Date Opponent Site Result Attendance
September 26 Oglethorpe* Grant FieldAtlanta, GA W 13–7    
October 3 VMI Grant Field • Atlanta, GA W 33–0    
October 10 vs. Penn State* Yankee StadiumBronx, NY W 16–7   8,000
October 17 Florida Grant Field • Atlanta, GA W 23–7    
October 24 Alabama Grant Field • Atlanta, GA L 0–7   20,000
October 31 Notre Dame* Grant Field • Atlanta, GA L 0–13    
November 7 Vanderbilt Dudley FieldNashville, TN W 7–0    
November 14 Georgia Grant Field • Atlanta, GA (Rivalry) W 3–0   35,000
November 26 Auburn Grant Field • Atlanta, GA (Rivalry) T 7–7    
*Non-conference game.


Season summary

Week 1: Oglethorpe

Week 1: Oglethorpe at Georgia Tech
1 234Total
Oglethorpe 0 007 7
Ga. Tech 0 607 13


The season opened with a 13–7 defeat of Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) champion Oglethorpe.[note 2] Neither team scored in the first quarter, but in the second Wycoff went over for a 4-yard touchdown. The second Tech score came in the final quarter, when Carter Barron ran it in from 6 yards out following a long drive. A forward pass, Walsh to Campbell, got Oglethorpe's touchdown.[8]

Week 2: V. M. I.

Week 2: V. M. I. at Georgia Tech
1 234Total
V. M. I. 0 000 0
Ga. Tech 0 71412 33


Tech beat VMI 33–0. In the second quarter, a pass from Murray to Wycoff added 24 yards. Carter Barron got it in from the 1-yard line some plays later.[5] The next touchdown drive was highlighted by a 34-yard touchdown run. Murray scored yet another touchdown.[5] A 26-yard pass was caught by Marshall, and Tech drove down to the 1-yard line when the final quarter started.[5] Williams went across for a touchdown. With substitutes in the backfield for most of the final period, John Brewer scored a touchdown on another triple pass play,[3] this time from the 6-yard line.[5]

The starting lineup was Irwin (left end), Tharpe (left tackle), Godwin (left guard), Poole (center), Forrester (right guard), Carpenter (right tackle), Marshall (right end), Williams (quarterback), Barron (left halfback), Wycoff (right halfback), S. Murray (fullback).[5]

Week 3: vs. Penn State

Week 3: Georgia Tech at Penn State
1 234Total
Ga. Tech 0 079 16
Penn St. 0 700 7
  • Date: October 10
  • Location: Yankee Stadium
    Bronx, NY
  • Game attendance: 8,000
  • Game weather: Wind
  • Referee: C. J. McCarty (Germantown)


The third week brought the highlight of the year a defeat of Hugo Bezdek's previously undefeated Penn State Nittany Lions 16–7 in a howling wind in Yankee Stadium.[9][10] Tech utilized its shift on nearly every play.[11] Penn State scored first after a punt by Doug Wycoff into the wind gave them the ball at Tech's 30-yard line. From here, Penn State threw a forward pass from a cross buck formation. Dangerfield shook off three tacklers on his way to the goal just as the half ended.[9]

A similar thing happened to start the second half and give Tech its score. Penn State's Gray got off a bad punt into the wind, nearly over his own goal line.[9] Using its shift to perfection,[12] Wycoff eventually got over the tying touchdown. After a fumble recovery,[13] an 80-yard drive utilizing Wycoff and Sam Murray[14] ended in a Carter Barron touchdown for the third score. After an interception, Ike Williams also added a 25-yard field goal.[9][14]

The starting lineup was Marshall (left end), Tharpe (left tackle), Godwin (left guard), Poole (center), Forrester (right guard), Carpenter (right tackle), Merkle (right end), Williams (quarterback), Wycoff (left halfback), Barron (right halfback), S. Murray (fullback).[9]

Week 4: Florida

Week 4: Florida at Georgia Tech
1 234Total
Florida 0 070 7
Ga. Tech 7 3130 23


Tech beat Florida 23–7. The Gators made just five first downs to Tech's 15.[15]

Doug Wycoff scored two touchdowns. Wycoff scored first, and Ike Williams added the extra point. In the second period, Williams made a 12-yard field goal. Wycoff and Sam Murray scored in the third period, with one extra point converted by Williams.[15][16][17]

The starting lineup was Merkle (left end), Carpenter (left tackle), Forrester (left guard), Poole (center), Godwin (right guard), Tharpe (right tackle), Marshall (right end), Williams (quarterback), Wycoff (left halfback), Barron (right halfback), S. Murray (fullback).[15]

Week 5: Alabama

Week 5: Alabama at Georgia Tech
1 234Total
Alabama 0 070 7
Ga. Tech 0 000 0


The national champion Alabama Crimson Tide beat Georgia Tech 7–0 on a Johnny Mack Brown punt return for a touchdown.[19] Pooley Hubert cleared two Tech players out of the way.[20] "Hubert played the greatest game of his career and was called the greatest defensive back ever to appear on Grant Field". Tech turned the ball over on downs at the Alabama 28 and again at the Alabama 21.[18] Star tackle Six Carpenter was injured.[21] Tech was the only team all year to rush for more yardage and gain more first downs than Alabama.[3]

The starting lineup was Merkle (left end), Tharpe (left tackle), Godwin (left guard), Poole (center), Forrester (right guard), Carpenter (right tackle), Marshall (right end), Williams (quarterback), Wycoff (left halfback), Barron (right halfback), S. Murray (fullback).[19]

Week 6: Notre Dame

Week 6: Notre Dame at Georgia Tech
1 234Total
Notre Dame 6 700 13
Ga. Tech 0 000 0
  • Date: October 31
  • Location: Grant Field
    Atlanta, GA
  • Game attendance: 10,000
  • Game weather: Cold rain
  • Referee: Burch (Chicago)


Resembling its old form,[23] Knute Rockne's defending national champion Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated Georgia Tech 13–0. The game was played in a cold rain,[24] and Tech played its substitutes aside from Walt Godwin.[23][25] All scores were made in the first half.[25]

An interception by Red Edwards set up the first score.[22] Christie Flanagan was the star for the Irish.[23]

The starting lineup was Irwin (left end), Hood (left tackle), Godwin (left guard), Elliott (center), Angley (right guard), Hearn (right tackle), Crowley (right end), Morse (quarterback), Connelly (left halfback), Brewer (right halfback), Holland (fullback).[22]

Week 7: at Vanderbilt

Week 7: Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech
1 234Total
Vanderbilt 0 000 0
Ga. Tech 0 007 7


Describing the most spectacular play he ever saw, coach William Alexander cites one from the 1925 game against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Wycoff was hurt, such that he elected to use his substitute Dick Wright with only minutes to go in the game. On a muddy field, Wright ran off tackle and dodged Vanderbilt's safety Gil Reese, "usually a sure tackler," to get the touchdown with a run to give Tech a 7–0 victory.[26] The yearbook remarked, Wright "should have run for governor of Georgia right after he ran 56 yards against Vandy."[3]

Week 8: Georgia

Week 8: Georgia at Georgia Tech
1 234Total
Georgia 0 000 0
Ga. Tech 0 030 3


Rivals Georgia and Georgia Tech met for the first time since 1916.[3] Quarterback Ike Williams thought the game clock read five seconds remaining in the third quarter when in actuality it was five minutes. Williams set up his offense for a field goal and kicked it to put Tech up 3–0 on first down. Luckily for Williams, Tech won 3–0.[28] Georgia tried all kinds of forward passes in desperation.[27]

The starting lineup was Merckle (left end), Tharpe (left tackle), Godwin (left guard), Poole (center), Forrester (right guard), Fair (right tackle), Marshall (right end), Williams (quarterback), Wycoff (left halfback), Barron (right halfback), S. Murray (fullback).[27]

Week 9: Auburn

Auburn surprised with a 7–7 tie in the final week.[29] Doug Wycoff scored Tech's touchdown.[30] Pea Green caught a 9-yard pass from Frank Tuxworth on Auburn's score, after a blocked Wycoff punt.[31]


Awards and honors

Doug Wycoff

Doug Wycoff received 21 of a possible 32 first-team All-Southern selections of the Associated Press composite.[32] Center Owen Poole got six. Guard Walt Godwin also made some All-Southern teams,[33] and tackle Six Carpenter made second-team All-Southern for Norman E. Brown.[34]

Godwin was named to Knute Rockne's All-America team. Wycoff and end Gus Merkle made Billy Evans's "National Honor Roll."


Coach Alexander recalled "The work of Douglas Wycoff against Notre Dame two years in succession was brilliant in the extreme, as was his plunging against Penn. State when we defeated them twice."[35] Morgan Blake, sports writer for the Atlanta Journal, said of an all-time All-Southern list: "It seems to us that one name is left out in this collection, who may have been the best all-around player the South has had.

"We have reference to Doug Wycoff of Tech who, for three straight years, was practically the unanimous all-Southern football choice, despite the fact that Georgia Tech had very lean years during his period of play at this institution. If Wycoff had been flanked by such a pair of halfbacks as Red Barron and Buck Flowers, or Thomason and Mizell while he was with the Jackets, he would have been an all-American. As it was he had to carry all of the offensive load and on the defense he was a wheelhorse. He was a great punter and passer. If Wycoff was not the best all-around player the South had produced then he was very close to the peak."[36]


Depth chart

The following chart depicts Tech's lineup during the 1925 season with games started at the position shown in parenthesis. The chart mimics the offense after the jump shift has taken place.

Gus Merkle (3)
Bull Irwin (2)
Johnny Marshall (1)
Mack Tharpe (4)Walt Godwin (4) Owen Poole (5) Wally Forrester (4) Six Carpenter (3)
Six Carpenter (1) Wally Forrester (1) Red Elliott (1) Tom Angley (1)Dick Fair (1)
Papa Hood (1)Firpo Martin (0) Walt Godwin (1) Tiny Hearn (1)
Bus Cooper (0) Mack Tharpe (1)
Johnny Marshall (4)
Ed Crowley (1)
Gus Merkle (1)
John Murray (0)
Ike Williams (5)
Finley McRae (1)
John Brewer (0)
Carter Barron (4)
John Brewer (1)
Doug Wycoff (1)
Sam Murray (5)
Ralph Holland (1)
Doug Wycoff (4)
Carter Barron (1)
Vaughan Connelly (1)
Dick Wright (0)



Number Player Position Games
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
64 Tom AngleyGuard1 Baltimore, Maryland University School 21
5 Six CarpenterTackle 4Newnan, Georgia
17 Bus CooperTackle
21 Ed CrowleyEnd 1Watkinsville, Georgia 19
11 Red ElliottCenter1 Minnesota
53 Dick FairTackle 1 Atlanta, Georgia
15 Wally ForresterGuard5 Leesburg, Georgia Gordon Institute
36 Walt GodwinGuard 6 27
23 Papa HoodTackle 1 220
10 Tiny HearnTackle1 GMA
49 Bull IrwinEnd 2Atlanta, Georgia
54 Johnny MarshallEnd5 Jacksonville, Florida Duval High School 21
6 Firpo MartinGuard GMA
14 Gus MerkleEnd 3
12 John MurrayEnd
13 Owen PooleCenter5 Boys High School 155
24 Mack TharpeTackle 4 Moultrie, Georgia 22


Number Player Position Games
Hometown Prep school Height Weight Age
1 Carter BarronHalfback6 Clarkesville, Georgia 20
19 John BrewerQuarterback, halfback1 Griffin, Georgia
33 Vaughan ConnellyHalfback1 Atlanta, Georgia
62Ralph HollandFullback1 Atlanta, Georgia
12Sam MurrayFullback 5
4 Finley McRaeQuarterback
39 Ike WilliamsQuarterback 5 Little Rock, ArkansasCentral H. S. 5'10" 180 22
70 Dick WrightHalfback Sumter, South Carolina
27 Doug WycoffHalfback 8Little Rock, Arkansas 6'2"195 22




See also


  1. Although Georgia Tech's teams are officially known as the "Yellow Jackets", northern writers called the team the "Golden Tornado" in 1917; the name was commonly used until 1928 and for many years afterwards as an alternate nickname.[1] It may have been coined by Morgan Blake.[2]
  2. Tech was in the SIAA before 1922.


  1. Van Brimmer & Rice 2011, p. 147
  2. "Golden Tornadoes". Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Blue Print (PDF). 1926.
  4. "Shaping College Football". google.com.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Golden Tornado Swamps Cadets". The Index-Journal. October 4, 1925. p. 6. Retrieved May 3, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  6. "1925 Football Captains". The Stanford Daily. 68. October 27, 1925.
  7. "1925 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Schedule and Results".
  8. 1 2 "Georgia Tech Opens Season With Victory". The Anniston Star. September 27, 1925. p. 8. Retrieved May 3, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Ga. Tech Easy Victory In Penn Battle At N. Y.". Florence Morning News. p. 11. Retrieved April 29, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  10. "Southerners, In Howling Gale, Beat Penn State, Until Now Undefeated". Waco News-Tribune. October 11, 1925. p. 13. Retrieved April 29, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  11. Raymond Schmidt (2007). Shaping College Football: The Transformation of an American Sport, 1919-1930. Syracuse University Press. p. 90.
  12. George Trevor (October 11, 1925). "Penn State's Logy Team Stung By Swarming Horde of Yellowjackets". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 13. Retrieved April 29, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  13. Ray Schmidt (1998). "The Golden Tornado" (PDF). College Football Historical Society. 11 (3): 15. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  14. 1 2 "Golden Tornado Sweeps Over Penn State 16 to 7 in A Hurricane". Anniston Star. October 11, 1925. p. 8. Retrieved April 29, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  15. 1 2 3 4 "Florida 'Gators Lose Hard Battle". The Index-Journal. October 18, 1925. p. 7. Retrieved September 4, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  16. Universal Service (October 18, 1925). "Florida Beaten In Great Battle By Gold Tornado". St. Petersburg Times.
  17. "Two Year Deadlock With Florida 'Gators Broken By Georgia Tech, 23 to 7". The Anniston Star. October 18, 1925. p. 8. Retrieved September 5, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  18. 1 2 1925 Alabama recap
  19. 1 2 "Alabama Wins 7 to 0, Brown Scores In Third After Punt By Wycoff". Anniston Star. October 25, 1925. p. 10. Retrieved May 3, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  20. "Legends of Alabama Football".
  21. http://www.phideltathetaarchive.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/1925_vol50_no1-5.pdf
  22. 1 2 3 "Notre Dame Rushes 13-0 Win Over In First Half". The Decatur Herald. November 1, 1925. p. 23. Retrieved May 3, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  23. 1 2 3 "Notre Dame "Comes Back"; Downs Georgia Tech, 13 To 0". Zanesville Times Signal. November 1, 1925. p. 13. Retrieved September 5, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  24. "Notre Dame Battles Georgia Tech Eleven". The Evening News. October 31, 1925. p. 1. Retrieved April 29, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  25. 1 2 "Notre Dame Backs Skirt Jackets Ends To Win 13-0" (PDF). The Technique. November 6, 1925. p. 4.
  26. 1 2 W. A. Alexander (1926). "Forty-Five Yards for Georgia Tech" (PDF). Kansas City Star.
  27. 1 2 3 "Ike Williams Saves Day By Kick In Third". The Anniston Star. November 15, 1925. p. 8. Retrieved March 3, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  28. "'Froggy' Started March of Great Quarterbacks", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, pp. 3B, September 10, 1933
  29. Davis J. Walsh (November 27, 1925). "Wash. State And Ala. May Be Opponents". Journal Gazette. p. 7. Retrieved April 29, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  30. "Jackets and Tigers Fight to 7-7 Score In Annual Thanksgiving Classic". The Technique. November 27, 1925.
  31. Ed White (November 25, 1926). "Gleanings From Grant Field" (PDF). The Technique.
  32. "All Southern Grid Team Compiled By The Associated Press". Kingsport Times. November 30, 1925.
  33. e. g. "All-Southern Team of Stars". Harrisburg Telegraph. November 28, 1925. p. 13. Retrieved March 3, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  34. Norman E. Brown (December 5, 1925). "Flournoy Best Kicker; Hubert The Cleverest Field General". The Daily News. p. 3. Retrieved March 3, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  35. W. A. Alexander (1926). "Forty-Five Yards for Georgia Tech" (PDF). Kansas City Star.
  36. "Famous Footballers". Times-Picayune. January 30, 1932.
  37. "Technique [Volume 15, Issue 08]".


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