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Georgia Tech Beats Cumberland 222-0 The worst rout in the history of American college football was administered by mighty Georgia Tech against tiny Cumberland College on October 7, 1916. The final score was 222-0. There were some extenuating circumstances. Cumberland had signed a contract a year in advance to play Georgia Tech in Atlanta in 1916, but discontinued its football program after the 1915 season. However, the contract with Tech included a hefty $3,000 forfeit penalty if Cumberland failed to put a team on the field against Tech. Instead of paying the fine, Cumberland threw together a team on short notice. The team never held a single practise. One player, a law student, recalled years later, 'We put a lot of faith in the clause about placing a team on the field. There was nothing in the contract requiring us to play well.' Tech coach John Heisman showed no mercy. His squad scored nine touchdowns in both the first and second quarters to lead 126-0 at halftime. Tech agreed to shorten the third and fourth quarters and only scored 14 more touchdowns. In all, Tech scored 32 touchdowns (and 30 conversions). Tech also amassed 1,650 yards rushing on just 40 attempts. Cumberland's rushing total was -96 yards. They did complete two passes, though. Tech did not attempt a pass all game. Most interesting stat: There were no first downs by either team. All of Tech's big plays went for touchdowns. Cumberland's biggest play was a 10-yard pass completion on a fourth-and-28 situation. Despite their historic defeat, the Cumberland players returned to their Lebanon, TN campus as heroes for saving their small school $3,000.
Tags: college  football  Georgia  Tech  Cumberland 
Added: 28th October 2009
Views: 3487
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2009-10-28 
And some fans get annoyed when Florida, Nebraska, and Southern Cal run up scores against overmatched opponents...
Posted by: eric1957 on 2009-10-28 
Tell that to Michigan when Appalachin State beat them a few seasons ago.
Posted by: Classico on 2009-10-28 
Years ago I read where Cumberland fumbled a ball and the player who did so yelled out, ''get the ball''. A teammate screamed out in return: ''you dropped it, you picked it up''.

Don't know if this was true. But what a story!

Posted by: Kiddman32 on 2013-09-19 
I heard another story about this game many years ago...

Cumberland went back into the huddle after yet another huge loss of yardage, and the QB said, Okay, halfback around the right end!

The halfback immediately yelled, No, last time we tried that, I almost got killed!

QB: Okay, fullback up the middle!

FB: Are you crazy or something?

QB: Okay, then what the heck play are we gonna run?

A lineman speaks up: How about we throw a nice, long, incomplete pass?

Since they didn't try a pass, the QB musta tried something else :)

Anyway, I've known about this game since I was little, but didn't know about the thrown-together-team aspect or the $3k penalty aspect... Very interesting!
Posted by: Kiddman32 on 2013-09-19 
I also heard that a reason Georgia Tech ran the score up was due to the fact that Cumberland had upset Tech in a baseball game the year before, so revenge was on their minds...

No idea whether this is actually true.
Posted by: Kiddman32 on 2013-09-19 
I also heard that a reason Georgia Tech ran the score up was due to the fact that Cumberland had upset Tech in a baseball game the year before, so revenge was on their minds...

No idea whether this is actually true.
Posted by: Kiddman32 on 2013-09-19 
And now I read (via that ever-so-trustworthy source Wikipedia) that Cumberland DID indeed beat Tech in baseball beforehand... By the score of 22-0. Tech alleged that Cumberland used professionals as ringers.

So much for the idea that sports were ever cleanly played and above scandal :)
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2013-09-20 
One aspect of the story that I did not include in my original post in 2009 was that Georgia Tech used two different offensive units that coach Heisman alternated throughout the game. Heisman had promised streak dinners to whichever unit scored the most points. Therefore there was an incentive to run up the score.
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