Alabama Crimson Tide Football, 1950–1959 - 1954

1954

1954 Alabama Crimson Tide football
Conference Southeastern Conference
1954 record 4–5–2 (3–3–2 SEC)
Head coach Harold Drew
Home stadium Denny Stadium
Legion Field
Ladd Stadium
Cramton Bowl
Seasons
« 1953 1955 »
1954 SEC football standings
Conf Overall
Team W L T W L T
#6 Ole Miss 5 1 0 9 2 0
Georgia Tech 6 2 0 8 3 0
Florida 5 2 0 5 5 0
Kentucky 5 2 0 7 3 0
Georgia 3 2 1 6 3 1
#13 Auburn 3 3 0 8 3 0
Mississippi State 3 3 0 6 4 0
Alabama 3 3 2 4 5 2
LSU 2 5 0 5 6 0
Tulane 1 6 1 1 6 3
Vanderbilt 1 5 0 2 7 0
Tennessee 1 5 0 4 6 0
† – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

Harold Drew had a winning record at Alabama, going 45–28–7 in seven years, but the program slipped from its glory days under Wallace Wade and Frank Thomas. Drew's teams won only one conference title and gone to three bowl games in eight years. In 1954, the program went into serious decline.

It did not seem that way after the first five games. Following a second consecutive season-opening loss to Southern Mississippi, Alabama reeled off a four-game winning streak that included a 27–0 victory over Tennessee. The win over the Volunteers was the only one for the Crimson Tide in a span of 13 seasons, 1948–1960. But Alabama followed that win by scoring only 14 points over the last six games of the 1954 season. Right after beating Tennessee, Alabama lost 12–7 to Mississippi State, beginning a streak of 16 consecutive scoreless quarters that tied the all-time school record. Consecutive scoreless ties against Georgia and Tulane followed, despite quarterback Bart Starr's comeback from an early-season injury. (Starr, limited by a bad back, threw only 41 passes all year.) The season ended with losses to Georgia Tech, Miami and Auburn by a combined score of 71–7, dropping Alabama to 4–5–2 on the year. It was only Alabama's second losing season in 50 years, but much worse was to come.

Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result
September 17 Southern Miss* #14 Cramton Bowl • Montgomery, Alabama L 2–7
September 25 at LSU Tiger Stadium • Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Alabama-LSU rivalry) W 12–0
October 2 Vanderbilt Ladd Stadium • Mobile, Alabama W 28–14
October 9 Tulsa* Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, Alabama W 40–0
October 16 at Tennessee Shields-Watkins Field • Knoxville, Tennessee (Third Saturday in October) W 27–0
October 23 Mississippi State Denny Stadium • Tuscaloosa, Alabama L 7–12
October 30 Georgia Legion Field • Birmingham, Alabama T 0–0
November 6 Tulane Tulane Stadium • New Orleans, Louisiana T 0–0
November 13 at Georgia Tech Grant Field • Atlanta, Georgia L 0–20
November 19 #16 Miami* Orange Bowl Stadium • Miami, Florida L 7–23
November 27 vs. #15 Auburn Legion Field • Birmingham, Alabama (Iron Bowl) L 0–28

Read more about this topic:  Alabama Crimson Tide Football, 1950–1959