Texas’ notable number: An odd history lesson for the Longhorns — and the number 1
Each week this season, we’re looking at a specific number tied to Texas football.
This week’s notable number is 1 — the jersey that Texas has assigned to quarterback Hudson Card and defensive back Chris Adimora. UT's one defensive touchdown this season was Josh Thompson's interception return against Texas Tech. In its history, Texas has had one player — Eric Metcalf in 1985 — record a 100-yard receiving and 100-yard rushing performance in the same season. One also represents the number of points for which Texas was given credit in a 1910 victory over Baylor.
In its 128-year history, Texas has played in 10 games that ended in a 0-0 tie. One of those occurred during a 1929 home game against Baylor. But while that was the lowest-scoring of the 110 games played between the Longhorns and Bears, it was not the oddest.
Nineteen years before that 0-0 tie, Texas earned a 1-0 win over Baylor.
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Technically, Texas and Baylor each scored six points when their undefeated teams met on a rainy day in Waco on Nov. 5, 1910. Marshall Ramsdell scored for Texas in front of a crowd of 2,000 that included Sen. Joseph Bailey and Oscar Colquitt, the state's recently elected governor. E.T. Adams was responsible for Baylor's touchdown.
Baylor, however, refused to finish the game, and Texas was credited with a 1-0 victory. That remains the only forfeit on record in UT's history, which dates back to the 1893 season.
So why did Baylor forfeit?
According to Baylor's media almanac, the Bears had objected to Texas choosing Dan Blake to be the lead referee. Blake had distant ties to Fielding Yost, who coached Texas coach W.S. Wasmund in college.
The story published in the Austin Daily Statesman the next day said that the "grandstands were extremely sore at the rulings of the officials and at times threatened violence." At one point, Blake obstructed a Baylor fumble return that seemed destined for a touchdown. Baylor later thought it had recovered a third-quarter fumble, but Blake ruled the turnover did not happen because the football had struck him.
The Daily Statesman reported that Baylor handled its first run-in with Blake "in a sportsmanlike manner." The second incident, however, led to the game's abrupt ending.
The umpire and field judge sided with Baylor's contention that the football had not touched Blake and thus a turnover had occurred. Yet Blake's call stood. Baylor coach Ralph Glaze then refused to let his players play another down.
Blake declared a forfeit in UT's favor. That win improved the Longhorns' record to 5-0. For years, Baylor claimed that it was a 6-6 tie. Both programs now recognize the forfeit.
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Texas went on to close out Wasmund's only season with losses in two of its next three games. Baylor went on to post a 6-1-1 record in 1910. A 3-0 showing in 1900 is still Baylor's only undefeated season.
Two additional footnotes from this game: Folklore in Waco alleges that Adams refused to back his coach. Adams, a future Rhodes Scholar who was nicknamed "Bull," instead challenged the Longhorns to stay on the field and run all of their plays between the tackles. If they would do so, Adams would take on the entire team by himself. Texas declined.
And the following week, the Daily Statesman reported that Texas was so off-put by what it viewed as post-forfeit media reports that favored Baylor that it canceled the upcoming baseball and basketball games between the schools. (The two schools, by the way, did play each other in basketball that winter and baseball that spring.) The Daily Statesman also wrote on Nov. 8 that Adams was out of bounds before he scored his touchdown and that coaches from a certain school in College Station had been spotted on the Baylor sidelines.
Added an unnamed Daily Statesman writer: "It appears that Texas had the better of the game all through the contest, and that Baylor, realizing her defeat and in order to have a shady claim on the southwestern championship, chose to forfeit the game rather than suffer defeat, which would have eliminated them from the race."
Nearly 111 years after that debacle in 1910, Texas and Baylor will meet this weekend. Saturday's score shouldn't be close to the final tally in 1910. The Longhorns are scoring 41.6 points per game this season. Baylor is averaging 38.3.
The last shutout in this series was recorded in 2005. Baylor hasn't shut out Texas since a 16-0 win in 1980.