Nov. 20, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – It has been 50 years since Alabama and Chattanooga played against each other in Tuscaloosa. That streak ends Saturday as the Crimson Tide closes out its 2009 home schedule with its first game against the Mocs at Bryant-Denny Stadium since Oct. 10, 1959.
Alabama won that game, 13-0, behind a stern defensive performance and a pair of rushing touchdowns from quarterbacks Pat Trammell and Bobby Skelton.
The rugged Alabama defense that did not allow the Mocs to move the ball past their own 42-yard line in the first half and the Tide’s 46-yard line in the second half.
Chattanooga managed only 81 rushing yards and did not complete a pass in seven attempts against the UA defense.
Skelton scored the first touchdown in the opening quarter on a sparkling 18-yard run.
Trammell accounted for the other touchdown as he raced 54 yards to pay dirt in the third quarter.
Penalties killed several other Tide scoring chances and one infraction nullified a 42-yard touchdown pass from Skelton to halfback Duff Morrison.
Overall, Alabama leads the series with Chattanooga, 10-0. The two teams first met in 1908 with the Crimson Tide posting a 23-6 win in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide notched four straight shutout wins over the Mocs in 1914 (63-0), 1929 (46-0), 1931 (39-0) and 1950 (27-0).
Alabama’s 46-0 win over Chattanooga on Oct. 12, 1929, was the third game ever played at the Tide’s present day home stadium.
The Mocs were also coached that day by Harold “Red” Drew, who later served as Alabama’s head coach from 1947-54. Drew compiled a 13-5-2 record in 1929-30 at Chattanooga. He was 54-28-7 in his tenure with the Crimson Tide. Drew was also the head coach at Birmingham Southern (1924-28) and Mississippi (1946).
Drew is one of three former Alabama players or coaches to coach at Chattanooga. Frank Thomas, who led Alabama to a 146-115-24 record and two national championships from 1931-46, also coached the Mocs from 1925-28 and compiled a 26-9-2 record in four seasons.
Drew and Thomas led the Mocs to three consecutive Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) championships in 1927, 1928 and 1929.
Another former UA player and assistant coach Bill Oliver was the head coach at Chattanooga from 1980-83, where he compiled a 29-14-1 record. Oliver played on Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s 1961 national championship squad and then later served as an assistant at Alabama under Bryant and Gene Stallings, winning a national championship in each term.
Thomas, Drew and Oliver are the three winningest coaches in Chattanooga history, in terms of winning percentage. In addition, Thomas is among seven coaches who have coached for and against Alabama in their careers. The complete list includes Eli Abbott, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Bill Curry, “Red” Drew, G.H. Harvey, Nick Saban and Stallings.
The 1950 game was the first game in the series to be played at Birmingham’s Legion Field.
The Tide posted a 42-28 win in 1952 and a 21-14 victory in 1953. The Tide added another shutout with the win in 1959.
The two teams have met only twice since the last Tuscaloosa meeting, with both games taking place at Legion Field in 1991 and 1994.
The Crimson Tide posted a 53-7 win over Chattanooga at Legion Field on Oct. 5, 1991. The Chattanooga roster that day featured wide receiver and Alabama native Terrell Owens, who caught one pass for seven yards in the loss. The last meeting between the two schools took place during the 1994 season as the Tide posted a 42-13 win to open the season on Sept. 3 at Legion Field.