A 3-0 start turns into a quagmire in 1947

Optimism after a 3-0 start quickly disintegrates

Today, in 1947, the University of Houston beat the Daniel Baker College Hill Billies, 35-12. Baker led 12-0 after the first quarter, but UH roared back. QB Boyd Tingle scored twice, including a 54-yard run.

The win helped UH move to 3-0 on the season, outscoring Centenary, McMurray, and Daniel Baker 68-32. Then reality hit, and UH struggled: the Cougars lost the season’s final eight games by a combined score of 182-28. But then…

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The 1947 Cougar team was, perhaps, the worst the program has ever fielded. In its second year of existence, the team took a big step back from 1946. The lowest moment in UH history to that point was the “lake of mud” game, when Houston lost to Southwest Texas, 2-0, at Public School Stadium.

Via the Corpus Christi Caller-Times

In Jewell Wallace’s second season, UH’s 1947 team was held to 96 points for the year and just 28 over the last eight games. The year ended with three straight shutouts and five overall. Almost hard to imagine today as UH has a 222-game scoring streak heading into the 2020 season (last time shutout: 2000 vs. Texas).

But the 1947 team ran into a lot of trouble, the biggest being a non-existent passing game. In several games where stats are available, UH did not complete a pass. There are no season stats from 1947, but through our research, we know that UH had two completions in the McMurry, Texas A&I, Trinity, Hardin-Simmons, and North Texas State games combined.

How bad was it? Boyd Tingle led the team with 116 yards passing. For the season.

The shoulder-striped Coogs took it in the gut in 1947. Quite literally for team captain Bill Cook.

Game conditions were also a problem all season, with several game stories describing “a heavy downpour,” “a driving rain,” “a field of mud,” and a “quagmire.” A blinding rainstorm produced UH’s lowest-scoring game ever: a 2-0 loss to Southwest Texas. There were 42 punts in the game, and UH ended with -21 yards.

At the end of the season, Coach Wallace was replaced by Clyde Lee.

Click the photo gallery below to get a sense of the 1947 season. Stories and captions give a comprehensive view of the season. Scroll down to find our “Explore UH History” options by year and by decade.



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