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1921 Florida Gators football team

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1921 record  6–3–2 (4–1–2 6th SIAA)
Assistant coach  James Van Fleet
Home stadium  Fleming Field
Head coach  William G. Kline
Captain  Tootie Perry
1921 Florida Gators football team
Conference  Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association

The 1921 Florida Gators football team (variously "Florida", "Gators", or "UF") represented the University of Florida in the 1921 college football season. It marked the Florida Gators' 15th overall season, and its 9th and final as a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA). The Gators played their home games at Fleming Field in Gainesville, Florida. It was head coach William Kline's second season leading the Gators' football team. They finished the season with a record of 6 wins, 3 losses, and 2 ties (6–3–2 overall, 4–1–2 in the SIAA), finishing 6th in conference play.


The Gators improved their record against major collegiate competition with a notable win against the Alabama Crimson Tide (9–2) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Florida's two losses against the Tennessee Volunteers (0–9) and the North Carolina Tar Heels (10–14) were competitive and close.

Coach Herman Stegeman of Georgia wrote in Spalding's Football Guide "Florida, for the first time, had a strong team. Aided by Dixon, the South's best punter, they combined a kicking game and a well diversified offense to good advantage." Captain Tootie Perry was the school's first ever All-Southern selection.

Before the season

Professor of military science James Van Fleet joined Kline's coaching staff.

Kline's staff faced heavy pressure from the alumni for a winning football team and so "five players were brought the University of Oklahoma and the western states" such as Ferdinand H. Duncan and Ark Newton. Newton allegedly first attended a practice only to watch, but the captain Tootie Perry was so impressed when he saw him that he offered Newton a uniform and coaxed him onto the field. Newton's punts sailed over the head of the return men, and brought the attention of the coaches.

Schedule and results

Primary source: 2015 Florida Gators Football Media Guide.

Week 1: at Camp Benning

A blocked punt proved the difference in the Gators' first win of the season over Camp Benning in Columbus, Georgia 6–0.

In the third quarter, Camp Benning's Crist attempted punt was blocked and recovered by Florida at the 20-yard line. Bill Renfro ran through the tackles for seven yards on first down. T. Hoyt Carlton ran the remaining 13 yards to score. Dickson missed goal.

The starting lineup was: Swanson (left end), Wuthrich (left tackle), Scott (left guard), Perry (center), Rosenhouse (right guard), Doty (right tackle), Duncan (right end), Renfro (quarterback), Newton (left halfback), Carlton (right halfback), Dickson (fullback).

Week 2: Rollins

Florida rolled up a large, 33–0 score on the Rollins Tars. In the fourth quarter T. Hoyt Carlton faked a kick and ran 40 yards for the touchdown; the first of three scored by the Gators in the final period.

The starting lineup was: Swanson (left end), Wuthrich (left tackle), H. Perry (left guard), Wilsky (center), C. Perry (right guard), Doty (right tackle), Duncan (right end), Renfro (quarterback), Beasley (left halfback), Carlton (right halfback), Newton (fullback).

Week 3: Carlstrom Field

The Gators lost to Carlstrom Field and its "baffling" display of passes and defense 19–0. Gene Vidal's attempted drop kick was blocked, but he caught the ball off the rebound and ran 20 yards before the time spectators realized what happened.

The starting lineup was: Swanson (left end), Doty (left tackle), C. Perry (left guard), Wilsky (center), Scott (right guard), Wuthrich (right tackle), Duncan (right end), Renfro (quarterback), Carlton (left halfback), Beasley (right halfback), Newton (fullback).

Week 4: Mercer

The Gators defeated Josh Cody's Mercer Baptists 7–0. After a 30–0 loss last year, Mercer took it as a moral victory against a stronger Florida team this season.

"Capt. Tootie Perry was again the star on defense." He recovered a Mercer fumble on the 15-yard line. On the ensuing fourth down T. Hoyt Carlton ran in a touchdown. Wilsky kicked goal.

The starting lineup was: Swanson (left end), Wuthrich (left tackle), H. Perry (left guard), Wilsky (center), C. Perry (right guard), Doty (right tackle), Burnett (right end), Carlton (quarterback), Duncan (left halfback), Renfro (right halfback), Newton (fullback).

Week 5: at Tennessee

The Tennessee Volunteers defeated Florida 9 to 0. Florida was inside Tennessee's 30-yard line just once, failing to convert a field goal. Tennessee's touchdown and safety were thanks to the forward pass. The safety was an interception by Florida tackled in the endzone. The Vols' Roe Campbell averaged 50 yards on 14 punts.

The starting lineup was: Swanson (left end), Wuthrich (left tackle), Robinson (left guard), Wilsky (center), C. Perry (right guard), Doty (right tackle), Burnett (right end), Carlton (quarterback), Duncan (left halfback), Renfro (right halfback), Newton (fullback).

Week 6: at Howard

In a "drizzling rain" and "sea of mud" in Montgomery,AL Florida defeated the Howard Bulldogs 34–0 and gave up just one first down.

Week 7: South Carolina

In a game in Tampa on Plant Field, coach Sol Metzger's South Carolina Gamecocks fought the Gators to a 7–7 tie. The Gamecocks scored early after a fumble recovery near the goal line. The Gators scored once in the second period, and "threatened to do so again and again from both attempted placement kicks and straight football, only to fall by missing the cross bars by inches and by gameness of the fighting Gamecocks."

The Gators starting lineup was: Swanson (left end), Wurthrich (left tackle), Scott (left guard), Wilsky (center), C. Perry (right guard), Doty (right tackle), Burnett (right end), Stanley (quarterback), Duncan (left halfback), Carlton (right halfback), Dickson (fullback).

Week 8: at Alabama

In the Gators first ever win over the Alabama Crimson Tide, Ferdinand H. Duncan accounted for all of Florida's points to upset the Tide at homecoming 9–2.

After an early exchange of punts, Florida started with the ball on its 45-yard line. Duncan and Ark Newton, with one run from T. Hoyt Carlton, worked the ball down for the game's lone touchdown. Alabama scored on a safety after blocking a Ray Dickson punt into the endzone. A 20-yard drop kick was the Gators' final score.

The starting lineup was: Swanson (left end), Robinson (left tackle), H. Perry (left guard), Wilsky (center), C. Perry (right guard), Scott (right tackle), Burnett (right end), Stanley (quarterback), Duncan (left halfback), Pomeroy (right halfback), Newton (fullback).

Week 9: Mississippi College

Florida battled coach Stanley L. Robinson's Mississippi College Choctaws to a 7–7 tie. Florida had the greater weight and Mississippi College the greater speed.

Led by Hall of Fame quarterback Goat Hale, the Choctaws controlled the first half. In the middle of the fourth quarter, Florida led a comeback, scoring the tying touchdown after a series of forward passes. During the game, Ark Newton had a 92-yard punt.

Week 10: Oglethorpe

Florida defeated coach Jogger Elcock's Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels 21–3, keeping the ball in Oglethorpe's territory most of the game. The Gators scored all 21 points in the first half, including two touchdowns in the first five minutes.

The first touchdown was scored by a short run behind center from Ferdinand H. Duncan. An Oglethorpe punt was later blocked by Tootie Perry, recovered by Swanson for a touchdown. Ark Newton made both extra points. Oglethorpe intercepted a Florida pass at the 5-yard line. Perry and Merrin broke through the line, blocking the ensuing punt. Thomas then fell on the ball for Florida's final touchdown and Newton again kicked goal. A 28-yard drop kick from Oglethorpe's Morris got its points.

Week 11: North Carolina

Scheduled since November, the Gators met the North Carolina Tar Heels in a postseason contest at Jacksonville, FL on December 3. It was the first ever meeting between the two schools. Despite outweighing the Tar Heels, the Gators lost 14 to 10.

Florida's scores came on Dickson's goal from placement and a 20-yard pass from Dickson to Carlton.

The starting lineup was: Swanson (left end), Robinson (left tackle), Gunn (left guard), Wilksy (center), C. Perry (guard), Doty (tackle), Duncan (end), Carlton (quarterback), Pomeroy (left halfback), Newton (right halfback), Dickson (fullback).

Awards and honors

Tootie Perry was the first Gator ever selected for an All-Southern team following the 1921 season. Among the selectors who honored Perry as such were J. L. Ray of the Nashville Banner, George A. Butler of the Chattanooga News, and John Snell of the Enquirer-Sun.


  • Carlson, Norm (2007). University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators. Atlanta, Georgia: Whitman Publishing, LLC. ISBN 0-7948-2298-3. 
  • Graham, Klein. History of the University of Florida. 
  • McEwen, Tom (1974). The Gators: A Story of Florida Football. Huntsville, Alabama: The Strode Publishers. ISBN 0-87397-025-X. 
  • References

    1921 Florida Gators football team Wikipedia

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