Dec. 15, 2008
Orange Bowl Web Site
LEWISBURG, Pa. – With just over two weeks until Cincinnati and Virginia Tech square off in the 75th Orange Bowl, it is an appropriate time to recall the very first Orange Bowl. Bucknell faced Miami in that historic contest and the Bison posted a convincing 26-0 victory over the Hurricanes on New Year’s Day 1935. Bucknell piled up 278 yards of offense and held Miami to four first downs and 28 yards for its sixth shutout of the season.
A crowd of 5,134 witnessed the Bisons, as they were known then, win their seventh game of the year to conclude their first campaign under head coach Edward “Hook” Mylin with an impressive 7-2-2 record. A highlight of the regular season was a 13-7 home win over Penn State.
Unlike the Bearcats and Hokies, who will have traveling parties numbering in the hundreds taking chartered planes to this year’s game, Bucknell hopped on a train in Montandon, Pa., Dec. 26 and concluded the long journey to Miami 40 hours later on the morning of Dec. 28. There were just 28 members of the Bison contingent — 22 players, two coaches, two managers, a trainer and a publicity man. The cost of Bucknell’s 1935 trip, including food, was reportedly $3,000.
Another glaring difference between 2008 college teams and that squad that played in the inaugural Orange Bowl was the size of the individual players. Only one member of the Bison starting lineup was 200 pounds, compared to 15 that were heavier than 200 pounds when Bucknell defeated Fordham in the 2008 season finale in late November.
The game made history not only as the first Orange Bowl, but the first Associated Press photo ever transmitted from a college football game came from the contest.
A number of members of the 1935 Bucknell Orange Bowl team should still be familiar to Bison fans as six of them — co-captain George Boiston, John Filer, George McGaughey, John Sitarsky, Stuart Smith and William Wilkinson ¯ are members of the Bucknell Athletics Hall of Fame. Mylin, who led Bucknell to a 17-9-3 mark three seasons as head coach, is also a member of the Hall of Fame.
City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz kicked off the festivities for the 75th Orange Bowl back in October when he made a symbolic pass to each of the 47 schools that have played in the Orange Bowl game. A similar ceremony took place prior to the silver (25th) and golden (50th) anniversaries of the Orange Bowl and a silver football commemorating the 25th game still resides in the trophy case just outside the Bucknell football offices.
The Orange Bowl Committee is the organization behind the Orange Bowl. In addition to overseeing the Orange Bowl, the committee is responsible for hosting this year’s national championship game between Florida and Oklahoma, scheduled for Jan. 8 in Miami, Fla.