Wednesday Duckstory: 1958 Rose Bowl


This week’s Wednesday Duckstory will be another Rose Bowl appearance.  As Duck fans we are well aware of the team’s lack of victories in the Rose Bowl appearances.  While an appearance in this season’s BCS championship game is probably unlikely (although not impossible), a Rose Bowl appearance this season isn’t so out of the question.  So the Ducks really need to break this nasty losing streak.  Nonetheless we’ll do a quick preview of the 1958 Rose Bowl against Ohio State.

The game was held on New Year’s Day in 1958 and it was an incredibly low-scoring game.  Ohio State ended up leaving with a 10 – 7 victory over Oregon.  Jack Crabtree, Oregon’s quarterback, went away with Player-of-the-Game honors despite playing on the losing team.  Len Casanova was Oregon’s head coach.  Coach Casanova had taken over the program in 1951 following a rough losing streak, and he left the program as one of Oregon’s winningest coaches in school history up until 1994.  Going into this Rose Bowl game against Ohio State, the Ducks were severe underdogs (Ohio State came in as 19 point favorites), but Oregon held their own and kept it a tight game.

This game was being talked about nationally as the worst mismatch in Rose Bowl history.  Ohio State came into this game with an eight game winning streak, and 8 – 1 overall record, and the confidence of the Big Ten Conference.  They were ranked #2 in the AP Poll behind Auburn but Auburn was not eligible for a bowl game that year due to recruiting violations.  The Ducks came into the game after a loss in the Civil War against Oregon State and with a 7 – 3 record.  After Oregon State’s win the two teams were tied for the conference championship.  Normally Oregon State would have made the trip to the Rose Bowl but they made an appearance the year before and the Pacific Coast Conference had a no-repeat rule.  38 years had passed since the Ducks had participated in the Rose Bowl.

The score in this game doesn’t quite tell the whole story.  Oregon surpassed many expectations and got some national attention by playing evenly with the mighty Ohio State.  Ohio State capitalized on a lot of Oregon mistakes; two interceptions, two recovered fumbles and a missed kick caused an Oregon loss.  Let’s take a look at the game quarter-by-quarter…

First Quarter:

Ohio State struck quickly as the game started.  They took the ball 79-yards in the opening possession and with a one yard run to the end zone by quarterback Frank Kremblas, the Buckeyes went up by 7 points.  There would be no more scores in the first quarter.

Second Quarter:

The Ducks would get their first score in the second quarter after a 10-play drive ending in a 5-yard run by Jim Shanley.  The first half would end with a 7 – 7 tie.

Third Quarter:

The Duck got the chance to take the lead in the third quarter.  Jack Morris made an attempt at a field goal from the Ohio State 24-yard line but the kick hooked to the left.  Neither team scored in the remainder of the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter:

With 14 minutes left in the game, Ohio State took the lead with a 34 yard field goal.  This score would become the last score in this Rose Bowl.  Oregon’s offense would stall during the remainder of the fourth quarter.  The Buckeyes came away on the right side of Oregon’s turnovers, but despite everything Oregon put up a fight.  Ultimately the Ducks outgained the Buckeyes and came away with more first downs.

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OSU……Frank Kremblas 1 run (Kremblas kick), 7:03, 1st

UO…….Jim Shanley 5 run (Jack Morris kick), 12:25, 2nd

OSU……Don Sutherlin 34 FG, 14:02, 4th

Individual Leaders


White (OSU) 25-93, Clark (OSU) 14-82,

Shanley (UO) 11-59, Morris (UO) 11-57.


Crabtree (UO) 17-10-2-135, West (UO) 3-3-0-42.

Kramblas (OSU) 6-2-0-59,


Stover (UO) 10-144, Tourville (UO) 2-27.

Houston (OSU) 2-59.

Next week we’ll take a look at the 1960 Liberty Bowl against Penn State.