Sugar Bowl MOP Del Shofner is shown being carried off the field in this Jan. 1957 issue of the Baylor Line
In what is perhaps the greatest victory in Baylor football history, the No. 11 Baylor Bears upset the No. 2 Tennessee Volunteers 13-7 in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1957.
First year head coach and former Baylor All-American end Sammy Boyd led the Bears to a record of 8-2 on their way to a third place finish in the SWC. The Bears lost quarterback Doyle Traylor mid-season with a broken anklebone, and subsequently lost two games by a total of seven points to TCU and Texas A&M. Southwest Conference champions TCU earned a spot in the Cotton Bowl, and the Bears were chosen to attend the Sugar Bowl.
"I'll buy that," said Coach Boyd "To see Baylor win the Southwest Conference title and gain the Cotton Bowl has become an obssesion with me...but until we do that... this is the one."
The Tennessee Vols were heavily favored and in the December 24, 1956 issue of Sports Illustrated, Herman Hickman predicted a
Yet, it was the Bears who dominated the game more than the final score indicated. Led by senior All-American right guard Bill Glass and senior halfback Del Shofner, the Bears opened up an early 6-0 advantage heading into halftime.
To start the game, Baylor's Bobby Peters returned the opening kickoff 52 yards to the Vol 44 yard-line. Quarterback Bobby Jones then led the tough running game of Shofner, Peters, and Charley Dupre to the Vol 4. But after a delay of game penalty, the Bears' Donnel
Baylor would intercept
"We figured the direct power...running straight at 'em...was our best bet," coach Boyd said. "We put aside our delayed handoffs, fired right at 'em...and it turned out to be the best policy."
The Bear's tough defense and strong running game were too much for the Vols, as Baylor out-gained them 275 to 146 yards on the ground and 299 to 162 yards overall. The Baylor defense also forced five turnovers while
Shofner was named the Sugar Bowl's Most Outstanding Player with 88 net rushing yards on 14 carries, one interception, and seven punts for 228 total yards. Shofner and Glass were selected 10 and 11 overall in the 1957 NFL draft. Baylor was the only school in 1957 with two first round picks.
Written by Luke Blount, Student Media Relations Assistant