1947 Sun Bowl

January 1, 1947 - El Paso, Texas
Kidd Field at Sun Bowl Stadium - Att: 10,000

EL PASO, Texas - The University of Cincinnati Bearcats swept to three second-half touchdowns to defeat Virginia Tech, 18-6, in the Sun Bowl's 12th annual football game. The game marked Tech's first-ever bowl appearance and the first bowl game in which a football team from the commonwealth of Virginia had participated.

Tech had a chance to take an early lead on the heavily-favored Bearcats, but stalled two yards short of the goal. Quarterback Harry Walton set up the early threat with a 25-yard run to the Cincinnati 23. Walton then caught a pass from halfback Ralph Beard to move the ball to the Bearcats' 2 yard line. From there, the big Cincinnati line held on four straight running plays.

The game remained scoreless until the third quarter when quick-opening plays from the T-formation began clicking for the Bearcats. Cincinnati halfback Hal Johnson spun through the center of the line for a 13-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter. Keyed by a 19-yard run by All-American halfback Roger Stephens, UC scored again on its next possession. Fullback Al Sabato plunged the final yard for the touchdown.

Tech mounted another threat late in the third quarter, marching to the UC 23 before having a pass intercepted in the end zone. The Hokies held the Bearcats and bounced right back. Aided by a pair of costly Cincinnati penalties, Tech marched inside the UC 5 and Beard scored on a fourth-down run from the 1.

An interception return by Johnson to the Tech 25 helped Cincinnati put the game away in the fourth quarter. The Bearcats promptly moved the ball to the Tech 3 where Don McMillan carried it in for the final touchdown. The Hokies blocked all three UC extra point kicks during the game.

Cincinnati's vaunted running attack produced a total of 369 yards as the Bearcats piled up 463 yards of total offense. Tech managed 13 first downs - just three less than UC - despite gaining only 34 yards on the ground and 85 through the air. The Hokies' defense contributed three interceptions in the game and lineman John Maskas blocked his seventh punt of the season.

The bowl week was marked by "unusual" weather. Three-inches of snow fell atop frozen rain the day before the game, and when kickoff time rolled around, the teams took the field under cloudy skies and below-freezing temperatures. According to one newspaper account, "blankets, fur caps, galoshes, ski suits, stocking caps and all types of winter wear were much in evidence" among the crowd of 10,000.

Cincinnati     0  0 12  6  - 18
Virginia Tech  0  0  0  6  -  6

Third Quarter
CIN - Harold Johnson 13-yard run (kick failed)
CIN - Hugo Sabato 1-yard run (kick failed)
Fourth Quarter
VT - Ralph Beard 3-yard run (kick failed)
CIN - Don McMillan 3-yard run (kick failed)

Team StatisticsUCVT
First Downs1613
Rushing yds.36934
Passing yds.9485
Total off.463119
Punting avg.1941
Penalty yds.8529