Now things begin to get interesting. The Blue Devils were really good in 1957. They won the ACC and wound up in the Orange Bowl, where they lost pretty badly to Oklahoma. But in early October no one was really sure how good either of these teams would be. Duke won in a squeaker, 7-6.
Because the scrapbook was a bit bare for this week, I went looking for some other sources. A few years ago I took several hundred boxes out of the gym before it was remodeled and I dimly remembered that there was football material in there. Sure enough, the Woodson has all the coaching staff’s files for the 1957 season. Most of what’s there are detailed scouting reports on Rice’s opponents, but there are also game summaries. These are many pages long, but here are a couple from the Duke game. It was just tight all the way to the end.
(If there is a big outcry, I suppose I could learn how to make a pdf and post the whole thing. I hereby arbitrarily define a “big outcry” as more than five people.)
In spite of the loss, this was the game that made people begin to sit up and take notice. I found the column below especially interesting, with its comparisons to the 1953 team. That’s pretty big talk.
Bonus: This photo was sent in by a reader, Ivy Ashe, ’08. She’s a staff photographer/reporter for the Vineyard Gazette in Massachusetts. She took this picture of the 2011 Beer-Bike from the top of Rice Stadium and since she won’t make it to the Centennial, she sent it along as her contribution. I love it and wish I’d taken it, although you won’t catch me anywhere near Beer-Bike.