Utah Prepares for Carlisle Game

Coach Holmes wasn’t wasting any time in preparing for the Carlisle Indians because, as The Salt Lake Herald reported the next day, December 12, the varsity was out for signal practice the day before and would be practicing again that day. As predicted, Fred Bennion and “Fat” Robbins had joined the team for the big game. Benny was a fleet-footed halfback, and one supposes, a relative of Fat Robbins.

Holmes also shared with the press that Pop Warner had written him the previous day informing him that a game had been arranged with Reliance Athletic Club on Christmas Day in San Francisco. A third game was mentioned—a New Year’s Day game in Los Angeles—but the Indians’ opponent was not mentioned by name.

A friend of Holmes who lived in the east wrote him that he had seen Carlisle play that year and that they would be a formidable opponent. He pointed out their use of the tackles-back and wing-shift formations. The latter formation was used more often and confused the defenders. No Utah team had used this puzzling formation and it was expected to cause Utah’s varsity a lot of trouble.

The next day, The Herald reported that Warner had telegraphed Holmes the day before that the Indians would arrive in Salt Lake on Friday morning and would remain there to Monday. Warner and Superintendent Pratt both felt that travel was a broadening experience for their students and had them take in as much as possible when traveling for games. Carlisle players didn’t just come into town at the last minute and leave as soon as the game was over. They availed themselves of the cultural opportunities that existed wherever they were playing.

Warner also requested that the game consist of two 30-minute halves. In those days, football games didn’t have a standard length. Sometimes, the two halves were even of different lengths. The Utah players were enthusiastic about meeting the Indians and said they would be perfectly happy if they could just score on them.

To be continued….

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