The 1956 Oklahoma Sooners were part of a 47 game winning streak started in 1953 and ending in 1957. The streak has stood the test of time. The players of 1956 were undefeated as freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. 1956 was the best of the Sooner teams and ranked 3rd in Sporting News College book, 4th best in my college stat book and between first and third in other rankings.
Bud Wilkinson was the coach, preaching intelligence and conditioning and execution to a very high level. Wilkinson was a true hero in World War II, saving many lives in a fire below the decks of an aircraft carrier.
This team was loaded with speed and used a full house backfield with many options and special plays.
In 1956 the Sooners scored 466 points and gave up 51 with 6 shutouts in 10 games.
Below are the players, remembering in the 1950s a starter was allowed to leave the field in a quarter and comeback only once in the same quarter. Subs once removed in a quarter cannot comeback in the same quarter.
Off. QB (4) Def. Safety (4) Jimmy Harris: passing 62.2% with 8 TDs and 1 Int., rushing 362 yards and a 4.8 average and 3 TDs. He had 2 Int. on defense.
Off. FB (4) Def. (OLB-4) Billy Price rushing 274 yards with a 5.7 yard avg. and a 46.8 yard punting avg.
Off. HB (5) Def. CB (5) Tommy McDonald rushing 853 yards with a 7.2 Avg. for 13 TDs, Receiving 12 passes for 282 yards and a 23.5 avg., passing 66.7 Pct. with 3 TDs and 1 Int. returning kickoffs at a 31.6 avg. and returning punts for an 11.5 avg. When he was on defense he intercepted 6 passes for 136 yards and 1 TD.
Off. HB (5) Def. CB (4) Clendon Thomas rushing 817 yards with a 7.9 yard avg. and 14 Tds, receiving 12 passes for 241 yards and a 20.1 avg. Kickoff returns for a 31.6 avg. punt returns for a 15.0 avg. When he was on defense he intercepted 3 passes for 50 yards.
Off. TE (4) Def. End (4) John Bell 2 receptions for 21 yard avg.
Off. WR (4) Def. End (4) Don Stiller 5 receptions for 116 yards. Master defense 3/5
Off. C (5) Def. (MLB) (5) Jerry Tubbs with 2 Int. for 82 yards
Off G (4) Def. (OLB) (4) Bill Krisher
Off G (4) Def. (OLB) (4) Ken Northcut. Master offense 3/5, Master defense 3/5
Off T (5) Def. T (5) Ed Gray
Off T (4) Def. T (4) Tom Emerson
Basic Offense 48 Master Offense 47/49. Basic Defense 47 Master Defense 45/49
Height Weight and Class
James Harris 6-1 170 SR
Billy Pricer 5-10 189 SR
Tommy McDonald 5-9 169 SR
Clendon Thomas 6-2 190 JR
John Bell 6-1 181 SR
Don Stiller 6-2 192 JR
Jerry Tubbs 6-2 205 SR
Bill Krisher 6-1 210 JR
Ken Northcut 6-0 202 SR
Ed Gray 6-3 207 SR
Tom Emrson 6-4 205 SR
Other runners of note: Carl Dodd 5.8 avg., Robert Derrick 5.6 avg., Jackie Sandefer 6.6 avg. 1956 Oklahoma Sooners belong among the greats and were number 1 in national offense and rush offense and number 8 in defense and rush defense out of 120 schools.