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Sports Then and Now



1945: When Army Dominated Both Home and Away 21

Posted on November 11, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Glenn Davis (41) and Doc Blanchard (41) powered Army to two national championships and a 27-0-1 record from 1944 through 1946.

In honor of Veterans Day, we look back 65 years to the last time one of the United States Service Academies won the College Football National Championship.

Given the great victories enjoyed by the United States in 1945 with the conclusion of both the war in Europe and the war in the Pacific, it was quite fitting that the United States Military Academy at West Point was also illustrating the strength of the American military by dominating on the gridiron.

After having claimed the National Title in 1944, the 1945 Army Black Knights were an even stronger team. Head coach Earl “Red” Blaik’s squad included two of the most dynamic offensive players ever to wear a football uniform.

The pair of “Mr. Inside” Felix “Doc” Blanchard and “Mr. Outside” Glenn Davis was nearly impossible to stop, but neither player took the direct route to get to West Point.

A native of California, Davis initially began his college career at Cal-Poly Pomona and had planned to play football at the University of Southern California. However, he and his twin brother Ralph were both awarded appointments to West Point and he headed East for a date with sports destiny.

Likewise, Blanchard, who was born in South Carolina and went to high school in Mississippi, didn’t get to Army immediately out of high school.

Though recruited by Army, Notre Dame and others, Blanchard chose to attend the University of North Carolina and played on the freshman team in 1942. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 and received an appointment to West Point in 1944.

Once the pair reached West Point, they reached heights never previously seen on a football field.

In three seasons playing together in the Army backfield, Blanchard and Davis compiled a number of statistical records that weren’t eclipsed for 60 years. Read the rest of this entry →

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