The Season: 125 Seasons of Ole Miss Football

The Season: 125 Seasons of Ole Miss Football

The Rebels have won! [crowd roaring] Yes, yes!
Foot down. Yes!
Left foot down! [men chanting] There’s a rich history
that Ole Miss football brings with it as it
enters its 125th season. But there was once a time before
it all seemed so familiar. Before there was
a Vaught to lock. We welcome you to
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. This is the place to be in college
football right now. Before The Grove
became, well, The Grove. The epicenter of
tailgating in the fall. The scene in The Grove where they never lose a party. Before landsharks
roamed the earth. Giving the signal there, sharks. The landsharks are swarming! Before the first
family of football. The pride of Ole Miss, quarterback Archie Manning. What a throw by Eli Manning! Before a number meant
more than words. I’ve grown up never
being a quitter. I’m not gonna quit son,
I just can’t quit it. And before sugar
tasted so sweet. Marshall David presents the Sugar Bowl trophy to coach
Johnny Vaught of Ole Miss. So, how did we get here? Hey baby you gotta love it! Aw, you gotta love it! They just couldn’t
be more perfect. Wow!
Gotta believe baby! You gotta believe! It’s goosebumps time
in Oxford, Mississippi. [heroic orchestral music] It all started in
the fall of 1893. When Latin professor
Dr. A.L. Bondurant gathered up a small
group of students to field the university’s
first football team. Ole Miss hosted Southwestern
Baptist University of Jackson, Tennessee
in its first game. The Rebels won 56-0. Setting a winning
tradition into motion. But with world wars
and financial collapse occupying the forefront
of American consciousness at the beginning of
the 20th century, spectator sports were left
to occupy a background role. During this time, Ole Miss football slowly
built its foundation. Constructing Hemingway
Stadium in 1950. Joining the southeastern
conference in 1933. And playing in the
Orange Bowl in 1936. After World War II, Ole
Miss stocked its shelves with battle hardened talent. Charlie Conerly returned to
Ole Miss from the Marines. And Barney Poole came
back from the Army. The university hired Navy
flight instructor Johnny Vaught as an assistant coach in 1946. And he was promoted to
head coach one year later. Heading in the 1947 season, sports writers picked Ole Miss
to finish last in the SEC. Those same writers
quickly found out that Vaught was the
wrong man to doubt. He installed a dynamic
passing offense that took the league by storm. Led by Conerly and Poole,
Vaught’s first squad went 9-2 and won the school’s
first SEC Championship. In 1952, the Rebels took the
leap into the national picture. Upsetting number three
Maryland 24-14 in Oxford. For what the AP named the
number one upset of the year. I don’t think as it as ample, but that’s the game that put
us in the big time football. [old time patriotic music] Vaught had turned
Ole Miss football into a juggernaut. Johnny Vaught, a
football genius, who worked his wonders at the
University of Mississippi. The Rebels play the kind
of football we seek to. A variety of power, magic, blended in a winged sea mold. The university’s culture became entwined with the
football team’s success. There’s always a good
view from The Grove. The colorful band filling
the campus with music. Featuring a powerful
passing attack, the Rebels have gone to a
long line of bowl games. Time to start the 21st
Sugar Bowl Football Classic. Activities begin
with the arrival of the University of
Mississippi squad. Fourth ranked power
in the nation. A few of Ole Miss players
heist coach Johnny Vaught on their shoulders. After the decade
long climb to the top of the college
football mountain, the 1959 squad entered the
season with the summit in sight. The Rebels clobbered LSU
in the Sugar Bowl 21-0. Avenging a regular
season loss to the Tigers to win a share of their
first national championship. The Rebels followed up
their 1959 performance by repeating as national
champions in 1960. And then again in 1962. Johnny Vaught is regarded
as the most respectable coach in the south today. His success is a
product of hard work. And more hard work. And the act of coming up with
a fine quarterback each year. Vaught may have saved
his best quarterback for last. Led by sophomore
quarterback Archie Manning, number 18, the Rebs were
attempting to be the first Ole Miss club since 1910 to win one against
the Crimson Tide. After leading the Rebels
to upset victories over number 12 Alabama
and number 11 LSU, Archie mania took over Oxford. [email protected]! The ball is on the 50 [email protected]! [email protected]! Down at third and ten [email protected]! [email protected]! He runs it down the sideline [email protected]! [email protected]! Yes Archie takes it in [email protected]! [email protected]! He played for the
Ole Miss Rebels [email protected]! [email protected]! Archie Manning is his name [email protected]! [email protected]! The best ever quarterback [email protected]! [email protected]! To ever play the game [email protected]! Even with an
incredible quarterback, Vaught never stopped
searching for ways to motivate his team. I’m often asked the
most memorable game during the 17 years I
broadcast for Ole Miss. That’s easy! The 1969, 38 to nothing
win over Tennessee. That’s the year Tennessee
linebacker Steve Connor, when a writer said Ole
Miss had the horses to win, told the press the Rebels
had only a bunch of mules. Well that game, for
some reason or other, got to be the game of the mule. So we go down to play those guys and they’re the ones that
got a good football team and they’re headed
to the Orange Bowl. And they’re under-seeded,
third in the country, they’re headed to
the Orange Bowl and they’re solid. Offensively and defensively
they’re just solid. A first down for the Rebels. Manning to the left. Cocks his arm, he
throws the home run, he’s open at the 15, to
then 10, to the five, out of bounds at
the three yard line. Manning motions
off to the right. Manning rolling to the right. Manning looks, he throws
to the end zone, touchdown! Touchdown to Riley Myers! We ended up in that
game 38 to nothing. After the season, Archie was drafted
by the Saints. And Vaught retired on
the advice of his doctor. It was the end of an era. Vaught’s legacy is staggering. Final record of 190 wins,
61 losses, and 12 ties. Six SEC titles. Three national titles. SEC Coach of the Year six times. And 26 all Americans. Vaught is a master at getting everybody on the
same wavelength. He never, ever hardly
ever chewed a player out. He’d get flustered, chew
him out, or he’d wobble, and they would bring him out and the Vaught would walk up, they’re walking off the
field their head down, tears in their eye, and
he’d walk up with that big, aw man, he said now look son,
I understand the situation. Most days of ’em he
didn’t need a speech. When I did ya I’m
gonna call on you. When he called on
you, you remembered, the guy that put
his arm around you, not the guy that cussed you. And he could ask them to be
on the field and he’d do it. Following a legend is
difficult anywhere. For Ole Miss, the 1970s
were filled with highs. All over, Mississippi
has beaten Notre Dame! And lows. And LSU has won 17-16. What can I say. There’s nothing
really much to say. The football program
took a big picture stride in 1972. Integrating with the
arrival of Ben Williams and James Reed. But the Rebels struggled
to maintain the consistency that Ole Miss had come to
expect under coach Vaught. Ole Miss needed a spark to
turn the program around. In 1983, Ole Miss turned to
former player Billy Brewer to lead the Rebels. Coach Brewer was on
the legendary ’59 team and vowed to bring the
distinctive toughness from the Vaught years
back to the program. At the halfway point
of the 1983 season, the Rebels new toughness
started to show. You just wanna stay down,
God damn it that’s heart, carry the pride out of 11! [men cheer] The Rebels rode a
four game win streak into the Egg Bowl. One victory away from a chance
to return to a bowl game in Brewer’s first season. Like many Egg Bowls, it was a close game
in nasty conditions that came down to
the final seconds. Here comes the field goal team and here’s your ball game. It’s your whole
bed, your ball game, the whole thing all
wrapped up into one. He will be kicking
against the wind and the wind is a side wind. It will a 27-yard kick shot. Ready for the snap. There it is, and it’s face
down, there’s the kick. It turned, it’s turned! It is no good! Sweet bowl here we come! That’s ball, the wind took it, it went straight up
and went to the left. It didn’t even get
to the goal post. On behalf of the
Independence Bowl, handing you an invitation to
play the Air Force Academy. [group cheers] This university’s
been down so long, we need some good
things to happen to us. Under Coach Brewer it’s
happening, you know? What else can you ask for? Rebels win in Baton
Rouge, Louisiana! They beat LSU at Tiger Stadium. Ole Miss has defeated
Mississippi State 17-10 in Oxford. Come on! Coach of the SEC! Right here, Coach of the SEC! Along with bringing winning back to Ole Miss, Coach Brewer
also established a deeper link between the Ole Miss football
team and its community. Coach Billy Brewer
and his football team as they walk through The Grove, that’s a new tradition
here in Ole Miss. And they take off about
two hours before game time, walk through The Grove
amongst all the alumni. It didn’t take long
before that link was put to the ultimate test. They’re passing buckets
through the stands for Chucky Mullins and several
of the Ole Miss students are taking up a collection
from all the Rebel fans here. If you’re listening
to us in the stands we hope that you
will open your heart and help out Chucky in what
will be a very expensive and long haul. In 1989, red shirt
freshmen defensive back Chucky Mullins was
emerging as a future star. Far side in the end zone. Knocked away by the Rebels! It’s Chucky Mullins the freshmen
from Russellville, Alabama, slapped it to the
ground incomplete. But a seemingly routine play would change his life forever. It’s Gaines, he’s hit. Our thoughts are with Chucky as they’ve got a
stretcher out right now. Gonna put him on a stretcher. Let’s hope that
everything is all right because that was a vicious lick as he lowered the boom in
the back of Brad Gaines. The collision left
Mullins paralyzed. The recovery was
long and painful. While he recovered, the Ole
Miss community came together to respond with an
outpour of love and care. Over one million
dollars were raised to cover Chucky’s
medical expenses and build a specially designed
house for him in Oxford. I want to thank everybody
that’s been behind me and just keep on praying for me. I’m gonna get better. Thank you. [crowd applauding] Chucky worked hard
to finish his degree while cheering on the
team he loved so much. But it wasn’t meant to be. On May 6th, 1991,
he tragically passed from complications
related to his injury. His courage and
determination are unequaled. Chucky has given
something to each of us. And we will remember him and appreciate him for the
many different reasons. A very special young man has just passed through here. But Chucky Mullins spirit
lives on in Oxford. It is impossible to not
see or feel the impact he left on Ole Miss. Didn’t nobody believe in us, don’t nobody still
believe in us, but us! After falling on hard times in the mid-1990s, a small
group of Rebels was tasked with turning the program around. With just 58
scholarship players, the group kept
the program afloat until reinforcements
could arrive. [players cheering] So it wasn’t really until
’97 we started getting a lot of the new talent in there and it started paying off. We’re winning, started
winning, some SEC games. The Rebels appear
to be going for two. Oh my goodness. There’s the snap, looking to
throw, back of the end zone. Caught it, he got it! He got it!
Peterson! Peterson a yard deep
makes the catch! The Rebels lead 15-14! Us battling and competing and having an opportunity
to sign some of the guys like Romaro Miller
and Deuce McAllister and Rufus French and Joe Gunn, it bridged the gap
and it got us to a, it got us to a certain point. On-side kick attempt. And there it is, it’s
popped high in the air. And it’s caught by Deuce
at the 40, he’s to the 30, he may go, 20,
15, 10, 5, touch– Right on Ole Miss! Peterson’s gonna be able to make a catch at the 8 and
is gonna try to return it. 25, 30, and he’s gonna
block, he could go! Touchdown Ole Miss! Wow!
You gotta believe baby! You gotta believe! For the win. It is up, it is good! Ole Miss wins it! Throw looking in the
end zone, in trouble, he throws it in time! The Ole Miss Rebels have
lurked off the Auburn Tigers! 24-17. The pitch is to Deuce, now he’s gonna throw back
to the near side to Miller, he catches at 10,
10, five, touchdown! Wow!
He’s doing it all tonight! Deuce at quarterback!
He’s doing it all tonight! With momentum surging, the son of an Ole
Miss legend was tapped to take the Rebels into
the new millennium. For Ole Miss it’s Eli Manning. Famous bloodline
coupled with size and a great arm. Waiting his time,
waiting his time, waiting his time, finally
getting an opportunity to start this year. And he is calm,
cool, and collected. 6’4, 215 pounds, out of
New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a rare combination of
being very, very talented, but also being smart enough
to do something about it. ‘Cause there are some people
that are really talented but don’t study the game, they’re some that are,
that study the game, and they’re really smart but
they’re not quite good enough doing it, but he had both. But the thing that
makes him most special is what’s inside his helmet. He is so smart and so good at the
line of scrimmage. Eli’s talents were at their best when the Rebels
needed him the most. Now, the Rebels
have the football at their own 41 yard line with a minute and 34 left. And this is it for
Ole Miss down by four. Can they break the Alabama jinx or will Alabama get another one? Manning, pump
fakes, looks to run, now stops, lops it down
the field toward Sanford, caught at the 20, 15,
10, five, out of bounds at the four yard line! You talk about a
quarterback with poise and presence, Eli Manning
showing it all right now. Manning back to throw, swings it to Gunn, he
catches it at the one, drives into the end zone! Touchdown Ole Miss! Looks, looks, has time, fires it, it’s caught
by Zeigler at the 10, five, touchdown Ole Miss! Swings it near side,
has his man, tails it! Caught at the 40, to
the 30, to the 20, knocked off his feet
at the 12 yard line! What a call by Eli Manning
and a perfect pass. Plenty of touch. From the two, there’s the
snap, they give it Jacobs, right side, he’s
in the end zone! Touchdown Ole Miss, the
Rebels have taken the lead! You gotta believe,
’cause I’m gonna tell ya, you’re never out of
a game with number 10 as your quarterback, never. Eli capped off his senior season by leading Ole Miss
to the Cotton Bowl. With the Rebels
seeking their first New Years Day bowl win since
Archie’s Sugar Bowl victory in 1970. Beautiful day, two schools that have really
gotten themselves back onto the national scene. I mean this game is huge
for both of these programs. To be here at the Cotton Bowl. Ole Miss on the move, a fake to Turner, and
Turner’s wide open. Touchdown. The Rebels won 31-28 to cap off Eli’s career. Eli Manning has been a part of a resurgence of this
once proud college program. Eli reintroduced Ole Miss to the national audience. And the new generation of
Rebels would not disappoint. And Fitz, and oh my. He is brought down by Patrick
Willis with some attitude. Big point after coming up here. 31-30 Ole Miss. He kicks, it’s blocked! The Rebels with the
block, Kentrell Lockett. Dexter breaks the
tackle, he heads to the side lines
on a drop step. He angles back to the 15. He’s to the five,
touchdown Rebels! Gotta pass.
He is, and he’s got a man
wide open it’s Hodge, touchdown Ole Miss! The throw to the
end zone is caught! Touchdown, Donte
Moncrief strikes again! Feed him, feed him! Feed Moncrief! Waiting for the snap back, there it is, it’s
high, there’s the kick. He’s got the distance,
it’s on its way, it is good! Ole Miss has upset
number six LSU, Andrew Ritter! The pass is going
to be incomplete. The previous play is
under further review. Yes, yes.
Left foot down. Yes.
Left foot down! That’s got to be
an interception. The ball was intercepted
in the end zone. Ole Miss has knocked
off number one Alabama. And angles up the
middle of the field, is he, oh he’s broken clear! He’s to the 20, he’s to the 30, can he get there,
he’s gotta blocker! 15, 10, five, touchdown! Ole Miss! The snap is high. Kelly grabs it,
launch the throw, fires it up in the air,
Treadwell, can’t get it, deflection is caught! Deflection is caught! And down the sidelines
is Adeboyejo, he’s to the end
zone, he’s in there! Touchdown Ole Miss! Ducks it back to the
near side to the big guy! Walks in the end
zone Laremy Tunsil! The Ole Miss Rebels are going to win the 2016
Allstate Sugar Bowl. It’s over, Ole Miss, 31, Mississippi State
28, the final score in the 2017 Egg Bowl. [heroic orchestral music] [crowd cheers] This is gonna be the start of something really,
really special. Man I cannot wait
to get started. [email protected]! Starkville’s
got the bulldogs [email protected]! [email protected]! Athens, Georgia too [email protected]! [email protected]! Auburn’s got the tigers [email protected]! [email protected]! And so does LSU [email protected]! [email protected]! There’s doors and
vols in Tennessee [email protected]! [email protected]! Cocks in Caroline [email protected]! [email protected]! But for every team you offer [email protected]! [email protected]! I wouldn’t give
a wooden dime [email protected]! [email protected]! See there’s only one
team that matters [email protected]! [email protected]! And if you ask
me I’ll tell you [email protected]! [email protected]! If you wanna be
with the winners [email protected]! [email protected]! You want the red and blue [email protected]! [email protected]! Yeah I’m for
the red and blue [email protected]! [email protected]! I’m for Eli [email protected]! [email protected]! And I’m for Deuce [email protected]! [email protected]! There’s Gentle Ben [email protected]! [email protected]! Freddie Joe and
Gator Bennett [email protected]! [email protected]! Old Chuck and Charlie too [email protected]! [email protected]! Showboat, Tell,
and Eagle Day [email protected]! [email protected]! Yeah I’m for
the red and blue [email protected]! [email protected]! Georgia’s got them gators [email protected]! [email protected]! Bama’s got the tide [email protected]! [email protected]! Arkansas’s got them piggies [email protected]! [email protected]! And Kentucky’s cats are wild [email protected]! [email protected]! But all them teams
rolled into one [email protected]! [email protected]! Can’t stand up
against my Rebs [email protected]! [email protected]! But if you’re feeling lucky [email protected]! [email protected]! You suckers place your bids [email protected]! [email protected]! I’m for the red and blue !!mus[email protected]! [email protected]! I’m for the Ken Toller [email protected]! [email protected]! Romaro and Archie too [email protected]! [email protected]! There’s Two Time, Sans [email protected]! [email protected]! And the Johnson boys [email protected]! [email protected]! And big ol’ Teeway too [email protected]! [email protected]! Kid and Wayne and John 4k [email protected]! [email protected]! Yeah I’m for
the red and blue [email protected]! You what’s up Ole Miss? [email protected]! Yeah I’m for
the red and blue [email protected]! [email protected]! I’m for Coach Vaught [email protected]! [email protected]! And I’m for all the Pooles [email protected]! [email protected]! There’s Uni and Flowers [email protected]! [email protected]! And Parker Hall [email protected]! [email protected]! And little running
back named Due [email protected]! [email protected]! Learen, Franklin, and the Ox [email protected]! [email protected]! Yeah I’m for
the red and blue [email protected]! [email protected]! Yeah we’re for
the red and blue [email protected]! [email protected]! I’m for Glenn Cannon [email protected]! [email protected]! And Crawford and Desler too [email protected]! [email protected]! There’s Seniqa,
Lucas, Ta’Boris Fisher [email protected]! [email protected]! And a little Warrior too [email protected]! [email protected]! Clifford, Coleman,
and the dog [email protected]! [email protected]! They all bleed red and blue [email protected]! [email protected]! Yeah I’m for
the red and blue [email protected]!

About the Author: Garret Beatty


  1. I was at the LSU game in 89 when they passed buckets around collecting money for Chuckie. We were sitting next to the LSU fans and they were throwing piles of cash in the buckets. Say what you will of LSU but I will always give them a pass for what they did that day.

  2. Has “old” miss done anything since the late 1950’s.
    Does the college even rank in the top 200?
    They sure think highly of themselves.

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