FRIDAY FLASHBACK: 1962 Cotton Bowl

Glynn Griffing

Sept. 13, 2013

FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games from this week's all-time series. This week features the 1962 Cotton Bowl that saw Texas upset Ole Miss 12-7 in a fierce defensive battle.

Longhorns' early scores too much for Rebs' counterattack

By David Bloom
Commercial Appeal

January 1, 1962

DALLAS - Alert Texas, plucking off Ole Miss passes like precious cherries, established a 12-0 beachhead in the first half and contained the furious counter-charge of the Rebels for 12-7 victory in what must have been one of the greatest of the 26 Cotton Bowl football games.

Shocked by this wide-awake defense and jolted by an unexpected Texas passing attack, Ole Miss fought with cool desperation to re-establish their reputation for bowl invincibility. Just a simple 23 yards from the goal line, going like Forrest’s cavalry, they were foiled and foundered on a great tackle by end Bob Moses in their last-gasp drive.

The situation was fourth down and two to go and five minutes left to play. Glynn Griffing, who had rallied the Ole Miss forces, tried a simple rollout that had worked most of the day. In came Moses, racked the quarterback a yard behind the line of scrimmage. That, as it proved, was the football game. Aroused Texas shoved Ole Miss back and wouldn’t let the Rebs out of their scuffed back yard.

Texas scored in the first period, driving 34 yards after a Tommy Ford interception. The running Longhorns put another touchdown on top of that in the second period with a 72-yard drive featuring passes and a great 28-yard run by quarterback Mike Cotton.

End Zone Catch

On neither occasion could they add an extra point, nor could they do more than come close to other points. And Ole Miss, regrouping, moved 89 yards in the third period to the score made on a great jumping catch by Reed Davis of a 20-yard Griffing pass into the end zone.

Wes Sullivan kicked it into 12-7 and the crowd of 75,504 on this bright, sunshiny first day of the year, began to sense a Rebel rouser.

It never came. The Rebs shoved and threw and defended like everything, but the Longhorns were adamant. They hadn’t won a bowl game since they beat Tennessee here nine years ago. Ole Miss, favored in the game by three points, had five straight post-season victories to their credit. They couldn’t make it six.

Five times Texas intercepted Ole Miss passes, three of these by Jerry Cook, a defensive genius. Once Ole Miss presented the Longhorns with a big chance on a fumble which Texas couldn’t cash. Twice devastating penalties sidetracked Ole Miss drives. Ole Miss gained 319 yards to Texas’ 183. But Texas had 12 coveted points and made ‘em prove enough.

Interception Pays

The first Texas touchdown came with only 47 seconds left in the first quarter. Ford’s interception put the Steers in business at the Reb 34. Using a pitchback largely to the fulbacks, Ray Poage and Pat Culpepper, that sent them scuffling around end to Ole Miss’s confusion, Texas moved the ball to the six inch line, from where their great back, Jimmy Saxton, rounded a bend and got enough ground for the six points. Eldon Mortiz missed the extra point.

The next time the Longhorns started at their own 28, employed a swing pass to fine advantage, went almost the length of the field and Cotton threw to Jack Collins for the last 24 yards and the score. A run for the extra point was smothered.

The key to that touchdown was the option play Cotton ran for 28 yards to the Mississippi 36 – a maneuver that caught the Rebs napping and a maneuver that got Cotton the vote as the best back in the game. Moses was named the best lineman.

Monster Quick Kick

The Reb touchdown came after a drive to the Texas 36, and one of the greatest kicks in Cotton Bowl annuals.

Jimmy Saxton, a frustrated little fellow on the ground, toed a surprising quick kick to the Ole Miss 11. From there Griffing passed to A.J. Holloway, did a keeper job of 29 yards and finally connected with Davis for the touchdown.

After that came Rebel frustration in copious doses. Griffing, the second string quarterback, was entrusted with a guiding task of which he was completely worthy. He threw well but the Rebels didn’t always catch well.

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