FRIDAY FLASHBACK: 1964 Sugar Bowl

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Perry Lee Dunn
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Perry Lee Dunn
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Sept. 28, 2012

FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games from this week's all-time series. This week features the 1964 Sugar Bowl against Alabama, a rare bowl game between a pair of SEC teams.

How #8 Alabama and #7 Ole Miss met in the 1964 Sugar Bowl

Recap excerpted from the book "Sugar Bowl Classic: A History" by Marty Mulé, who covered the game and the organization for decades for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

January 1, 1964

NEW ORLEANS - Tulane Stadium was like an icebox, cold and damp. But in the midst of snow banks, with players bothered by frosted fingertips, Tim Davis was hot. Or, at least, his toe was.

There had been Sugar Bowls won by field goals before - the 1936 game being won by a kick, the only points the winning team could manage. To show how much the game has changed, Sammy Baugh's boot in that one was the first of just nine before 1964 in the Sugar Bowl's three-decade history.

Tulane Stadium really did resemble a huge sugar bowl on the first day of 1964, with snow banks flanking the field. The moist 45-degree temperature was said later to have played a critical roles in the outcome, causing a total of 17 fumbles, 11 by the losing team, and bringing on an incredible for-the-time four field goals - including the longest ever kicked in any bowl - by Davis, three coming after bobbles, which provided the ultimate difference.

Playing with a second-string quarterback, 18-year-old Steve Sloan, in place of suspended Joe Namath, and against the nation's best run defense, Bear Bryant figured he was in for an iffy afternoon.

On `Bama's first series, though, Sloan took the Crimson Tide on an impressive quick-hitting, between-the-tackles drive that netted five straight first downs. Ole Miss, which led the nation in rushing defense, finally was able to stop the Tide at the Rebel 15, forcing Davis to come in and kick a 31-yard field goal.

Following the kickoff, Ole Miss quarterback Jim Weatherly, in for Perry Lee Dunn, set the tone for a frustrating Rebel day by losing the ball with no one around him as he attempted to pass. Butch Henry recovered at the Ole Miss 31, and Davis eventually came back in to boot a 46-yard field goal, breaking the Sugar Bowl record of 32 yards that he set himself two years before against Arkansas.

After yet another lost muff at the Rebel 37, Davis, in for his third play of the game, attempted a 50-yard field goal, but it was wide to the right. "I ought to beat you with a stick, you rascal," admonished the Bear with a smile. "You should have had that other one, too. I saw you take your eyes off the ball."

Another lost Rebel fumble at the 16 gave Davis another chance. With 16 seconds left until intermission Davis kicked a 22-yarder that gave Alabama a 9-0 halftime lead.

"I'm not taking anything away from Alabama," reflected Rebel end Joe Wilkins. "We played under the same conditions. Our game, though, I feel, was much more affected by the weather than theirs. We had a much more open offense, handled the ball more than Alabama, which ran basically a simple quick-hitting offense. The main thing was the snow put more moisture in the air. The field was slick as glass ... With our roll-out offense; it just seemed a little more difficult for us."

Dennis picked up 11 yards on the first play of the second half, registering Ole Miss' initial first down. Two plays later, Frank Kinard dropped the Rebels' eighth fumble, bringing Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett to his feet, saying, "Why is it the boys can't hold onto the football?"

Two series after that, Davis kicked a 48-yard field goal, at that time the record for any bowl.

Ole Miss crossed midfield for the first time in the fourth quarter, and Dunn eventually hit Larry Smith with a five-yard touchdown pass, The Rebels, outplayed most of the day, were now in position to win. And soon they were knocking on the door again, but on a fourth down at the 4, Dunn was stopped at the 2. Bryant would say later, "If I remember right, we (Kentucky) stopped Oklahoma in almost the same spot in the '51 game."

Ole Miss, hot now, made a last bid, getting to the 19 where end Joe Pettey caught a pass in the numbers and near the sideline. Fittingly, he couldn't hold the ball as he was tackled. `Bama recovered at the 9 to seal the victory.

It was difficult to believe that a game with 17 fumbles, 11 by Ole Miss, both all-time bowl records - could be so exciting at the finish.

Davis, of course, was the postgame story. He credited the snow with his performance.

"I think being off the day before the game was the answer," he theorized. "I just had more zip in my kicks. I could see when I was warming up before the game. If the snow hadn't forced us indoors Tuesday, I would not have been so strong and accurate."

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Rebels Finish Non-Conference on High Note

      Saturday, September 20, 2014 - Volleyball

      The Ole Miss Volleyball team remained undefeated at 14-0 and matched last year's win total with a 4-0 weekend at the Rebel Classic capped by wins over Lamar (3-0) and Jackson State (3-1) Saturday. The last three sets against Jackson... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 4

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 4 - ULL (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 2 and The Season: Ole Miss... read more

    • Freeze Talks Open Date, SEC West

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' open date and return to action on Saturday, Sept. 27 against Memphis.Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:50:18 mark. For the... read more

    • NASCAR's Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Visits Ole Miss

      Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - Football

      NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., visited Ole Miss on Wednesday. The Olive Branch, Mississippi, native spoke to various student groups, including the football team. Stenhouse Jr. presented head coach Hugh Freeze with a firesuit, and Freeze presented him with an... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 8-14)

      Monday, September 15, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 8-14, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss captured the Magnolia Invitational this past weekend to improve to 10-0, its best start in school history.- The Rebels downed UAB and Mercer 3-0 and then defeated Jacksonville State 3-1... read more

    • Historic Start to the Football Season

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Football

      After a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Ole Miss moved up four spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, released on Sunday.  Despite breaking into the top 10, the Rebels remain fifth among Southeastern Conference Western Division... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Sept. 14

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Athletics

      This is the third installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more

    • Three Rebels Net First Goals of the Season

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Soccer

      Leading 1-0 after controlling the play for much of the game, Ole Miss opened up a 3-0 lead on Middle Tennessee with a pair of goals in the final minute of the first half on the way to a 4-0... read more

    • Golson's Buy-In Pays Off

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Senior cornerback Senquez Golson has come a long way since he was a freshman.  That season, he was most notably on the receiving end of a highlight reel juke from Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Three years later, as part... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-ULL Motivational

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs ULL Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-ULL

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as Ole Miss faces Louisiana-Lafayette in its home opener Saturday. Wearing the Bull's-Eye After a 2-0 start with wins over Boise State and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll,... read more

    • Thompson Lifts Rebels to Historic Start

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      With a chance to make history, Ole Miss dropped a first set for the first time this season. The Rebels answered the bell winning the next three sets to defeat Jacksonville State 3-1 and improve to 10-0 on the season,... read more

    • VIDEO: Return of The Grove

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Rebel Nation Remembers Stan Sandroni

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - Football

      Rebel Nation goes into its home opener Saturday excited for the return of football at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but also saddened by the loss of one of its most renowned voices.Stan Sandroni, 64, passed away of a heart attack late Wednesday.... read more

    • Freeze Talks Schedule, Areas for Team to Improve

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' home opener Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and will be televised on the SEC Network.Freeze's time... read more