FRIDAY FLASHBACK: 1960 National Title vs. LSU
Oct. 20, 2017
Rowdy Rebs Take Sugar Bowl Crown
Completely Outclass LSU in 21-0 Victory
By Wayne Thompson
SUGAR BOWL STADIUM, New Orleans - Faced with a bigger challenge than Hannibal, the Ole Miss Rebels rode not an elephant, but a Tiger's back to glory in the 26th annual Sugar Bowl classic this gray New Year's day for a 21-0 definitely one-sided victory over Louisiana State University.
Faced with the same wet weather conditions as on another holiday, that Halloween in Baton Rouge, Ole Miss ignored the cold wind and wet turf and went all-out in an offensive effort - which had to be something to outdo the defense here today - to snare their second Sugar win in two outings. None of the Reb victories have been sweeter.
There were two distinct differences between today's game and that Halloweenish encounter - some 20,000 more persons saw this one, and Ole Miss didn't lose.
It was a day of second chances and the participants made good in a big way. Held without a touchdown in the last two outings against the Tigers, both played in Baton Rouge, the Rebs struck for three here today.
Leading the attack was quarterback Bobby Franklin, badly injured in the Kentucky game, who had to give way to Jake Gibbs for most of the year. Gibbs did come through brilliantly during the regular season, leading the Southeastern Conference in total offense and landing spots on several All-SEC teams.
Today, it was Franklin, a 1958 All-Conference selection, who threw for two of the three touchdowns as Ole Miss put on one of the greatest passing attacks since Mark Anthony first met Cleopatra on the Nile - to return to history for another brief moment.
Also, in the second chance department was End Larry Grantham, tossed off the squad after last year's Gator Bowl victory and re-instated just before the start of fall practice. A terror on defense with a blocked punt to his credit, Grantham also snared one of Franklin's scoring tosses.
For LSU and All-American Billy Cannon it was a day for frustration. The Tigers' deepest penetration was to the Rebel 34 and that was in the final period after Ole Miss led by 21.
Held to a minus three yards the first half, Cannon finally wound-up with eight net yards on six carries but was never able to come anywhere close to breaking into the clear. That rain on Thursday night must have gotten Cannon's powder too wet to explode - and Ole Miss defenders kept it damp by "pouring" in on him all afternoon.
Thanks to Ole Miss, the Tigers did set one Sugar Bowl record today - breaking the old mark of four defeats for a team, but being handed their fifth loss in six Sugar Bowl starts. The Rebs just got big-headed on that one small item.
The Rebs threatened throughout while holding the Tigers completely in check through 60 minutes of chilly action, witnessed by an estimated 81,500 fans.
Until Gibbs hit halfback and bridegroom Cowboy Woodruff with a scoring heave with just 38 seconds left in the first half, the day had been one of "almost" - but when the dam broke, it was for good.
The Rebs struck quickly for another third quarter score, moving 64-yards in nine plays with Franklin tossing to Grantham for the final 18 yards; while the Rebs moved 75 yards in nine plays in the fourth period for the final TD, this coming on a nine-yard toss from Franklin to halfback George Blair.
Franklin added the point after the first score while Bobby Khayat, who missed a field goal attempt from the 23 on the first play of the second period, kicked the last two.
FRANKLIN 10 FOR 15
Franklin completed 10 of 15 passes for 148 yards while Gibbs got 4 for 10 and 65 yards. In rushing, All-American Charles Flowers, another bridegroom, led the attack with 60 yards on 19 carries to far outshine Cannon. Blair got 26 on 8, Woodruff 20 on 21 and Franklin 19 on 19.
Speaking loud and clear concerning the brilliant Reb defenses were the statistics on rushing offense - Cannon's plus eight led the Tiger attack which wound up with a minus 15 for the day.
The Tigers made only one first down rushing - that by Scooter Purvis of Crystal Springs after a fumble - while Ole Miss had eight running, 10 passing and one via a penalty for 19 as against six for the Tigers five on passing and most of these in a desperation fourth period.
In total statistics, Ole Miss outgained the Tigers 303 yards to 35 ... The Rebs could have won by more.
Another big thing was that before today, not a single team had scored via the aerial route against LSU all season. Ole Miss did it three times while keeping intact their great record of allowing only 21 points during the season, which now includes post-season action.
KEPT ON DEFENSIVE
Losing the toss and kicking off, Ole Miss started LSU deep in their own territory and kept them there throughout most of the game. The Rebs made their first threat on their first offensive chance; moving from their own 43 to the LSU 24 in seven plays - one, an 11-yard toss from Franklin to Flowers - before a Warren Rabb pass interception killed the threat.
Later in the period, the Rebs started a drive after a Tiger punt from the LSU 39 and moved to the Tiger 16 in six plays as the first quarter ended. It was fourth and five from that point and Khayat came into to try for three points kicking from the left hashmark into the 14 mph wind. It went wide to the right and LSU was still hoping.
Starting again from their own 42 in the second stanza, the Rebs moved again with a 23-yarder from Franklin to End Jerry Daniels, the big gainer, to move to the LSU 11, third and one. LSU went into a tight 8-3 defense - almost a 9-1 - to stop Flowers twice, the second time just inches short.
Just 39 seconds was left on the halftime clock when Ole Miss made its big move. The goal line was 63 yards away but got closer when Gibbs ran for five and over-enthusiastic tackling on the play cost LSU 15 down to the Ole Miss 43.
Jimmy Hall came in at right half replacing Woodruff, and took one pass for no gain, stepping out of bounds to kill the clock. Back came Woodruff, after a chat with head coach Johnny Vaught, and he had the play.
Taking off down the middle, Woodruff was alone when he took Gibbs' loss at the 10 and raced in for the score. Franklin's kick, from the eight after a Reb rule infraction, was perfect and Ole Miss had the lead. It was a new play, this season at least, and it worked.
TAKES THE BALL
Given the choice to open the second half, Ole Miss took the ball - and after Franklin returned the kickoff 17 yards to the 36, the Rebs moved the remaining 64 yards in nine plays to get insurance points within two minutes and 38 seconds.
A 16 yard toss to Blair, a 12-yarder to Bobby Crespino and that 18-yard scoring effort to Grantham were the big plays and Khayat's kick made it 14-0.
A Cannon punt that rolled dead at the Reb 25 put Ole Miss in business again at its own 25 early in the fourth period and downfield they moved with power and precision.
Flowers led with 12 and, with a third and one situation on the next series, LSU expected Flowers in the line. Instead they got Blair around right end and he moved for nine into Tiger terrain.
An 18-yard pass to Dewey Partridge went to the 26. Flowers took a 15-yard toss to the nine and, without hesitation, Franklin passed to Blair for the touchdown, 9:17 left to play.
GET TO REB 34
Passes by Durel Matherne later in the period moved from the Tiger 28 to the Ole Miss 38 and on the next play, Cannon went for four to the 34 on first down for the deepest penetration. Three plays later Ole Miss took over on downs at the LSU 42. The Tigers had lost 28 yards in three plays, including one incomplete pass. And, for all practical purposes, that was it.
Reb coach Johnny Vaught, who earned his first Ole Miss victory via a 14-7 score against Kentucky at Oxford in 1947 today got his 101st. He would probably say, now at least, that the first 100 were the hardest.
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