FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Ole Miss - Missouri 1974

Kenny Lyons

Nov. 22, 2013

FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games from this week's all-time series. This week features the Rebels' stunning 10-0 win over No. 18 Missouri in 1974.

Rebels stun Mizzou 10-0 in debut under Cooper

By Lee Baker, The Clarion-Ledger

September 15, 1974

JACKSON, Miss. - Any uncertainty about Ole Miss or Kenny Lyons should now be cleared after the oft-injured senior quarterback from Biloxi brought the Rebels to a 10-0 stunning of Missouri’s warmly regarded Tigers before an estimated 38,500 here in Mississippi Memorial Stadium Saturday night.

After the Rebels got untracked the second half, there was little contest for the Tigers could hardly touch the ball.

Ole Miss defenders would take it away quickly, then Lyons and his associates – chiefly Paul Hofer, Larry Kramer and Michael Sweet – wouldn’t give it back until they had points.

Time of possession never looked lovelier than those last two periods when the Rebs were in control 23:43 of the 30 minutes.

Lyons, rather embarrassed a year ago in Columbia (when thrust into the starting role after Norris Weese’s injury the week before) as Missouri crunched Ole Miss, 17-0, had a full measure of revenge.

And Kenny personally got the touchdown on a yard long sneak to break a scoreless deadlock just past midpoint in the third quarter.

A 21-yard field goal by Steve Lavinghouze in the fourth quarter applied the icing on the cake of welcome to Reb Coach Ken Cooper, making his delayed debut as head man this night.

Running did it, right into the teeth of a defense considered so awesome as to make the Tigers rank among the nation’s 20 best – as high as 12th by Sports Illustrated. The Rebs ran for 199 yards on 70 carries, the Tigs for 118 on 34.

Lyons threw only 13 times, completing six for 44 yards but the zeroing in at the proper time particularly in the TD drive.

Careful feeling at the start lasted all the first half as neither side could muster much offense, giving the action over to defense and long punts.

Missouri had what upper had existed, clumping off an occasional first down, as Ole Miss managed just one of those rarities until midpoint of the second period when freshman Michael Sweet entered to juice up the Rebs.

Lyons twice managed first downs on short sneaks, only to have that minor Reb flurry snuffed by penalties.

Defensively an interception by Gary Hall hustled 28 yards to the Tiger 49, followed by three Hofer thrusts good for 19 yards had Ole Miss at the Missouri 30 as the chief Reb threat.

But that aborted as Steve Young intercepted a Lyon’s pass of tight end Curtis Weathers’ fingers

Mizzou’s best effort was a much lapping from first to second quartee, the Tigers going from their 20 to the Reb 39 where going for broke on fourth and two, George Stuart flattened Smith keeping for no gain.

Statistics were one-sided at half time, Missouri leading in first downs 5-3; rushing 25 for 93 yards to 25 for 56; passing 22 yards on two completions of five tries, to zero on three Reb misses. Breland’s 48.4 punt average was the bright Reb light.

Ole Miss after moving from the second half kick off to the Missouri 36 before turning the ball over with a punt, then put everything together with an 18-play 71-yard all-the-way stampede to a go-ahead touchdown.

Lyons mixed in judicious runs by Hofer, Kramer and himself with passed, most likely to Kimbrough, until finally from the one, Kenny went in for the score on a sneak 1:58 from the third period’s end.

A rather short (for him) punt by Jim Gober to the Tiger 48 with 12 ½ minutes left to play got Ole Miss moving again, all on the ground this time, until on fourth and two at the Tiger 4, Lavinghouze came on to kick a 21-yard field goal that made the Reb followers feel far safer. Just 6:22 remained.

Missouri naturally went to the air with Pisarkiewicz gunning, only to have that effort explode when tight end Charles Douglass – after a gain to the Rebel 42 – was knocked loose and Gary Hall recovered with 4:26 to go.

Ole Miss with the bit firmly in the teeth just ground away what remained of the time to wrap up the stunning shut out of the vaunted Big Eight Conference visitors.

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