The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

SEC x CFB 150: 1959-1965

112 days ago
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As part of the recognition of the 150th anniversary of college football, the Southeastern Conference is recognizing 150 of the greatest games and moments in the history of the 14 institutions of the SEC.

Each of the SEC's 14 members submitted to the Conference Office 10 great games or moments, and the SEC added 10 conference-wide highlights to produce a total of 150 great moments to be celebrated throughout the 2019 football season. To view the other weeks, click here.

Week 4 - SEC Football 150 Greatest Moments (1959-1965)

Final Score: Tennessee 14, LSU 13
Date: November 7, 1959
Site: Knoxville, Tennessee
Head Coach: Bowden Wyatt
Title: "The Stop"
Tennessee's 14-13 win over the reigning national champions LSU Tigers and their vaunted defense was due to an incredible chain of fantastic plays, some working for and some against the Volunteers. The defeat was LSU's first in 20 games. There were times when it seemed certain that Tennessee would lose by two or three touchdowns. LSU's Billy Cannon and Johnny Robinson led the Tigers to a quick score on their first drive and continually pressed the Vol defense throughout the first half and into the second. With timely interceptions by Jim Cartwright, one for a 59-yard touchdown and a costly LSU turnover, the Vols held a 14-7 lead at the end of three quarters. Moving into the fourth quarter Cannon's bounding punt hit safetyman Bill Majors and rolled to the Vol two-yard line where it was recovered by LSU. The Tigers scored on their third try, whereupon LSU Coach Paul Dietzel decided they were going to go for two points instead of kicking to tie. Cannon took the ball on the bread-and-butter play off tackle. Vol Joe Schaffer "got a piece" of him. Charley Severance, Cartwright and finally Majors rushed into to plug the hole. Cannon failed to make the end zone and the great winning streak died right there, just six inches short of the goal line.

Final Score: Georgia 14, Auburn 13
Date: November 14, 1959
Site: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia
Head Coach: Wally Butts
Title: "Tarkenton to Herron"
The Auburn Tigers came to Athens with the conference championship on the line. It was a coaching matchup of close friends, Wallace Butts of Georgia and Ralph "Shug" Jordan of Auburn, a former assistant to Butts in Athens. Auburn was leading 13-7 in the fourth quarter with five minutes left when Auburn, near midfield, fumbled on a bootleg play. Pat Dye, later to become an iconic Auburn head coach, recovered for the Bulldogs. Francis Tarkenton, a hometown boy, took over the offense in that one-platoon era at the Auburn 35-yard line. Two passes of 16 and 9 yards to Don Soberdash had Georgia at the Auburn 10-yard line. Following a loss and a couple of pass incompletions, Tarkenton, facing a fourth and 13, do or die challenge, completed a touchdown pass to Bill Herron and one of the most sensational victories ever, clinching the SEC title for the Bulldogs.

Final Score: Ole Miss 21, LSU 0
Date: January 1, 1960
Site: Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Head Coach: John Vaught
Title: 1960 Sugar Bowl
A little over two months after Billy Cannon's famous 89-yard punt return on Halloween night lifted LSU to a 7-3 win over Ole Miss in Baton Rouge, the second-ranked Rebels and third-ranked Tigers were rematched in the 1960 Sugar Bowl. This time, Ole Miss made sure there would be no heroics from Cannon. The Rebel defense limited the 1959 Heisman Trophy winner to eight yards on six carries. The Tigers managed just 74 yards total on the night and were a -15 in the rushing department. Ole Miss, led by Bobby Franklin's two touchdown passes, totaled 363 yards of offense and rolled to a 21-0 victory. Franklin finished 10-of-15 passing for 148 yards and had touchdown passes of 18 yards to Larry Grantham and nine yards to George Blair in the second half. He would garner the game's Outstanding Player honor. Ole Miss would finish the year 10-1 and was recognized as national champions by the Berryman, Billingsley, Dunkel and Sagarin ratings. The 1959 squad would also go on to earn "Team of the Decade" honors within the SEC by the Associated Press.

Final Score: Ole Miss 14, Rice 6
Date: January 2, 1961
Site: Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Head Coach: John Vaught
Title: 1961 Sugar Bowl
Ole Miss completed its 1960 National Championship season with a 14-6 win over Rice in the 1961 Sugar Bowl. With the win, the Rebels finished the year 10-0-1, with the only blemish coming in the fashion of a 6-6 tie with LSU in October. Jake Gibbs scored both of Ole Miss' touchdowns with runs of eight and three yards. Gibbs' eight-yard scamper gave the Rebels a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Owls used an 18-play, 77-yard scoring drive to make it 7-6 in the third. Butch Blaine completed the march with a two-yard run around the right end on fourth down. However, the PAT attempt failed, leaving the Rebels clinging to a one-point lead. Ole Miss iced the game in the fourth quarter behind the running of Jim Anderson. Anderson's running helped set up Gibbs' three-yard score with 5:16 left. Anderson finished the game with 59 yards rushing on 15 carries. Following the game, Ole Miss was awarded the national title by the Football Writers Association and became the first SEC team to win the Grantland Rice Award.

Final Score: Missouri 21, Navy 14
Date: January 2, 1961
Site: Orange Bowl Stadium, Miami, Fla.
Head Coach: Dan Devine
Title: "Tigers Torpedo Navy"
The best season to date in Mizzou Football history got a big blow in the regular-season finale, as the undefeated and No.1-ranked Tigers were upset at home by rival Kansas to spoil hopes of a first-ever national championship for the program. At that time, the final polls were not updated after bowl games, so the Tigers, who slipped to the No. 5 ranking, had no shot of winning the mythical national title, no matter how they fared in the 1961 Orange Bowl against fourth-ranked Navy and their Heisman Trophy winning back Joe Bellino. With President-Elect and former Navy Lieutenant John F. Kennedy observing in the stands, Mizzou went on to a 21-14 win that somewhat made up for the disappointment of that sole loss on what was a 10-1 season on the field. The Orange Bowl started in odd fashion, with each team getting a long defensive touchdown - Navy's on a 96-yard fumble return, while Mizzou answered with a 90-yard interception return score by DB Norm Beal. A short touchdown run by MU's Donnie Smith in the second quarter gave the Tigers a 14-6 lead, which they took to halftime. The third quarter was all Mizzou statistically, as the Tiger defense held Navy to only six snaps, highlighted by limiting Bellino to minus-four yards on three carries. The Tigers couldn't crack the scoreboard, however, until early in the fourth, on a short TD run by Ron Taylor that made it 21-6. Navy would get a late score and two-point conversion but could get no closer as Mizzou's Fred Brossart intercepted a desperation pass near midfield on the final play of the game to close things out and bring Mizzou its first-ever bowl game victory as a program. Mel West starred for the Tiger ground game, rushing for a game-high 108 yards, while Smith added 98 of Mizzou's 296 yards in all.

Final Score: Alabama 10, Arkansas 3
Date: January 1, 1962
Site: Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Head Coach: Paul "Bear" Bryant
Title: Tide's First Title Under Bryant
As far-fetched as it sounded back when he was recruiting his first class four years before, Paul Bryant's promise of a 1961 national championship proved as accurate as his precise demand for excellence. Led by quarterback Pat Trammell, center/linebacker Lee Roy Jordan and two-way line star Billy Neighbors, Alabama ascended to the pinnacle of the college football world, winning all 11 games and being named the No. 1 team in America. Alabama outscored its opponents 297-25 and after Tennessee managed a field goal in a 34-3 loss to the Tide, no one scored again until Arkansas equaled that three-point output in the Sugar Bowl. North Carolina State, led by future NFL star quarterback Roman Gabriel, fell to the Tide 26-7. The seven points were the most yielded to an opponent during the entire season. Neighbors was a unanimous All-America selection while Jordan and Trammell were second-team picks. It would be the first of six national title runs for Bear Bryant during his 25-year career at Alabama.

Final Score: Ole Miss 17, Arkansas 13
Date: January 1, 1963
Site: Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana
Head Coach: John Vaught
Title: 1963 Sugar Bowl
Ole Miss completed a perfect 10-0 season with a 17-13 victory over Arkansas in the 1963 Sugar Bowl. Quarterback Glynn Griffing was a near unanimous selection for the game's Most Valuable Player Award. He connected on 14 of 23 passes for 242 yards with one touchdown and one interception to break Davey O'Brien's 24-year-old Sugar Bowl passing yards record. As effective as Griffing was through the air, it was his one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that broke a 10-10 tie and put the Rebels up for good. The Razorbacks could only answer with a 22-yard field goal from Tom McKnelly with 1:33 left in the third quarter. Griffing's 33-yard touchdown pass to Louis Guy gave Ole Miss a 10-3 lead heading into the intermission.

Final score: Mississippi State 16, NC State 12
Date: December 21, 1963
Site: Philadelphia Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Head coach: Paul Davis
Title: "The Deep Freeze Bowl"
With a temperature of 22 degrees at kickoff and dropping to 15 degrees by game's end, the tandem of Hoyle Granger and Ode Burrell, future NFL standouts, lifted Mississippi State past NC State, 16-12 in the 1963 Liberty Bowl. It would be the final one played in Philadelphia. Organizers in the Northeast billed it "The Deep Freeze Bowl" and forced the game to move indoors to Atlantic City in 1964. The Bulldogs blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown by Tommy Inman. Burrell was named the game's MVP.

Final score: Arkansas 10, Nebraska 7
Date: January 1, 1965
Site: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
Head Coach: Frank Broyles
Title: The National Championship
The legendary Frank Broyles and 1964 Razorbacks capped off the school's first and only football national championship with a victory in the Cotton Bowl over Nebraska. The Razorbacks' bowl win capped a perfect 11-0 season and the top spot in the Football Writers Association of America poll. Arkansas took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a Tom McKneely field goal, but a second quarter rushing touchdown from Nebraska's Harry Wilson put the Cornhuskers in front until the fourth quarter. Arkansas QB Fred Marshall engineered an 80-yard, game-winning drive late in the game. RB Bobby Burnett took a pitch from Marshall in from three yards out to give the Hogs' the Cotton Bowl trophy.

Final Score: Georgia 18, Alabama 17
Date: September 18, 1965
Site: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia
Head Coach: Vince Dooley
Title: "The Flea Flicker"
Alabama and Bear Bryant, the defending national champions, came to Athens to open the season in the first network televised game ever on the Georgia campus. Vince Dooley, in his second season, and his upstart Dogs won a thriller, 18-17, with about as dramatic of a comeback that could be imagined. Down late in the fourth quarter, 17-10, the Bulldogs shocked everyone with a school yard innovation, the flea flicker play which had never worked in practice. Quarterback Kirby Moore threw to end Pat Hodgson who lateraled to Bob Taylor who sped by an overcommitting Tide defense for a 73-yard pass play for a touchdown. Moore then threw to Hodgson for a two-point touchdown, one of the greatest plays in Sanford Stadium history.