Sunday, May 16, 2021

Bowl Games of Ole Miss’ Past – 1948 Delta Bowl


While Ole Miss may not be going bowling this season, the Rebels have a decorated history in some of College Football’s most famous bowl games. From going to their first bowl game in 1936 to the Sugar Bowl victory in 2015, the Rebels rank 10th in the NCAA in bowl victories with 23. The Rebels have won games and set records that will stand the test of time. From Conerly to Manning and Vaught to Freeze, Ole Miss legends have made names for themselves in bowl games over the years. So, instead of an actual bowl this year, let us take you back to some of the most memorable bowl victories in Ole Miss history.

Delta Bowl Program – Courtesy of

The Rebels first appearance in a bowl game was a 20-19 loss in the 1936 Orange Bowl against Catholic University. It took 12 years to make it back to the postseason, but a new coach for the Rebels ushered in a new era in Oxford.

First year coach Johnny Vaught and the Rebels took on TCU in the Delta Bowl at Memphis’ Crump Stadium. A crowd of just over 28,000 gathered to watch QB Charlie Conerly’s final game as a Rebel. The Rebels fell into a 9-0 hole as the game moved into the fourth quarter, but the 1947 SEC Champs saved their best for last. A Conerly touchdown pass to Joe Johnson put the Rebels within striking distance of the Horned Frogs, and a Bobby Wilson INT had a victory in their sights. Conerly wouldn’t be denied as he hit Dixie Howell for a 13-yard TD and with the PAT the Rebels took their first lead of the game. At 13-9, a TCU touchdown would’ve spelled doom for the Rebels. Not letting the comeback effort be for nothing, Red Buchanan came up with a victory sealing INT for the Rebels. Delta Bowl Champions, the Rebels finished the season 9-2, ranked 13th in the country.

The Rebels would never play in another Delta Bowl, but it wasn’t because they weren’t deserving. The Delta Bowl was played just one more time and was shut down after 1949. The Rebels took home their first ever bowl game victory in 1948 but would be kept waiting until 1956 for another one. That next win came in the form of a Cotton Bowl victory for Vaught and the Rebels as they took down TCU once again. 

For Highlight of the 1948 Delta Bowl, see below. Video courtesy of Ole Miss Football

For more Bowls of Ole Miss’ Past, click here.

Steven Gagliano is a writer for He can be reached at

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