Sunday, February 5, 2023

Bowl Games of Ole Miss’ Past – Archie Leads The Rebels in 1970 Sugar 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.

1970 Sugar Bowl Ticket
1970 Sugar Bowl Ticket

It had been six years since the Rebels last appeared in the Sugar Bowl. The 1964 Sugar Bowl ended with six lost fumbles and a 12-7 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide led by Bear Bryant. With a guy named Archie Manning under center, the Rebels were back in the Big Easy for the 1970 Sugar Bowl. The Rebels faced the same opponent as their last Sugar Win, the Arkansas Razorbacks. The #3 ranked Razorbacks were favored over the #13 Rebels, who came into the game with a record of 7-3. 

The games first score came by way of a 69-yard run by Ole Miss FB Bo Bowen. Arkansas drove down into Rebel territory attempting to even the game, but the drives stalled and a FG attempt missed its mark. After the defense held the Razorbacks, it took Manning and the offense just six plays to reach the end zone and extend their lead to 14-0. The Razorbacks got on the scoreboard in the second quarter with a TD, followed by a missed PAT, cutting the lead to 14-6. Another TD with two minutes reaming in the half finished the Razorbacks scoring for the first half. A 52-yard field goal for the Rebels and a 30-yard TD pass from Manning saw the Rebels put up 10 points in the second quarter. With a 24-12, the Rebels looked to be in a grove on offense that couldn’t be stopped, but the Razorback defense had other plans. 

With a 35-yard FG, the Rebels brought their lead to 27-12, but the Rebels wouldn’t score again. The third quarter came and went with just those 3 points put up by the Rebels. The fourth quarter began with a Razorback FG. The teams traded interceptions and Arkansas turned a Manning INT into a TD and cut the lead to 27-22. Unable to score and widen the lead, the Rebels gave the ball back to the Razorbacks. Ole Miss DB Glenn Cannon forced a fumble and gave the ball back to the Rebels. 

The Rebels won the game 27-22, marking their fourth upset of a top-10 team in the 1969 season. Sugar Bowl champions once again, Archie Manning was named MVP of the game. This was Johnny Vaught’s final Sugar Bowl Victory as the head coach of the Rebels. Vaught retired following a loss in the 1971 Gator Bowl. The Gator Bowl loss to Auburn was also Archie Manning’s final game in a Rebel uniform. After becoming a regular in the Sugar Bowl, Ole Miss would have to wait until 2015 for the chance to return to New Orleans and regain their former glory. The Rebels would get back in the bowl game win column in the 1971 Peach Bowl against Georgia Tech. 

For video from the 1970 Sugar Bowl see below. Video courtesy of Ole Miss Football.

Steven Gagliano is a writer for He can be reached at

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