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Bowls of Ole Miss’ Past – Rebels Sting the Yellow Jackets in 1971 Peach 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.

1971 Peach Bowl Ticket - courtesy of OleMissMemorabilia.com
1971 Peach Bowl Ticket – courtesy of OleMissMemorabilia.com

With Johnny Vaught and Archie Manning gone, first-year head coach Billy Kinard and the Rebels finished the 1971 regular season 9-2, the 21st straight season the team finished with a winning record. The Rebels had earned themselves a chance to go to Atlanta to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the Peach Bowl. Marking the 15th straight year of playing in a bowl game, the Rebels came to play. A soggy field at Fulton County Stadium was a concern as the game approached, but it made no difference to the Rebels. 

QB Norris Weese scored the first touchdown of the game, and the Rebels never looked back. The Rebels added a FG later in the first quarter, but the second quarter is when the Rebels blew the game wide open. Two Jim Porter touchdown runs and a touchdown pass from Weese and backup QB Kenny Lyons pushed the Rebel lead to 38-6 at the half. The 28-point quarter ties the Peach Bowl record for points in a quarter, and the Rebels hold the Peach Bowl record for the most points in a half with 38. 

The Rebels only scored 3 points in the second, half but with an already substantial lead, all they had to do was coast to the final whistle. The Yellow Jackets were able to score two second-half touchdowns but never came close to forcing a competitive second half. While the Rebels may have been on the wrong side of a lopsided Peach Bowl game in their next appearance in 2015, on this day they were the dominant team. A 41-18 win gave Kinard his first and only bowl victory with the Rebels. The following season saw the Rebels streak of winning seasons, and bowl appearances come to an end after finishing 5-5. The Rebels next appearance in a bowl game wouldn’t come until the 1983 Independence Bowl, a 9-3 loss to Air Force. 

For video from the 1971 Peach Bowl, see below. Video courtesy of Ole Miss Football

Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com.

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