15 Greatest Games in Southern Miss Football History
|September 18, 1953: Southern Miss 25, Alabama 19 - Defeat Preseason No. 1|
The 1953 season opened with a landmark victory over mighty Alabama, 25-19, in Montgomery, Ala., on Sept. 18. Southern entered the game a three-to-five touchdown underdog against the Crimson Tide, which were picked no lower than No. 5 in the country and No. 1 in the SEC. In fact, legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice selected the Crimson Tide as the nation's top-ranked team. Southern scored the winning touchdown when quarterback Billy Jarrell found sophomore end Leonard Williams on the Alabama 2-yard line and halfback Jim "Brick" Mason scored a few plays later from the 1-yard line. Mason was subbing for tailback Hugh Lauren Pepper, who had raced 65 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to pull Southern to within one at 19-18. Alabama threatened late in the game, but the Southern defense held, recording one of the school's biggest victories to that point and one of Greatest Games in Southern Miss Football.