15 Greatest Games in Southern Miss Football History
|November 7, 1981: Southern Miss 7, Mississippi State 6 - Win Defensive Struggle with Bulldogs|
On Nov. 7, 1981, the Golden Eagles (No. 20-Associated Press, No. 18-United Press International) and the Bulldogs, ranked No. 17 in the AP poll, faced off in Jackson's Veterans Memorial Stadium before 64,112 excited spectators, which at the time was the largest crowd ever for a sporting event in Mississippi, as well as an ABC-TV audience. The Bulldogs took a 6-0 lead on two field goals by Dana Moore, but Mississippi State fumbled a punt late in the second quarter, and the Golden Eagles recovered the ball at the Bulldog 14-yard line. Tailback Sammy Winder scored from the one-yard line three plays later and Steve Clark kicked the extra point to give Southern Miss a 7-6 advantage at halftime. Defense dominated the second half, with the Nasty Bunch stopping the Bulldogs twice on 4th-and-1 to preserve the victory for the Golden Eagles. The Bulldogs' explosive attack was held to 250 yards, while the USM offense managed just 195 yards. The win gave the Eagles a 7-0-1 record and they moved up to No. 14 in the AP and No.10 in the UPI polls and will always be remembered as one of the Greatest Games in Southern Miss Football.