At least he didn't need an ice pack for one of Mississippi State's games against the Aggies.
Looking at how well each team knows the conference's newest members
|Mississippi State History vs. New SEC Teams|
|First Meeting||Last Meeting||Record vs.|
Overall, Mississippi State has played seven games against the teams joining the SEC this fall -- Texas A&M and Missouri. But it's almost impossible to talk about any one of those games without mentioning the Snow Bowl -- which is technically the final game of the 20th Century and certainly one of the more memorable.
The formal name for that game is the 2000 Independence Bowl, and most of the world had celebrated the beginning of the new century a year earlier, but that's neither here nor there. Texas A&M and Mississippi State traveled to Shreveport for what was supposed to be an unremarkable bowl game between a couple of decent teams that had both been coached by Jackie Sherrill -- who was at that point walking the sidelines for the Western Division Bulldogs. It was the first time in 63 years that the two programs had met.
They made up for it. What followed was an 84-point overtime game played in a snowstorm. The two teams combined for 455 yards rushing and somehow managed to turn over the ball "just" three times despite the conditions. And a bizarre series of events preceded the game-winning touchdown for Mississippi State.
It started out as a seesaw game. Texas A&M took a 14-0; Mississippi State rallied in the second quarter to tie things at 14. Texas A&M took the lead again on a touchdown before the half -- the extra point was no good, which would begin something of a theme -- and were up 20-6 when a relatively tame third quarter began. State got a touchdown in the third to take a 21-20 lead.
That was when TAMU scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to give the Aggies a 35-21 lead. State answered with two touchdowns of its own, and regulation ended with a 35-35 tie. Overtime.
The Bulldogs (8-4) had not scored in overtime in regular-season losses to Louisiana State and Arkansas. And things looked bleak for Mississippi State after Texas A&M's Ja'Mar Toombs rambled 25 yards for a touchdown on the first play of overtime.
But defensive tackle Willie Blade blocked the extra point. Eugene Clinton grabbed the ball and lateraled to Griffith, who went the distance to cut the deficit to 41-37.
The Bulldogs then scored in their own overtime for the 43-41 win. Presumably, no livestock were harmed in the production of this win -- but this was a Jackie Sherrill game, so who knows?
Speaking of Sherrill, he would go 8-27 over the next three seasons, ending his tenure in Starkville and his coaching career on a sour note. In College Station, R.C. Slocum would lead Texas A&M to a win in the Galleryfurniture.com Bowl -- ah, the halcyon days of the early 2000s -- before going an even .500 in his final year at A&M. The results for TAMU since then have been, um, uneven.
One more note: This season will mark the first time that Texas A&M will visit Starkville -- all four games that were played between the two on campus were in College Station. Missouri also has never been to town, though the 1981 game between the Tigers and the Bulldogs was held in Jackson. There's no indication that it snowed.