Ole Miss Beats Texas Tech in Cotton Bowl
Today's historic Cotton Bowl game resulted in a 47-34 win for the Mississippi Rebels over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. It was a big surprise to fans as Ole Miss - ranked 20th - faced a red- hot Red Raiders who were seeking a team record in wins in a season. Going into the game Texas Tech had a Cotton Bowl record of 0-3 while Ole Miss had a record of 2-1.
The Red Raiders (11-2) converted a pair of early turnovers into a 14-0 lead, but Snead led the Rebels to touchdowns on their next three drives, followed by a go-ahead field goal shortly before halftime. Once Green returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter, Ole Miss (9-4) was well on its way to capping coach Houston Nutt’s first season in grand style.
This was Mississippi’s sixth straight win, matching its longest streak since 2003, when Eli Manning was a senior. That also was the last time the Rebels had been to a bowl.
This roll began when Ole Miss was only 3-4 and coming off consecutive losses following its stunning upset at the Swamp.
Although Texas Tech pulled off huge comebacks in its last two bowls, McCluster ended any such thoughts by barreling into the end zone with 4:34 left. When Rebels fans finished clapping, they began chanting “S-E-C! S-E-C!” They did so again with 1:37 left after Ole Miss snuffed out a 2-point conversion attempt, then again following a recovered onside kick.
The Red Raiders had a direct path to playing in that game until getting crushed by the Sooners in late November. At the time, they were unbeaten and ranked second, the highest mark in school history.
Getting drubbed in two of the last three games takes some shine off Tech’s season, and kept senior quarterback Graham Harrell from going out with the school’s record-setting 12th win.
Harrell’s consolation was several statistical feats: most career touchdowns in major college football (four in this game made it 134 for his career, breaking the record of 131 set by Hawaii’s Colt Brennan) and first player with two 5,000-yard passing seasons. Harrell was 36-of-58 for a Cotton Bowl-record 364 yards, giving him 5,111 yards this season. Only five other quarterbacks have cracked 5,000, including Brennan and two others from Texas Tech.
This game was historic because it marked the end of a 73 year tradition. Next year the Cotton Bowl will be moved from the Cotton Bowl Stadium to the new $1.1 billion stadium being built for the Dallas Cowboys.