Homecoming football uniforms honor 1970 team, signature win over - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Homecoming football uniforms honor 1970 team, signature win over Ole Miss

Photo Courtesy of University of Southern Mississippi Athletics Photo Courtesy of University of Southern Mississippi Athletics

When the Southern Miss football team takes to the field against Marshall on Saturday, they'll sport the uniforms worn by the 1970 squad. The throwback gold helmets with black U-S-M letters, and jerseys with black numbers, black and gold stripes, and black at the shoulders might bring some Golden Eagle faithful back to a very specific date: October 17, 1970.

After being crushed 41-14 to San Diego State the week before, the 3-2 Southerners, coached by P.W. Underwood, traveled north to Oxford, where they met the fourth ranked Ole Miss Rebels. An All-American and Heisman Trophy candidate by the name of Archie Manning commanded the Rebel offense at that time, and the game wasn't expected to be much of a challenge for the home team.

"I think they kind of thought, coming out at the start of the game, 'Well hey, this is going to be a practice game.' Little ole' Southern Miss coming from Hattiesburg up to big Ole Miss," said Southern Miss Hall of Fame kicker Ray Guy, who was also recognized as one of the team's best defensive backs when he played for the Black and Gold.

The game started as many thought it would...Ole Miss scored with relative ease to take a 7-0 lead. Southern Miss tied the game on a 44-yard touchdown by fullback Bill Foley. After Ole Miss regained a 14-7 lead, the Southerners faced a fourth-and-two deep inside Rebel territory. Not only did Underwood decided to roll the dice and pass up a field goal try, he called a half-back reverse, with a back-up tailback no less.

It worked, and that moment perhaps set the tempo for the remainder of the contest.

"That was probably the best performance that the offense, defense and special teams that we had for that year," said Guy, who later booted a 49 -yarder to give the visiting Southerners a 17-14 lead. Another reverse, and a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown later, the scoreboard read what many thought it would, but who owned how many points may have looked a bit puzzling.

With the third quarter coming to a close, Southern Miss lead the fourth ranked team in the country, and it's Heisman contending quarterback, 30-14.  

"You're going to find out one thing we may not be big, but boy we pack a punch," Guy said of that 1970 team. The Rebels' last real threat was stuffed when Manning was stuffed on fourth-and-goal from the one late in the third, and the Southerners prevailed 30-14.

"That particular game, I think it set a standard for what Southern Miss was really about, and what they were going to be," said Guy.

The 2012 Golden Eagles welcome 2-4 Marshall for Homecoming on Saturday. The opponent may not be the Manning-lead 1970 Ole Miss Rebels, but they'll welcome a Thundering Herd quarterback who ranks among the best in the county in passing yards per game, passing efficiency, and total offense.

Southern Miss will dawn the same uniforms the 1970 squad wore when they pulled off that memorable upset in Oxford, and with an 0-6 record, the players might be hoping the same magic comes with them.  

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