As State fans, we are all passionate about the sports here at Mississippi State. We get passionate, we get angry at times. Sometimes it feels like Mother Nature is just pulling out all of the stops against us during a game. We all remember those moments where just everything went against our Dawgs. Be it the Immaculate Deflection in the 1983 Egg Bowl matchup or the Atlanta tornado during the Men’s SEC Basketball Championship game, weather has affected MSU sports more than we think. So for this, we’re going to look back at some of the famous moments in MSU history that were affected by way of weather.
So let’s set the stage here. It’s November 19, 1983 in Jackson, Mississippi for a battle between an MSU team who has no chance of making to a bowl and play spoiler to an Ole Miss team that is playing for their bowl lives and a chance to break a streak of 12 straight seasons without a bowl trip. We know how this plays out. Ole Miss Quarterback Kelly Powell mishandled the snap on the previous play and MSU recovered on the 10-yard line setting up a game-winning 27-yard field goal. The MSU field goal squad trots out on the field, Kelly Powell is sitting on the bench with a towel on his head knowing that he is the reason for the Bulldog victory.
MSU freshman Artie Crosby lines up for the field goal with a strong head wind. He takes that into account and kicks the field goal. MSU fans start rejoicing as they see that the ball is true and will get right between the uprights. But then Mother Nature stepped in with a 40 mph gust that seems to hold the ball in place just short of the uprights. Then, the unthinkable happened, the ball is blown backwards and falls harmlessly on the ground; sealing the victory for the Ole Miss Rebels and guaranteeing a bowl game for the first time in 12 years for the Rebel squad and first year coach Billy Brewer.
This game is simply known as “The Immaculate Deflection” and will forever haunt MSU fans for the rest of our lives.
2008 SEC Basketball Tournament Tornado
For this event, it was probably GOOD that MSU had to go into overtime in the tournament against Alabama in the Quarterfinals of the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament. With 2:11 to go in overtime, MSU is leading 64-61 and looking to clinch a semifinal spot for the next day’s matchup with the UGA/UK game winner which followed this game. At this point, a sound described as a freight train then a loud boom was heard in the Georgia Dome. The boom was a part of the roof in the Georgia Dome being ripped off and nuts and bolts falling from the ceiling and onto spectators and fans. Insulation began to drift down onto the court and both teams were directed to the locker rooms along with coaches and their families. Fans were directed out of the upper-section seats and into safer areas.
At first, no one really knew what was going on. It wasn’t until a little bit later when everyone would find out that it was a tornado, later rated EF-2, that ran right by the Georgia Dome. If it wasn’t for the game going into Overtime, we might have had more casualties than we actually had because of fans entering and leaving the stadium between games. So maybe MSU was meant to be sent into overtime, although that is quite frustrating, against Alabama for the safety of fans and teams alike. With this in mind, we all got lucky that more people weren’t affected by this storm in a worse fashion. But after it was all over and done with, the teams were brought out and the game was finished. MSU ended up winning 69-67 during the same Overtime period.
All other games of the SEC Tournament were moved to Alexander Memorial Stadium at nearby Georgia Tech while the Georgia Dome was deemed unsafe to host the rest of the games. UGA vs. UK was rescheduled for the next day and they had to turn right back around and face off against eventual winner MSU later that evening.