It’s Time to Avenge 1999


Just like Dan Mullen has lost his first five games to Alabama, so did Jackie Sherrill. Then in 1996 he broke through with a 17-16 victory over a #8 Tide team that snapped their 15-game winning streak in the series. In 1997, the Dawgs won again 32-20. They turned the hat trick with a 26-14 win in 1998. In fact, the Bulldogs won four of five during the 1996-2000 stretch – the best mark MSU has had since going 3-0-1 from 1911-14. The lone loss: 1999.

Mississippi State was 8-0, setting the mark for the best start in school history. It’s similar to what we have today: 9-0, the best start in school history. The difference now is MSU’s national ranking of #1 compared to #8 in ’99, due in large part by the manner in which the undefeated record was obtained. The next goal after reaching such a lofty status is the same for both teams, however: to beat Bama.

In 1999, Alabama was ranked #11 and poised to host MSU. The game was even on CBS as it is again in 2014. The Tide only had one conference loss, as they do today, so this game determined who would control their own destiny in the SEC West entering the final two weeks of the season….just like it does this week.

The day was defined by poor offense, turnovers, Freddie Milons and a terrible holding call as Alabama won 19-7.

The Bulldogs only managed 24 yards on the ground. The Tide couldn’t get much going on the ground either, but Starkville’s own Freddie Milons caught nine balls totaling 94 yards for Alabama.

The lack of a running game forced Wayne Madkin to throw, and he had three interceptions in the game. One lead to a Bama field goal, the other two ended Bulldog drives just before the half and the end of regulation.

But the big play was the holding call where there was no holding on the play. It was a tight game – Bama didn’t take a two score lead until mid-way through the 4th quarter. With MSU’s offense struggling to move the ball, the special teams came through when Pig Prather returned a punt inside the Alabama 10. Inexplicably, the Bulldogs were called for a hold, despite no evidence of any. The run was called back thus ending State’s scoring chances.

It’s time to avenge the 1999 game. The 1981 game. We’ve come to Tuscaloosa a few times now with stellar seasons only to see Alabama break our backs. This is our year. It’s time for Bama to take a back seat to MSU, this time. They’ve had their day many days in the sun, let’s have ours. Time to avenge all those years of losing to Alabama.