1981 Hall of Fame Bowl: Miss. State football shuts down Kansas Jayhawks’ offense
It didn’t take Mississippi State nearly as long to get back to the postseason. This time, the Bulldogs got to face Nebraska’s neighbor in a state neighboring Mississippi. And thankfully for Mississippi State, the 1981 Kansas Jayhawks weren’t quite as talented as the 1980 Nebraska Cornhuskers.
On December 31, 1981, at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama, Emory Bellard and the Mississippi State Bulldogs stymied the Jayhawks’ offense.
It’s not exactly like either team lit up the scoreboard, a total of 10 points ere scored and just 493 total yards were gained between the two teams. Mississippi State again fumbled a total of five times (but they only lost one this go round) and Kansas was picked off twice and then lost a fumble of their own.
This was a flat out ugly game, but it’s a flat out ugly game that Miss. State football fans should be glad that their favorite team was on the right side of.
The Bulldogs walked away with a 10-0 win. Johnie Cooks was named Defensive Most Valuable Player as the Bulldogs notched their first bowl game shutout in Mississippi State football history and MSU held Kansas to just 35 rushing yards.
With that 10-0 victory, the Bulldogs ended the season at 8-4.