Remembering The Immaculate Deflection

I have a look back at the wind-blown field goal game, now 30 years old, in today’s Daily Journal.

The story focuses on Kelly Powell, the Ole Miss quarterback on that day, and on the current Ole Miss kicker, Andrew Ritter.

Due to space constraints, there’s a lot of good stuff that didn’t get in from Powell.

Here’s some of it:

(The scene on the field after the game)

“Kids were wanting sweat bands, chin straps. We just got mobbed. We were trying to get to the locker room. I had just walked in the locker room down when the bowl people from the Independence Bowl were announcing our invitation. Everybody jumped up and started cheering. It was loud. It was big-time.”

(What was the reaction of MSU players?)

“There were a few of them that I was friends with that I knew and had met in previous years. It was one of those deals … they couldn’t believe it. They were still in disbelief. They were shocked. I was too. We still hadn’t realized what had just happened. It took several hours before reality sunk in and we knew fate was on our side.”

Here’s Ritter from during the week:


More from Powell

(What did coach Brewer say after the game?)

“He was just as elated as we were, excited. He had taught us from Day 1 that every time you go out on that field it’s a war. The last man standing is going to win. Don’t ever give up. I guess we held to that motto. We didn’t give up, it was a war today, we’re the victors. It was a short speech. He gave it to the Independence people to stand up and talk. From that point on it was a mad house.”

(On second-half adjustments)

“They had done a few things the first half that we weren’t expecting. They did a lot of blitzing. We were successful on some of it, and some of it we were not. Once they got ahead 21-7 they kind of laid back, and they gave us the opportunity to make some strikes, score a couple of touchdowns and actually go ahead. When we went ahead they started back blitzing and stuff, and they just couldn’t get to us. We had made some adjustments at halftime. Once they figured they had the game in control at halftime with what they were doing, we adjusted, came out after halftime, and we hit them so hard with a score or two in the third quarter, they were kind of surprised. They tried to fight back, but by that time we were too far in the confidence column as far as continuing to progress throughout the game.”

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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