18 days till kickoff | Ole Miss Sports

Drawing on 20 years of beat writer memories sometimes you need a little help.

Sometimes help is good when you’re drawing on one or two years, much less 20. So, kudos to Ben Garrett of The Ole Miss Spirit for a little refresher.

David Cutcliffe took over Tommy Tuberville’s 1998 and coached his first game as the Rebels’ new coach in the Independence Bowl against Texas Tech.

The Rebels were probably already ready going to win the game when Deuce McAllister iced it by returning an on-side kick for a touchdown. The final was 35-18.

Credit Ben Garrett for that memory.

I was covering Mississippi State at the time. What I remember about the Independence Bowl is that it was a late kickoff, as it often was back then, and the Cotton Bowl was the morning at 10.

Gene Phelps was our sports editor and columnist then. He covered Ole Miss in Shreveport, got out of there some time after midnight and drove to Dallas where he got a room somewhere on the perimeter and met me at the Cotton Bowl the next morning for MSU and Texas.

Baseball has its day-night doubleheader, but that was the first night-morning doubleheader.

Gene and his wife, Nancy, were already at the Cotton Bowl when I arrived.