It’s a rivalry nearly as old as the game itself.
In 1894 — only 21 years after the premiere set of intercollegiate football rules were created — LSU and Ole Miss met for the first time. The Rebels won a 26-6 contest at State Field in Baton Rouge, the precursor to the 92,542-seat coliseum that stands today.
The matchup still holds its value after 118 years.
“The rivalry should make it for an intense game,” said senior offensive lineman Josh Dworaczyk. “I know a lot of guys who are really excited.”
It’s safe to say the Tigers and Rebels are familiar with each other. The two programs have met 100 times, with LSU leading the all-time series 57-39-4.
It wasn’t until 1945 that both squads began to match up annually, and since that point, there has been a plethora of moments that have intensified the cross-state rivalry.
Many older Tiger fanatics could probably recall Billy Cannon’s electrifying 89-yard punt return touchdown on Halloween night in 1959, as the No. 1-ranked Tigers downed the No. 3 Rebels in a 7-3 victory.
It is a moment that still reverberates through Tiger Stadium’s walls, as the footage of the return is played before every home game in Baton Rouge.
The matchup heated up from 1958 to 1962, as both were top-10 ranked squads in five of their six contests. The Tigers would win three of the six games, but Ole Miss got the last laugh with a Sugar Bowl victory against LSU in 1960.
The 1972 season brought its share of thrills, too, and the contest that year has been forever remembered by both fanbases as “The Night the Clock Stopped.”
With four seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Rebels held a 16-10 advantage with the Tigers on the Ole Miss 10-yard line.
After a lengthy incompletion, the clock displayed one second remaining in the contest, only for LSU to score on the final play of the game and steal a 17-16 victory.
The new millennium added even more memories to the “Magnolia Bowl.”
The No. 3 Tigers met the No. 15 Rebels in Oxford, Miss., in 2003, a year when Ole Miss entered the weekend 6-0 against conference opponents. The winner would advance to the SEC Championship game.
En route to both an SEC title and a BCS National Championship, LSU downed Ole Miss 17-14.
The Tigers went on to win the next four games against the Rebels, but 2008 and 2009 shifted the tide.
Ranked No. 18 and No. 10 respectively in 2008 and 2009, the Tigers dropped both games, including a heartbreaking loss in 2009 after LSU completed a 40-yard pass deep in Rebels’ territory as time expired.
Now Ole Miss returns to Baton Rouge for the 101st matchup of the rivalry.
“It’s going to be huge,” said Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace. “They’re a great team, and they were a top-five team earlier this season. We can take anybody that you put in front of us. We’ll prepare this week, and we’ll be ready for [the Tigers].”