1971 Gator Bowl
1234 Total
Ole Miss 01477 28
Auburn 147140 35
DateJanuary 2, 1971
StadiumGator Bowl
LocationJacksonville, Florida
MVPPat Sullivan       (QB, Auburn)
Archie Manning (QB, Ole Miss)
Gator Bowl
 < 1969 1971 (Dec)

The 1971 Gator Bowl (January) was a college football postseason bowl game between the unranked Ole Miss Rebels and the 10th-ranked Auburn Tigers, both of the Southeastern Conference. It was played in Jacksonville, Florida, on January 2, 1971, the day after the major bowl games.[1][2][3][4]


This was a matchup of two SEC teams, fourth-place Ole Miss and second-place Auburn, that rarely played each other. Although in the same conference, they had met only once since 1953, in the Liberty Bowl in December 1965.

The Rebels made their fourteenth straight bowl appearance in Johnny Vaught's final full season as head coach, but it was their first Gator Bowl since 1958. This was Archie Manning's final game as Rebel quarterback. This was Auburn's third straight bowl game and first Gator Bowl since 1955. Auburn quarterback Pat Sullivan won the Heisman Trophy the following season.

Neither head coach was on the sidelines due to medical reasons: Johnny Vaught from a mild heart attack and Auburn's Ralph Jordan was recovering from an appendectomy.[1]


First quarter

Second quarter

Third quarter

Fourth quarter


Auburn jumped out to a 21–0 lead and Ole Miss pulled to within seven at halftime, but could get no closer as the teams traded touchdowns in the second half. Manning went 19-of-28 for 180 yards while rushing for 95 yards on 11 carries, with two touchdowns and one interception. Sullivan went 27-of-43 for 351 yards and rushed for 35 yards on 10 carries, with three touchdowns and one interception.[5]


Vaught was replaced by Billy Kinard before the next season started. Kinard reached one bowl in his tenure before being fired midway through the 1973 season, and Vaught replaced Kinard for the final eight games, going 5–3. Ralph Jordan led Auburn for five additional seasons and the Tigers reached four more bowl games.


Statistics   Ole Miss     Auburn  
First Downs 21 23
Rushing Yards 209 208
Passing Yards 256 351
Total Yards 465 559
Passes (C-A-I) 23–39–1 27–44–1
Punts–Average 6–47.3 4–40.5
Fumbles lost 4 2
Penalties–Yards 2–13 6–63

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Auburn overcomes Ole Miss". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. January 3, 1971. p. 1C.
  2. ^ a b c "Sullivan, Auburn top Ole Miss, 35-28, for Gator Bowl victory". Sunday Star-News. (Wilmington, North Carolina). UPI. January 3, 1971. p. 1C.
  3. ^ "Auburn wins Gator, 35-28". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. January 3, 1971. p. 1, part 4.
  4. ^ Easterling, Bill (January 3, 1971). "Tigers win a great one". Tuscaloosa News. (Alabama). p. 1B.
  5. ^ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/ole/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2013-14/misc_non_event/OM_bowl_history.pdf[bare URL PDF]