1978 Liberty Bowl
20th Liberty Bowl
1234 Total
LSU 3066 15
Missouri 71300 20
DateDecember 23, 1978
StadiumLiberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
LocationMemphis, Tennessee
MVPJames Wilder Sr. (RB, Missouri)
RefereeRobert E. Carpenter (ACC)
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersChris Schenkel, Ara Parseghian and Verne Lundquist
Liberty Bowl
 < 1977  1979

The 1978 Liberty Bowl, a college football postseason bowl game, took place on December 23, 1978, at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee.[1] The competing teams in the 20th edition of the Liberty Bowl were the LSU Tigers of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Missouri Tigers of the Big Eight Conference. Missouri defeated LSU by a final score of 20–15.[2]



See also: 1978 LSU Tigers football team

The 1978 LSU squad finished the regular season with a record of 8–3 and losses against Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi State. The appearance marked the first for LSU in the Liberty Bowl, and the school's 21st overall bowl game. [3]


See also: 1978 Missouri Tigers football team

The 1978 Missouri squad finished the regular season with a record of 7–4 and losses against Alabama, Colorado, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The appearance marked the first for Missouri in the Liberty Bowl, and the school's fifteenth overall bowl game.

Game summary

Scoring summary

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP LSU Missouri
1 Missouri Earl Gant 15-yard touchdown run, Jeff Brockhaus kick good 0 7
1 LSU 37-yard field goal by Mike Conway 3 7
2 Missouri Kellen Winslow 16-yard touchdown reception from Phil Bradley, Jeff Brockhaus kick good 3 14
2 Missouri James Wilder Sr. 3-yard touchdown run, Jeff Brockhaus kick no good 3 20
3 LSU Charles Alexander 1-yard touchdown run, Mike Conway kick no good 9 20
4 LSU David Woodley 1-yard touchdown run, kick - 2 pt attempt no good 15 20
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 15 20



Statistics[4] LSU MU
First downs 12 18
Plays–yards 77–364 71–317
Rushes–yards 46–194 50–200
Passing yards 170 117
Passing: Comp–Att–Int 14–31–4 11–21–1


Each program later returned to the Liberty Bowl: Missouri lost to Purdue in 1980, then lost to Oklahoma State in 2018, while LSU fell to Baylor in 1985.

Missouri joined the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 2012 after playing 16 seasons in the Big 12, which was formed in 1996 when four schools from the former Southwest Conference combined with the Big Eight.

LSU defeated Missouri, 42–7, at Baton Rouge on October 1, 2016, in the first regular season meeting between the schools in what was also Ed Orgeron's first game as LSU head coach. Four years later, Eli Drinkwitz earned his first victory as Missouri coach with a 45-41 decision over LSU at Columbia. The game was originally scheduled for Baton Rouge, but moved three days prior to kickoff due to the approach of Hurricane Delta to the Louisiana coast.


  1. ^ "Liberty Bowl". sports-reference.com. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  2. ^ "Liberty Bowl Results/Attendance". libertybowl.org. Archived from the original on 2016-01-05. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  3. ^ "LSU Football Bowl History & Recaps". lsusports.net. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  4. ^ a b Mizzou Bowl Recaps (PDF). Memphis, TN: mutigers.com. 1978. Retrieved December 27, 2015.