1979 Independence Bowl
1234 Total
Syracuse 03721 31
McNeese State 0070 7
DateDecember 15, 1979
StadiumState Fair Stadium[1]
LocationShreveport, Louisiana
MVPRB Joe Morris, Syracuse
DT Clay Carroll, McNeese State
United States TV coverage
NetworkChannel 17 (Atlanta)[1]
AnnouncersPete Van Wieren & Billy Kilmer[1]
Independence Bowl
 < 1978  1980

The 1979 Independence Bowl was a college football postseason bowl game between the McNeese State Cowboys and the Syracuse Orangemen.


This was McNeese State's 2nd Southland Conference title in three years. This was Syracuse's first bowl game since 1966.

Game summary

Gary Anderson gave the Orangemen a 3–0 lead on his 40-yard kick in the second quarter that proved to be the halftime lead. Ken Mandeville made it 10–0 on his 1-yard run. McNeese State retaliated with a Chad Millet touchdown run to make it 10–7 going into the fourth quarter. A 15 play, 73 yard drive culminated with an Art Monk touchdown catch from Bill Hurley. Hurley added in a touchdown run to make it 24–7. Tom Matichak made it 31–7 on a touchdown run of his own to seal off the scoring and give the Orangement the win. Joe Morris ran for 155 yards on 33 carries for Syracuse in their first bowl win since 1961.[2][3]


McNeese made one more bowl appearance in 1980, in the Independence Bowl. Syracuse made four more bowl appearances in the decade. They have not returned to the Independence Bowl since this game.


Statistics Syracuse McNeese State
First downs 23 13
Rushing yards 276 127
Passing yards 51 102
Interceptions 0 3
Total yards 327 229
Fumbles–lost 1–0 5–1
Penalties–yards 2–10 1–3
Punts–average 4–36.0 3–43.7


  1. ^ a b c Rudy Martzke (December 15, 1979). "'Big' Syracuse slight choice over 'little' McNeese St". Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York). p. 1D. Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  2. ^ "1979 Independence Bowl".
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)