Tiger Bowl Games – 1963 Cotton Bowl

Jerry Stovall


Danny LeBlanc


Lynn Amedee


Bo Campbell


Ray Poage


Ernie Koy

Walter Robertson of The Dallas Morning News called the 1963 Cotton Bowl "the Battle of the Identical Twins."
  • He explained: The Texas Longhorns and the LSU Tigers are about as close to carbon copies in their philosophies for winning football games as two teams can get.
  • Basically they both believe that the best formula for winning is to possess the football a considerably greater portion of the game than the opponent; that if you must give up the ball, give it up at such a position on the field where the opponent can do little with it except maybe eat it ...
  • So he predicted that the game will be no shoot-em-up, with footballs ricocheting around the floor of the Cotton Bowl cavern like Dodge City at high noon.
  • He referenced Texas coach Darrell Royal's famous saying: When you put that football in the air three things can happen - and two of them are bad.
    LSU fans remembered Darrell Royal from the 1950 Sugar Bowl when he QBed Bud Wilkinson's Oklahoma Sooners to a 35-0 romp over the Tigers.
    At the start of the '62 season, at age 38, Royal was named director of athletics with a raise to $20,000 a year.
  • And who can argue with success? The two teams had lost only one game between them in 1962 with two ties.
  • 9-0-1 Texas was ranked #4 in both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls following its first undefeated season since 1923. 8-1-1 LSU was #7 in the AP and #8 in the Coaches.
  • The Tigers were making their second appearance in the Cotton Bowl, the other being the frustrating 0-0 tie against Arkansas in 1947.
LSU's Season

All eyes were on Charlie McClendon for his first season as Tiger head coach in 1962.

  • He moved up from defensive assistant to replace Paul Dietzel, who shocked Tiger Nation by taking the head coaching job at West Point following the 1962 Orange Bowl.
  • With NCAA rules still limiting substitutions, Mac employed the same three-unit system that Dietzel invented for the 1958 national championship season.
  • Led by the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting, all-purpose back Jerry Stovall, the Tigers were tied by Rice and lost to Ole Miss, which finished the season a perfect 9-0.
  • Stovall averaged 4.1y per carry, led the team in pass receiving yardage with 213, averaged a fantastic 41.6y on kickoff returns, led in scoring with 66 points, and averaged 37y on 50 punts. Some writers were calling Jerry the finest back ever to step on the Cotton Bowl turf.
    Stovall was expected to become $100,000 richer shortly after the game. Both the New York Titans of the AFL and the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL drafted him. The Cards reportedly offered him a three-year contract, but the cash-strapped Titans made no serious move to sign him. The Houston Oilers of the AFL tried to negotiate the rights to Stovall from the Titans because Jerry said he would prefer the closer-to-home Oilers to St. Louis. However, the two franchises could not come to an agreement. So Jerry was set to sign with the Cardinals as was LSU T Don Estes.
  • The other White team HB, powerful and fleet sophomore Danny LeBlanc, drew comparisons to former Tiger star and current Packers FB Jimmy Taylor.
  • The Go team offensive specialists were led by QB Lynn Amedee and RBs Bo Campbell and Ray Wilkins.

The Tigers continued their tradition of playing rock-ribbed defense.

  • The White team, which played both ways, and the Chinese Bandits defensive unit pitched five shutouts during the season.
  • The Tigers surrendered only 34 points in ten games, tops in the nation. Nearly half of those, 15, were scored by Ole Miss.
  • LSU finished the regular season with a streak of 16 straight games without allowing a TD on the ground.

The Tigers flew to Dallas six days before the game

  • They worked daily before taking New Year's Eve off, as was the team's regimen the day before games all season.
  • After their final workout December 30, Coach McClendon expressed pleasure with the way his squad was getting ready for the big game.
  • The Tigers spent the 31st reviewing Texas film and attending a hall of fame luncheon. The team continued another regular season custom by going to a movie that night.
The Opponent
  • While Texas didn't employ the unit system to the extent that LSU did, the Longhorn depth, especially in the backfield, might have been even greater than the Tigers'.
  • Royal used two QBs during the season - senior Johnny Genung and junior Tommy Wade, the better passer. As in the LSU attack, both signal-callers ran the ball in the option offense.
  • FB Ray Poage and HBs Tommy Ford and Jerry Cook all ranked among the top nine ball carriers in the Southwest Conference.
  • The return of sophomore sensation Ernie Koy for the bowl game promised to make the Steer attack even more potent. Texas's answer to Stovall, Koy suffered a leg injury in the SMU game and sat out the final three contests of the regular season. Ernie would resume the punting chores, which he handled beautifully before his setback.
  • The Longhorns flew from Austin to Dallas just two days before the game.
    In what some might have seen as an omen, one of the two planes developed engine trouble on its way to Austin and had to turn back. So Royal put his top 36 players on the other plane and they made it safely to Dallas. In the meantime, the substitute plane that was dispatched to Austin also had difficulties. Finally, a third plane fetched the remainder of the squad. Roy joked that he was going out to the Dallas airport to meet the third plane. He joked, I want to see who had guts enough to get on that plane, and I'm going to start 'em.
  • Royal responded to criticism of his team's "lackluster" offense this way. We've had some people say, after we beat 'em, that we weren't so good. That reminds me of my little kid: after I give him a whipping, he goes in the back room and says it didn't hurt.
LSU 1962
Opponent
Score
Texas A&M
21-0
Rice
6-6
@Georgia Tech
10-7
Miami (FL)
17-3
@Kentucky
7-0
Florida
23-0
Ole Miss
7-15
TCU
5-0
@Mississippi State 28-0
@Tulane
38-3

Charles McClendon

Darrell Royal
Texas 1962
Opponent
Score
Oregon
25-13
@Texas Tech
34-0
Tulane 35-9
Oklahoma (Dallas) 9-6
Arkansas 7-3
@Rice 14-14
SMU
6-0
@Baylor
27-12
@TCU 14-0
Texas A&M 13-3
Surprisingly, LSU was installed as a 2-point favorite.
  • Royal on the point spread: I don't think anybody should be favored, but two points would indicate that the oddsmakers think it's about as close as any game might be.
  • McClendon: I don't see how we could be favored since we are back of Texas in the rankings, they are undefeated, and we have lost one game.
  • The teams had four common opponents during the season:
    Texas A&M lost to LSU 21-0 to start the season and fell to Texas 13-3 to close the season.
    Rice tied LSU 6-6 and Texas 14-14.
    TCU failed to score against both teams, falling to the Tigers 5-0 and to the Longhorns 14-0.
    Both teams belted Tulane: LSU 38-3, Texas 35-9.
  • LSU outscored the four common foes by a combined 70-9, a 61-point margin. Texas outscored them 76-26, a difference of 50.
  • Two of the four coaches of common opponents registered a prediction about the Cotton Bowl. Abe Martin of TCU took Texas because it has a better defense. Tommy O'Boyle of Tulane chose LSU because it has more experience. Hank Foldberg of Texas A&M and Jess Neely of Rice refused to pick a winner but agreed that it will be a good, even game.
  • The two lines were almost equal in size. LSU averaged 214 per man across its forward wall while Texas averaged 210.

Tiger fans flocked to nearby Dallas in much greater numbers than had traveled to Miami for the Orange Bowl the previous season.

The game was nationally telecast by CBS with Lindsey Nelson at the microphone.
The Game

A capacity crowd of 75,500 attended on an overcast and chilly (high of 50) day while CBS televised the game nationally with Lindsey Nelson and former Notre Dame coach Terry Brennan at the microphones.

First Quarter

  • The first half lived up to the expectation of a low-scoring defensive battle.
    LSU won the toss and elected to receive. Jerry Stovall returned the kick from the 10 to the 25. QB Jimmy Field ran the option play and kept over RT for 3y. Jerry took a quick pitch and ran through a big hole at RT to the 35 for a 1st down. FB Steve Ward went over LG for 4. Then the other HB, Danny LeBlanc, took a pitchout but met up with vaunted Texas LB Pat Culpepper, who stopped him for no gain. Field then rolled right and threw a flat pass to Stovall who was stopped after only 2y. Stovall kicked a line drive that rolled to the 17.
    On the first Texas play from scrimmage, LT Fred Miller set the tone for the afternoon by breaking though to drop HB Tommy Ford for a 5y loss.

    L: Tommy Ford; Fred Miller (78) spills Ford for 4y loss.
    Ernie Koy gained 2 around LE. Playing old-fashion Southern football, Royal had Koy punt on 3rd down. And what a punt it was. The pigskin hit the ground and took off like a jackrabbit toward the LSU goal line, coming to rest on the 12.
    The amazing 72y boot was not even a Cotton Bowl record since Kyle Rote had banged one 84y for SMU against Oregon in 1949.
    Stovall bowled over two defenders as he struck for 8y at RE. LeBlanc took a dive handoff and bulled over RT for a first down on the 25. Several plays later, the Tigers took the first gamble of the game when they went for it on 4th and short. Jimmy Field stayed under center in punt formation and sneaked for the 1st down on the 36. With the Go Team taking over, LSU made another 1st down on a 12y aerial from QB Lynn Amedee to Charles Cranford at the 48. But the drive bogged down and the rest of the period plus the early minutes of Q2 descended into a punting duel between Stovall and Koy. Jerry had kicks of 42, 49, and 57y during the afternoon. Royal sometimes ordered punts before 4th down when deep in his own territory.
    Before the period ended, Amedee hit TE Billy Truax to the Texas 34. But when the Tigers failed to gain another 1st down, McClendon sent in Stovall to punt to the coffin corner. But a bounce pass from C forced Jerry to hurry the kick, and it went into the EZ.
    END Q1: LSU 0 TEXAS 0
Second Quarter
  • The sun came out during the first minutes of the period and shown a little more brightly on LSU than Texas.
    The Longhorns punted again right after the change of directions, Koy booming it to the LSU 24.
    Stovall soon kicked it right back to the 26, TB Jerry Cook returning to the 34.
    With Texas still unable to move the ball, Koy punted to the LSU 19.
    A few plays later, Stovall got off a good one of 57y, and Ford made a short runback to the 25. But Texas was caught clipping and set back to their 14. From this point, the Southwest Conference champs made their most powerful showing of the first half. The Steers made four 1st downs before being stopped. Despite the poor field position, QB Johnny Genung surprised the Chinese Bandits by hitting Joe Dixon in the left flat. With blockers coming out, Joe stepped inside for a 17y gain to the 31.

    Dixon (21) starts 17y run after flat pass. 70 is T Charles Simmons. 85 is E Bob Flurry.
    Ford ripped off 11y and, after Koy was stopped cold, Genung went to the air again with another flat pass, this time to Koy on the right for 8. Then Ford gathered in a rollout pass for 6y and a first down at the LSU 45. After an incompletion, the Longhorns pulled a play designed to counter the Tigers' quick pursuit. Genung handed to a halfback who turned and gave it back to him. Johnny then rolled out and connected with 6'4 1/2" SE Charley Talbert for 15 more. At that point, Ruffin Rodrigue made it his personal mission to put a stop to the onslaught. The hard-hitting LB made two successive tackles, one on Koy after a gain of 3 and the second crashing Ford to the ground after only 2y. The sophomore LB from Thibodaux then tipped Genung's 3rd down slant-in pass intended for Talbert high in the air. It landed beyond everyone.

    Ruffin Rodrigue (40) stuffs Ford on 2nd down.
    Shoeless kicker Tony Crosby, who made only two FGs during the regular season, came on and tried a FG from the 32, but it was short and to the left. Texas's penetration to the 25 would be their deepest of the game.
    With 5:12 left, the Go Team took over on the 20 and marched to a FG. Cranford and Wilkins combined for 7y on two carries. Amedee's pass on 3rd down was incomplete but LB Dave McWilliams was flagged for running over HB Ray Wilkins, the intended receiver, to give LSU a 1st down at the 39. After Campbell rammed for 3, Amedee rolled left and tossed a swing pass to Wilkins for another 1st at the 49. Cranford got 6 on a quick opener but was dumped for a yard loss on 2nd down by NG Johnny Treadwell to set up another 3rd down. Amedee looked to pass but hustled away from the rushers for 6y around LE when he couldn't find an open receiver. On 4th and 1 at the Texas 46, McClendon rolled the dice and won when Cranford dove over the right side to the 40. With time ticking down, Amedee threw an incompletion, then ran for 6y. Then he converted another 3rd down by connecting with Truax over the middle for 22y to the 12.
    McClendon: The complicated defenses that Texas was throwing against us - I believe they were stunting more than usual - forced us to throw the ball more.
    With 1:12 on the clock, Stovall replaced Campbell and drove over RT for 3, DT Scott Appleton making the stop. Danny LeBlanc came in and took a swing pass to the 5. With time running out and no timeouts left, McClendon sent in Field with the kicking tee on 3rd down. Amedee booted a 23y FG to break the scoring ice. LSU 3 Texas 0 (0:08) Dwight Robinson intercepted a Genung pass on the last play of the half.
    END Q2: LSU 3 TEXAS 0

Third Quarter

  • LSU got the big break of the game on the kickoff when Cook ran the ball from the 15 until he was hit hard by Gene Sykes and Dennis Gaubatz (the only Texan on the LSU team) and fumbled. The ubiguitous Amedee, who kicked off, recovered on the Texas 37.
    After a Ward 3y plunge, Field rolled left, turned, fired an 11y-pass down the middle to LE Gene Sykes. Following a short Ward run to the 22, Field rolled right to pass but, spotting an opening to his left, took off downfield. HB Joe Dixon had a shot at him against the sideline, but Jimmy sidestepped him and continued into the EZ for his first TD of the season. Amedee added the point. LSU 10 Texas 0 (13:06)

    Field takes off on TD run.
    The Steers roared back, moving into LSU territory before bogging down. Cook ran back the kickoff 23y to the 33. The Longhorns concentrated on running to their right. First, Genung rolled that way on a keeper for 9y. Johnny tried the same play again, but LT Miller blocked his path for no gain. Then Cook took a quick pitchout and drove for 5 for a 1st down at the LSU 45. Finally, Genung gave to Cook on a counter play to the left for 4. The senior QB from Wichita Falls then rolled left and spotted WE Ben House open just inside the sideline for a 1st down at the 38. But the Longhorns could move no further, and Koy punted into the EZ.
    Ater Stovall's 57y punt rolled dead on the 14, Texas pushed out near midfield. But G Jim Turner batted Tommy Wade's pass into the air, and Rodrigue intercepted on the LSU 47. Field passed to Stovall for 12 to move the chains. LeBlanc ambled through LT for 9. Field passed incomplete into the EZ. A few plays later E Jack Gates made a great diving catch to give LSU 1st-and-Goal at the 7.

    Jack Gates makes diving catch.
    But Cook and Treadwell teamed up to stop Stovall for a loss of 5y around RE. Another loss set the Tigers back as the period ended.
    END Q3: LSU 10 TEXAS 0
    McClendon: I never felt safe with a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter because Texas has come back many times this year.

Fourth Quarter

  • LSU squandered the scoring opportunity and turned the ball over on downs on the 24. With UT fans wondering why FB Ray Poage hadn't touched the ball (he ended the game with no carries), Texas penetrated LSU territory to the 32. But a reverse handoff from QB Tommy Wade to Cook went awry, and LB Buddy Hamic covered the ball on the LSU 29.
    Cook: Somebody kicked me in the head, and I went one way and the ball went the other. They were hitting pretty hard.
    From there, the Go Team got going again. Danny Neumann made a good catch in traffic of Amedee's pass for 16y to the LSU 48. Swivel-hips Campbell boomed over RT for 10. Stovall came in and lined up at WB in the gap between LE and LT. He took a handoff and glided around RE for 14. After two plays gained 6, Amedee hurled a strike down the middle to Truax for 14y to the 8. Following a 1y run by Campbell and a 2y gain by Wilkins, Amedee lofted a perfect strike to Truax in the EZ. However, an official detected an ineligible receiver downfield, setting LSU back to the 20. It was the Tigers' only penalty of the afternoon. Amedee tried to connect with Wilkins but WE Tommy Lucas and Cook broke it up. So Amedee booted a 37-yarder to break the Cotton Bowl distance record that he himself had set earlier. It was Lynn's 7th three-pointer in 10 tries for the season, an outstanding percentage in that era of straight ahead kicking. LSU 13 Texas 0 (4:58)

    Lynn Amedee boots his 2nd FG.
    Amedee: When we arrived last Thursday and one of the Texas writers told me the record was only 22 yards, I figured I had a good chance to break it. I knew Texas was a tough defensive team from the films and figured I'd probably get a couple of chances to kick field goals. That last one barely got over. I thought for a moment it hit the crossbar, but somebody told me it didn't. That was a good one - my longest ever. Maybe it'll stand a few years.
    Another long Koy punt of 69y put LSU in a hole at its 2. Stovall's subsequent kick was returned by Hix Green 9y to the 30. gave the Longhorns good field position. They drove to the 30 before Stovall intercepted a Wade pass that sailed over the receiver's head and returned it 13y to the 32.
    Wade: LSU played a great ball game. They were rushing me harder than anybody I've ever played against. We have a fine defensive team, but what they have is unbelievable.
    The Tigers retained possession to run out the clock on their second straight bowl victory.
    FINAL SCORE: LSU 13 TEXAS 0
    Hundreds of Tiger fans surrounded Stovall to express their appreciation for his career in Tigertown.

Jubilant Tigers carry Coach McClendon off the field.

Statistics

  • First downs: LSU 17 Texas 9
  • Yards rushing: LSU 126 Texas 80
  • Passing: LSU 21-13-0/133 Texas 22-8-3/92
  • Return yardage: LSU 3-18 Texas 9-114
  • Fumbles-Lost: LSU 0-0 Texas 2-2
  • Penalties: LSU 1-15 Texas 4-44
  • Punting average: LSU 9-44 Texas 8-22

Because of his passing, FG kicking, and the fumble recovery, Amedee was voted the game's Outstanding Back in a landslide.


CBS sideline reporter Jim Simpson
interviews McClendon before the game


Jimmy Field


Field calls signals in a typical LSU formation.


Steve Ward


Pat Culpepper


Charles Cranford


Billy Truax


Jerry Cook


Johnny Genung


Joe Dixon


Charley Talbot


Johnny Treadwell


Scott Appleton


Dwight Robinson


Stovall runs for 14 behind great blocking.


Gene Sykes


Dennis Gaubatz


Tommy Wade


Danny Neumann


Tommy Lucas

Post-Game

LSU Locker Room

  • Captain Fred Miller presented the game ball to Coach McClendon, who had been given a victory ride on the shoulders of his players at the end of the game. Mac said: They gave me the first one (after the victory over Texas A&M in the season opener) and they gave me the last one.
    After congratulating his own staff and players, Mac addressed the Longhorns through the Texas reporters. We've come to know you and your coaches pretty well, and you're good people. And as they say in Texas, you're big people. We are proud to have been here.
    Charlie Mac pointed to the end of the first half and the opening of the second as the turning point. Those final seconds of the first half with the field goal and the touchdown opening of the third quarter put 10 points on the scoreboard for us. ... I never felt safe until we got through 60 minutes of football ...
    I was extremely proud of the whole team - and especially proud of our 18 seniors. They gave us the leadership again today that they have consistently given all year, and it was a pleasure to coach such a dedicated group of young men.
    We came to Dallas to have a good time, and we had a good time. Our players enjoyed themselves and worked hard to make a good showing. It was, like all great victories, a team effort.

    Amedee on his award: I'm proud to accept this on behalf of may teammates who made it possible. And it will serve as a nice birthday present for Judy (his wife) ... since it's the only thing I can afford. ... After this, it won't hurt too bad if the pros don't want me. It's a game I'll remember the rest of my life. I think it was the best game our team played all season. What defense we were playing. And did you see Jimmy (Field) on that touchdown run? He faked the pants off of 'em. ...
    Lynn was happy with his passing (9-of-13 for 93y): But a couple of them shouldn't have been completed. Neumann made a great catch of one, and Truax really stretched for another. ... I think I could make it with the pros as a kicker, but I hope to prove I can play QB. This was my best college game, and I sure don't want to stop now.
    Jack Gates: We got to Dallas early and that helped to relax us. We got used to the climate and got acquainted with the town. We felt real comfortable out there today.

Texas Locker Room

  • Royal acknowledged the thorough whipping LSU had given his Longhorns. But, bitter as it is, it still has some value. I don't believe you can appreciate success unless you've known defeat. LSU is truly a great team. We're disappointed, but I don't feel that it is a disgrace to lose to the kind of team that beat us. I wouldn't say we played our best game, but certainly we had a great effort. If our boys hadn't had the character and the courage to scrap like they did, it would have been a lot more embarrassing than it was. And I want everybody to know I'm just as proud of my boys as I was after those victories all season.
    I just didn't expect them to pass and catch like that. Their passing was tremendous, and their receiving was great.
    He admitted he couldn't remember when a team dominated his squad as LSU did. When you fumble and get passes intercepted like that, you're gonna be dominated.
    G-LB Johnny Treadwell, winner of the trophy for Best Lineman, called LSU the best football team we've played against since I've been at the University of Texas. We had a bad day. You can't do that against a good club. They have more power and are more aggressive than Ole Miss (referring to the Longhorns victim in the '62 Cotton Bowl). I think LSU wanted it more than Ole Miss did last year.
    Treadwell's teammates agreed with his evaluation of LSU.
    T Scott Appleton: They just played better defense. ... they were the strongest we met ... we just couldn't move.
    Koy: Heck, they just beat us. They were waiting for everything we did. They had us mapped pretty good. We haven't played a better team this year.
    G Bobby Gamblin admitted the fumbles took a toll on the Longhorn morale. Anytime you fumble, it's a mental letdown, but, generally, I don't think we played as well as we could. ... I thought we'd pull it out like we've always done before.
LSU received $175,000 for playing the Cotton Bowl. $75,000 of that went to the Southeastern Conference to split equally among the other members.

 

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