Throwback Thursday: A Fourth-Quarter Comeback Against Ole Miss Saved Alabama's 1965 Title Run

Christopher Walsh

Most Alabama fans are will aware of the 1964-66 run in which the the Crimson Tide at least shared in two national titles and then didn't after going undefeated during the final year of that stretch. 

Only Alabama came oh-so-close to having the 1965 title run derailed before it really had a chance to get going. 

On Oct. 2, it hosted Ole Miss, with the Rebels still in their heyday years under John Vaught, who had a perennial SEC and national-title contender esince 1952. 

Alabama had taken a controversial 18-17 loss to Georgia in its season opener, but rebounded with a 27-0 victory over Tulsa a week later. Ole Miss was coming off a loss to Kentucky, so the implications would be severe, especially for the losing side. 

Neither side was able to hold the momentum through the first half, when Ole Miss took a narrow 9-7 lead. Alabama's points came from a 5-yard run by quarterback Steve Sloan, and neither side was able to post anything on the scoreboard during the third quarterback.

Ole Miss quarterback Jimmy Heidel, who had been recruited by Alabama, ran in a 1-yard touchdown to give the Rebels a 16-7 cushion, when the Crimson Tide countered with two drives that saved the season.

The first resulted in David Ray's 37-yard field goal to bring Alabama back to within striking distance. The Crimson Tide subsequently got the ball back at its own 11-yard-line with 7:33 remaining and drove the length of the field. 

Sloan ended up scoring again, this time on a 9-yard run and Ray made the extra point to the relief of the 70,000 fans on hand at Legion Field. 

A week later Alabama re-entered the Associated Press Poll, which included just 10 teams at the time. Despite a 7-7 tie against Tennessee it still posted the best record in the SEC, and during the first year the final AP poll was held after the bowl games topped No. 3 Nebraska in the Orange Bowl to vault up from No. 4 to No. 1.  


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Comments (1)
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Tyler  Martin
Tyler Martin


Even though it has been one-sided for the most part, the history between these two schools is so interesting to me