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Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Sugar Bowl Memory

Toomer's after an Auburn vict'ry

As we await the Sugar Bowl, this bowl game does bring back some memories of my first year at Auburn in 1972.

Auburn and Oklahoma last met in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1972 in New Orleans at Tulane Stadium. Both teams were ranked in the top 5. Auburn lost to Alabama 31-7 in the last game of the season and finished with a 9-2 record. Oklahoma lost to Nebraska 35-31 who went on to defeat the Crimson Tide 38-6 in the Orange Bowl. Nebraska was undefeated and was crowned the National Champions. Yes, there was a time when Nebraska dominated college football.

This game featured two great quarterbacks. Pat Sullivan of Auburn and Jack Mildren of Oklahoma. I was a fan of both players and Jack Mildren went on to play defensive back in the NFL for the Baltimore Colts and New England Patriots.

Jack Mildren of Oklahoma  had a career day at quarterback. He ran the ball 30 times for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns. Oklahoma had 439 rushing yards and only 11 yards passing. They had a back named Greg Pruitt and they ran the "Wishbone" offense. Pat Sullivan did throw for 250 yards, but Auburn only had 40 yards rushing. Harry Unger, one of my classmates scored two rushing touchdowns in this game for Auburn. Auburn lost 40-22 giving Oklahoma their first Sugar Bowl win since 1950.

Of course, I am hoping for a better outcome at this "Sugar Bowl". I do expect a good offensive effort by Auburn, if all key players are healthy.


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