The 1960s was a rough decade for Mississippi State football.
The maroon and white would register just two non-losing seasons for the entire decade, and three coaches would come and go in that time frame.
But there were a few rays of light that shown through the dark decade of the 60s. One of those rays was the 1963 season. Going into that season, Mississippi State had not had a winning season since 1957. The Bulldogs, coached by Paul Davis, were able to open with a strong 43-0 win over Howard (now Samford), and things seemed to be off on the right track. And for the first time in awhile, they actually were, as State would go on to register a strong 7-2-2 season, including wins over Tennessee, Auburn, and LSU, as well as a Liberty Bowl victory over North Carolina State.
Mississippi State came into that November 9th game against the Tigers in 1963 with a modest 4-2-1 record. The Tigers, on the other hand, came in with a robust 6-0 record, and a ranking of 5 in the AP Poll. Records would prove not to matter that day, however, as Mississippi State played the top five Tigers neck and neck. After forcing an Auburn interception late in the game, Mississippi State would drive down to set up the game winning 36 yard Justin Canzale field goal with just 22 seconds remaining to gain the upset.
The game would be the only regular season loss for the Tigers, who went on to earn an Orange Bowl berth.