After back-to-back bowl games in 1980 and 1981, Mississippi State opened the 1982 season with hopes of continuing the early success of head coach Emory Bellard. The Bulldogs returned much of their wishbone/wingbone offense with 3rd-year starting QB John Bond and senior RB Michael Haddix, but gone were the defensive stalwarts like Glen Collins and Johnie Cooks that held 1981 opponents under 12 points per game.
Bellard was the father of the wishbone offense and introduced it at Texas, under former MSU coach Darrell Royal in the late 1960's. But 15 years later, defenses were starting to figure out the 3-backfield, triple-option threat, and State was on the back-end of the trend.
After 3 easy non-conference wins, the Bulldogs faced a grueling schedule and paid the price, losing 6-straight to #5 Florida, #6 Georgia, Southern Miss (who finished 7-4), #17 Miami, Auburn (who finished 9-3), and #9 Alabama. State hung tight but just couldn't get a win, with 4 of the 6 losses by 10 points or less.
And things didn't get any easier with 6th-ranked, undefeated LSU coming to Starkville on November 13th.
Portable lights were brought in and the first modern night game played at Scott Field aired nationally on ABC.
And it was a thriller. The entire game was tightly contested, with the score knotted at 14 at halftime, and 17-all entering the fourth quarter.
With ten and a half minutes left, John Bond found Danny Knight who broke 3 tackles and raced along the sideline for a 64-yard touchdown, giving Mississippi State a 24-17 lead.
With 6 minutes left in the game, Bulldog kicker Dana Moore, who grew up in Baton Rouge but wasn't recruited by LSU, had a chance to put the game out of reach with a 41-yard field goal.
But he missed.
And less than a minute later, LSU fullback Mike Montz rumbled 35 yards for the tying touchdown with 5:45 left on the clock.
But Bond and company would get Moore another chance with 20 seconds left. And this time he nailed a 45-yarder that gave State the huge 27-24 upset win and sent a dagger through the heart of those that looked him over, just a few years earlier.
This year, State fans voted this game the 10th-best victory in the 100-year history of Scott Field. Given the exciting finish, highly-ranked opponent, and memorable circumstances with lights and national television, it's easy to see why it made the list.
State went on to win the Battle of the Golden Egg the next week in Jackson, but things didn't get better for Bellard, who managed to hang on for 3 more barely-mediocre seasons before being let go after 1985.