clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Today in MSU History: The Battle of Starkville

11/25/1926 - After 13 years, Ole Miss finally beat Mississippi A&M, 7-6. Goalposts were torn down, fights ensued, and from the melee, a Golden Egg was created.

Thanksgiving Day, 1926. Mississippi A&M had won thirteen-straight against The University, including ten shutouts. This was the first match in Starkville in 9 years, and just like we do today, A&M fans rubbed in their recent dominance in the series. The Reflector boasted, "Welcome, Ole Miss. The fun is at your expense."

A day of rain had turned the field into mud, but 11,000 still came, with many forced buy standing-room only tickets after the bleachers were sold out.

In the second quarter, Ole Miss took the lead after a quick drive that began at midfield. Fullback Lacey Biles crossed the goal line and captain Webb Burke, who had never attempted an extra-point kick, kicked the ball through the uprights.

Mississippi A&M responded immediately with a 10 minute, 69-yard drive, as R.R. Biggers scored on 4th-and-goal from the four yardline. W.B. Ricks missed the kick, and Ole Miss held the 7-6 lead.

A&M never reached the redzone again, and Ole Miss finally had their long-awaited victory.

As the A&M players walked off the field and the fans sang the alma mater, pandemonium ensued on the visitor's side. Ole Miss fans rushed the field and tried to take down the goalposts.

Former A&M player and future Mississippi State baseball coach Paul Gregory recalled Dudy Noble's reaction during the chaos.

When [ole miss fans] began to pick [the chairs] up, Coach Dudy shouted, "Put those chairs down!"

But those orders fell on deaf ears of those celebrating 13 years of anger and frustration. And when Noble realized his threats weren't working, Gregory recalled:

Then he turned to us and growled: "Grab your chairs!"

Mayhem ensued. Fights broke out on the field as A&M players defended their field and their goalposts. After the melee, The Reflector claimed that "only a band of hoodlums" would swarm the field to steal souvenirs.

As the 1927 match approached the next year, the student bodies determined that a the schools should play for something - spoils to be agreed upon, so that The Battle of Starkville would not be replayed in future years.

On November 4, 1927, the students agreed that the loser of the football game would ship the goalposts to the winning team. As the proposal was presented to the administrations and alumni, the goalposts were deemed too cumbersome to ship between campuses.

Five days later, committees from Mississippi A&M and Ole Miss agreed to create a trophy featuring a golden football, affectionately referred to as The Golden Egg, as a prize for the winning team. The trophy cost $250, split between the two schools.

And that's what we play for this week. So as you watch State and Ole Miss players fight for The Golden Egg on Saturday, don't forget the student fight that started it all in 1926 - The Battle of Starkville.