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Today in MSU History: 2 Big Wins Over Auburn

The 1941 comeback against Auburn set State up for the SEC Title, and Jackie Parker accounted for 6 TD's and 7 PAT's in the State/Auburn match of 1952.

November 8, 1941

In Birmingham, 11,000 fans gathered to see Auburn take on the 16th-ranked, undefeated (5-0-1) Mississippi State College Maroons, who were campaigning for the Southeastern Conference championship.

Auburn opened the scoring in the second quarter, when Jim Reynolds capped a 66-yard drive with a 5-yard TD run.

The turning point of the game came in the third quarter, with Auburn still holding the 7-0 lead.  Facing 4th and a foot close to midfield, Auburn elected to punt.  State's drive began at the 25 yardline and quickly ended on the next play.

"[Blondy] Black exploded on a wide end sweep, danced clear of a half-dozen tacklers and scooted up the east side line to score without a man near him." -Tuscaloosa News

On Auburn's first play after the kickoff, State's Emmett Ray intercepted Mong Gafford and returned the ball to Auburn's 12 yardline.  Two plays later, Blondy Black crossed the goal line again and gave State a 14-7 lead.

Auburn's last chance came late in the game after Black fumbled at midfield.  A long completion put Auburn in the redzone, but the next three plays all went in State's favor - a sack, an Auburn penalty, and an intercpetion by Walter "Buck" Craig.

In State's first victory over Auburn since 1930, Blondy Black ran 27 times for 168 yards, and completed 4 passes in a row in the first quarter (quite the accomplishment in the run-heavy 1940s).  Black is one of the best - and oft-overlooked - running backs to wear the Maroon and White, finishing his career with an astonishing average of 6.1 yards per carry.


November 8, 1952

The end of the 1952 season was not kind to Mississippi State.  Consecutive road games in Tuscaloosa, New Orleans, Auburn, Baton Rouge, and Oxford awaited the Bulldogs and their star newcomer - junior-college transfer quarterback (and shortstop) Jackie Parker.

In the middle of that grueling stretch of road games, 3-3 Miss. State faced 1-5 Auburn in an early back-and-forth affair.

State's opening drive went 90 yards, with Joe Robertson crossing the goal line first for the Maroons.  Auburn tied it after an 88 yard charge, but State marched 81 yards, capped by Parker's TD pass to John McKee.  Auburn was held on their next possession, but State's Joe Fortunato fumbled at the 18 yardline and Auburn tied it at 14 a few plays later.

Finally, defenses showed up and State began to get some separation.

The next two Miss. State scores were set up by a pair of Auburn fumbles inside their own 9 yardline, giving the Maroons a 28-14 advantage.

State continued to dominate Auburn and extend the lead throughout the 3rd and 4th quarter.  After Auburn scored 21 in the final period, the score seemed somewhat respectable at 49-34 in favor of Mississippi State College.

In total, Parker ran for 3 touchdowns, threw for 3 more, and kicked 7 extra points. With two games to go in the season, Parker alone had totalled 98 points, tying the SEC single-season record set by LSU's Steve Van Buren in 1943.