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Today in MSU History: Sherrill's First Upset

September 7, 1991 - 13th ranked Texas came to Starkville and were upset by Longhorn-killer Jackie Sherrill and the upstart Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Early in 1991, 13th-ranked Texas rolled into Starkville. Jackie Sherrill was the new coach at Mississippi State and had beaten Texas five consecutive times while at Texas A&M. State was coming off a 9th-straight season without a bowl invitation, and Texas was following up a 10-2 finish as Southwest Conference Champions. The Longhorns were 9.5-point favorites, and deservedly so.

Texas took an early 3 point lead, but State responded at the end of the first quarter when Sleepy Robinson hit Treddis Anderson for a 36-yard touchdown. Anderson was the lone Bulldog running left across the field, and went untouched until the 2 yardline, where he carried a Texas defender across the front left corner of the endzone.

On the ensuing possession, State's Tony Harris intercepted Peter Gardere, and State drove to the redzone before settling for a field goal that put the Bulldogs up 10-3. That lead held through the 2nd and 3rd quarters, and State extended it with another field goal early in the fourth quarter, taking the 13-3 lead.

After an interception, Texas looked to be headed for an easy score with Bo Robinson running in the clear, but State speedster Tony James chased him down and tackled him at the 6 yardline. MSU's defense held Texas to a field goal, cutting State's lead to 13-6.

"Texas had a chance at that time to completely turn the game around and win the game, but our guys said no and forced the field goal," Sherrill said. "There is no question that we don't have the same talent as Texas has, but that really has nothing to do with it. Any time you play, you play on emotions."

Texas threatened late in the fourth quarter, and drove inside the Mississippi State redzone. Three consecutive passes were knocked down by State defenders, and Rodney Stowers's sack on 4th down secured the game for the Bulldogs with 2 minutes left.

The play of the game was Tony James catching and tackling Bo Robinson. If Robinson scores, Texas would've needed a field goal on 4th and 10 to tie. Instead, they had to go for the first down and Stowers's sack clinched the game.

Sherrill credited his team's mentality. "It was one of those days where our players didn't believe Texas would win. They weren't afraid of Texas as much as I was."