The 1961 edition of the Sugar Bowl featured the 2nd-ranked Ole Miss Rebels and the unranked Rice Owls. After winning the game, Ole Miss won the national championship.
In the first quarter, Rebels quarterback Jake Gibbs scored on an 8-yard touchdown run. In the third quarter, Rice scored on a 2-yard run by Blume, but the extra point missed and Rice was still trailing, 7–6. In the fourth quarter, Ole Miss put the game away with a 3-yard touchdown run from Gibbs as Ole Miss won, 14–6. Rice won the statistical battle, but their quarterback threw 4 interceptions, and the team made some key mistakes.