1968 Gator Bowl
|1968 Gator Bowl|
|Date||December 28, 1968|
|Stadium||Gator Bowl Stadium|
|MVP||Terry McMillan, Missouri QB|
The 1968 Gator Bowl, part of the 1968 bowl game season, took place on December 28, 1968, at the Gator Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The competing teams were the Alabama Crimson Tide, representing the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and the Missouri Tigers, representing the Big Eight Conference.
The 1968 Alabama squad finished the regular season with an 8–2 record, with its two losses coming by a combined three points to Ole Miss and Tennessee. Following the team's victory over Miami, Alabama accepted an invitation to play in the Gator Bowl on November 20. The appearance marked the first for Alabama in the Gator Bowl, and the school's 22nd overall bowl game.
Missouri finished the regular season with a record of 7–3, with losses to Kentucky, Oklahoma and Kansas. Following the team's loss against Oklahoma, Missouri accepted an invitation to play in the Gator Bowl on November 18. The appearance marked the third for Missouri in the Gator Bowl, and the school's 11th overall bowl game.
In the second quarter, Alabama scored their only touchdown of the game after Donnie Sutton intercepted a McMillan pass and returned it 38 yards for touchdown to tie the game at 7–7. Missouri retook the lead late in the second when McMillan scored from five yards out to give the Tigers a 14–7 lead at the half. After a scoreless third quarter, the Alabama Crimson Tide scored its final points of the game on a 28-yard field goal by Mike Dean to cut the score to 14–10. Missouri responded with three touchdowns to put the game out of reach. The first score was set up after Roger Wehrli intercepted a Neb Hayden pass and returned it to the Bama 21-yard line. Four plays later, McMillan scored his third touchdown of the game on a two-yard run. Greg Cook scored next on a 35-yard touchdown run and Dennis Poppe had the final points after returning a Scott Hunter pass 47 yards for a touchdown.
For the game, Missouri completed zero passes, but rushed for 402 yards and out-gained the Crimson Tide in total offense 402 to 23. The 25-point loss was the worst for Alabama in its 22 bowl-game history, and the 35 points Missouri scored were the most Alabama had ever surrendered in a bowl game.
- "College Football Hall of Fame" (English). Retrieved 2011-02-03.
- Land, Charles (November 20, 1968). "It's Gator Bowl, Missouri for Crimson Tide". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 8. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
- "College Football Data Warehouse: Alabama bowl games" (English). Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- "College Football Data Warehouse: Missouri bowl games" (English). Retrieved 2011-02-01.
- Land, Charles (December 29, 1968). "Missouri does the showing, 35–10". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 11.
- "The Gator Bowl 1968: AP recap". Retrieved 2011-02-01.