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Ole Miss faithful still fondly remember ‘the Hit,’ almost 30 years ago in Little Rock

War Memorial Stadium

David Kellum will be handling play-by-play duties for the Ole Miss Radio Network this Saturday when Mississippi travels to face Arkansas in Little Rock. It will be his fourth trip there as the “Voice of the Rebels.”

Good news Rebel fans, he’s 3-0 in the capital city of the Natural State.

His call of the win in 1990 included “The Hit,” heard for years to come. With the Rebels standing firm at the one-foot-line, Ole Miss escaped Little Rock with a 21-17 win over the 13th-ranked Razorbacks.

Until that day, Ole Miss hadn’t won in Little Rock since 1960 and broke a five game Arkansas winning streak.

“Chauncey Godwin turned (Arkansas running back Ron Dickerson, Jr.) back inside and (Chris Mitchell) ‘Creek’ stopped his diving effort shy of the goal line, and in bounds, the clock runs out and the Rebs win,” Kellum recalled. “It was a big win for (Ole Miss head coach) Billy Brewer and the 1990 team.”

Facing third down from the Rebel five-yard-line, Arkansas quarterback Quinn Grovey ran the read option to the left side. Almost immediately, pressure was applied by defensive lineman Phillip Kent. Grovey pitched to Dickerson around the 10-yard-line. Dickerson then spun away from a would-be tackle by Ole Miss linebacker Shawn Cobb and Godwin stood up the tailback, but couldn’t hold him.

Dickerson would not go down easy.

An eventual NFL running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, Dickerson began to reach for the goal line about one foot short of there when Chris Mitchell stopped him in his tracks. With no timeouts, Arkansas could not get another play off. The Rebels would eventually finish the season with a 9-3 record and a Gator Bowl berth.

Oddly enough, Cobb’s missed tackle might have saved Ole Miss after all. Kellum remembers that if Cobb had made the tackle, Dickerson would have gone out of bounds, stopping the clock.

“One of the amazing breaks on that play was a rare missed tackle,” Kellum said. “Arkansas had no timeouts and ran the option to the left. Shawn Cobb, one of Ole Miss’ best ever tacklers, missed Dickerson on the sideline. His angle was such that he only grazed him. Had Shawn hit him solidly he would have knocked Dickerson out of bound and the Hogs would have gotten another snap.”

Both David Kellum and Quinn Grovey, now a member of the Arkansas Razorback Sports Network, will be inside the stadium on Saturday night. Twenty-eight years later, you can be sure both well remember that fall Saturday when all that mattered was one foot between victory and defeat.

RELATED: Rebels and Razorbacks both looking for first SEC win.

(You can follow Brad Logan on Twitter @BradLoganCOTE)

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