Dec 31

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December 31, 2000: Mississippi State and Texas A&M Play Thrilling Independence Bowl

2000 Independence BowlOn this day in 2000, Mississippi State beat Texas A&M 43-41 in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana. Played in unexpected snow, it was the most thrilling game of the whole bowl season.

Before the number of college bowl games exploded in the 2000s, spending the holidays in Shreveport was considered to be the worst postseason for any team.  However, the game for years featured strong teams from the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 and was generally a good one.

Both teams rolled into the game with 7-4 records. Just before kickoff a snowstorm rolled in and covered the field in snow, making the game was bit sloppy with missed extra points and numerous turnovers. A&M led 20-14 at halftime and 35-21 in the 4th quarter.  The Bulldogs rallied with two touchdowns to send the game into overtime.

A&M struck first with running back Ja’Mar Toombs scoring a 25-yard touchdown on the first play of overtime. But Terence Kitchens extra point was blocked and returned for two points. Down 41-37, Bulldog quarterback Wayne Madkin scored on 6-yard touchdown run to seal the game.

College football purists have expressed concern that some of the playoff bowl games will be played on New Year’s Eve. If the games are half as exciting as the 2000 Independence Bowl, planning New Year’s Eve around football will not be an issue.

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