1963 Liberty Bowl Recap
Mississippi State 16, NC State 12
A fierce Wolfpack rally fell short as State dropped a 16-12 decision to Mississippi State during a frigid Liberty Bowl clash. Mississippi State jumped out to an early lead with 13 first-quarter points as the players battled 19-degree temperatures plus a 17 mile-per-hour wind.
The Bulldogs’ first touchdown came on an 11-yard return of a blocked punt. On its next possession, MSU took advantage of a short punt and quickly increased its lead to 13-0. The Bulldogs once again widened the margin early in the second period with an impressive 43-yard field goal into the wind.
Coach Earle Edwards’ Wolfpack, now trailing 16-0, began to work its way back into the contest. State put together a strong drive just prior to halftime, and when quarterback Jim Rossi went into the end zone from one yard out it was 16-6 at intermission.
The Pack dominated play in the second half, but a stubborn Bulldog defense and the brutal weather conditions thwarted a number of NCSU drives.
Finally, with only 2:28 remaining on the clock, State managed to cut the lead to 16-12 when Rossi hit Ray Barlow with a five-yard touchdown toss.
However, after the Wolfpack’s two-point conversion failed, Mississippi State was able to control the ball for the remainder of the game.
Rossi paced the Pack on the day, rushing 18 times for 67 yards and passing for another 58 yards. His efforts earned the senior signal-caller the honor of Game’s Outstanding Back.
Mississippi State was led by Hoyle Granger, who carried the ball 13 times for 94 yards.