Ah, the wonders of YouTube.
There were plenty of memorable games during Brett Favre's time at Southern Miss, but none stood out more than the time he led the Golden Eagles to a 30-26 win over Florida State, which was ranked No. 6 in the nation at the time.
It was 1989 and the Golden Eagles were 22-point underdogs as they traveled to take on the Seminoles in a TBS-televised game to open the season in Jacksonville, Fla. Those steep odds were understandable considering USM had lost to FSU by an average margin of 41 points over the three previous seasons.
It was an early kickoff for a “home game” for the Golden Eagles that was originally scheduled to take place in Hattiesburg. Instead, the city of Jacksonville lured the game to the Gator Bowl with a $500,000 check.
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With five turnovers, it was far from a perfect contest for Favre and the Golden Eagles. After struggling the year prior against FSU, Favre completed 21 of 39 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns.
Favre led USM on a game-winning, 58-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard toss to tight end Anthony Harris in the end zone with 23 seconds remaining for the game-winning score in front of a crowd of 48,746.
After the the touchdown, the TBS play-by-play man points out that “Favre is dancing at the 50 yard line. He's going nuts.”
FSU coach Bobby Bowden told media afterward that he wasn't exactly stunned by the outcome.
“It really disappoints me, but it doesn't surprise me,” Bowden said at the time. “I had a feeling Favre was ready to bust loose against us.”
Thankfully, we can revisit that game on YouTube. The whole broadcast was posted on the website early this year and is well worth a look.
Florida State also lost to Clemson the next week, but finished with a 10-2 mark and a 41-17 win over Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl to finish No. 3 in the nation.
USM, which played a brutal schedule that season, lost the next four games and finished the year with a 5-6 record. That year also featured Favre's last-second hail mary pass to beat Louisville on the road, 16-10.