Unique brands of tailgating are a college football tradition on all campuses. But, nothing compares to Ole Miss. The Grove is a ten acre space shaded by oaks, elms, and magnolias providing an elegant backdrop for thousands of Ole Miss tailgaters. Sporting News calls it “The Holy Grail of tailgating sites.” People stake their claim the night before and set up elaborate tailgates on gameday.
Ole Miss was the favorite in this year’s Egg Bowl. It would not be their favorite day, however. Apparently, becoming bowl eligible wasn’t enough for the Rebels, but ruining their chances was everything for their rival.
On a night hot enough to make a jalapeno sweat, Badger fans didn’t have to sweat through a nailbiter. Camp Randall Stadium was the scene for a rare Thursday night contest to open the 2011 season. Although fans were anxious to see the defending Big Ten co champion Badgers, all eyes were on senior transfer quarterback, Russell Wilson. A legend had hit Madison and he hadn’t even taken a snap yet.
The whole novelty of seeing UNLV’s legendary head coach John Robinson wore off rather quickly on this particular Saturday afternoon. To begin, not one part of anyone’s clothing failed to stick due to the slow, but steady cloud leak that fell from the gray skies in Madison. Ponchos offered a flimsy defense against the rain, especially with the chilly breeze that made the drizzle feel like a monsoon. The Rebels, who are more accustomed to triple digit temperatures and bone dry air masses, appeared undaunted by the unpleasant weather. They probably could have played underwater and still managed to speed through this game.
Call it a come from behind victory without the dramatics of the 1997 season. UNLV came in to Camp Randall Stadium wearing a Boise State outfit, but you can’t copy an original. Everyone (except the newly hazed freshmen) thought of last year’s dreadful game with Boise State when on Wisconsin’s opening drive, QB Mike Samuel had his pass intercepted at the line of scrimmage and returned half of the field for a touchdown. Against Boise State, the opening play was a fumble return TD for the Broncos and it took three quarters for the Badgers to recover.