Photo courtesy of University of Alabama.
Dicky Thompson (number 44) was a All-SEC defense back for the Crimson Tide in 1967.
It takes 11. That’s one of the great things about football. It takes 11 guys thinking and acting as one, each man doing his job, to overcome a bunch across the neutral zone defined by the same ethos.
But sometimes, it take one.
One to lead the way.
One to step up when the situation is dire.
One to make that crucial play that ultimately makes the difference in all those colliding 11s.
So as No. 1 ranked Alabama prepares for its latest clash with SEC rival Ole Miss, join us as we explore Six Heroes of the Ole Miss Series…
Jan. 1, 1964
With the Tulane Stadium grass blanketed in white by a freak snowstorm and Joe Namath suspended for breaking team rules, Alabama entered the 1964 Sugar Bowl as an underdog to SEC champion Ole Miss. Sophomore Steve Sloan was steady at the controls and an opportunistic Bama defense forced six turnovers. But the hero of the game was senior placekicker Tim Davis, who booted field goals of 31, 46, 22, and 48 yards to lift the Crimson Tide to a stunning 12-7 victory. The 48-yarder was the longest ever in a bowl game. Davis, eldest son of former Alabama fullback Alvin “Pig“ Davis, became the first kicker to be named the Sugar Bowl’s MVP.
Oct. 2, 1965
Two weeks after losing to Georgia, defending national champion Alabama faced a crossroads moment. The Crimson Tide trailed Ole Miss, 16-10. with 6:12 remaining at Birmingham’s Legion Field. What followed was one of the most remarkable drives in Tide history. Nearly two years after the Sugar Bowl, once-green Steve Sloan was all grown up, headed toward an SEC Player of the Year season, and in those final minutes against Johnny Vaught’s Rebels, he was simply superb. Starting from his own 12, he skillfully led Alabama downfield, twice converting on fourth down. His quarterback keeper tied the game, and David Ray’s extra point gave Alabama a 17-16 victory. Next stop, a second straight national title. [Click here to read more about this game.
Oct. 1, 1966
On the night when Kenny Stabler started his first SEC game, setting a school record by completing 16 of 19 passes for 144 yards [including nine receptions by Ray Perkins] to lead Alabama to a 17-7 victory over Johnny Vaught’s Rebels, the Tide defense came up with one big play after another. More often than not, the timely stops were made by defensive back Dicky Thompson, who played one of the greatest games of his life. Thompson, a junior from Thomasville, Ga., who had returned to the team the previous month despite losing a lung, intercepted three Ole Miss passes to tie the school record. He gathered a fourth, but the play was called back by an interference call on teammate Johnny Mosley.
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