Mississippi State University

1972 Bulldogs
(Authentic Reproduction)




A return to a helmet style similar to the one first worn in 1958 and í59 failed to generate significant improvement in MSU play. The white helmets now featured a one-inch maroon center stripe and maroon, three-inch block style player identification numerals worn on each side of the shell. However, the 4-7 mark included only a 10-6 victory over downtrodden Vanderbilt as the Bulldogs only SEC win, although the 25-21 loss to LSU was more typical than the two blowout losses to Bama by 58-14, and Ole Miss by 51-14. Shira moved two of Ď71ís three main quarterbacks to defense and sophomores Rocky Felker and Melvin Barkum, brother of the Jets top draft choice Jerome Barkum, headed the attack which featured a revived Lewis Grubbs who completed his reign as MSUís three year rushing champion. Felker and Barkum were a decent combo with end Bill Buckley the SEC reception leader. Sophomore defensive tackle Jimmy Webb led the team in assists and tackles with linebacker John David Calhoun an All SEC standout. Once again defensive backs Ken Phares and Frank Dowsing were All SEC performers with the latter getting All America and Academic All American mention. Shira realized that the complaints and criticisms of the coaches and administrators who had preceded him at State were with merit; the facilities lagged behind the rest of their Southeast Conference opponents and while they were capable of recruiting a few very good players every year, there were never enough of them. At the conclusion of the season, he resigned as head football coach to focus solely on his role as Athletic Director.

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