1968  Ole Miss Rebels



There was a great deal of excitement as Drew, Mississippi's sophomore star Archie Manning led the Rebels into battle. The slight helmet change, placing  three-inch plain block-style numerals on the sides of the royal blue shell with one-inch red center stripe instead of the previously used more rounded type of side numbers, gave the helmets a new and distinctive appearance and with Manning calling signals, fans believed that anything could happen. With seven or eight sophs usually starting, and at times up to ten on the field, one could anticipate "anything happening" in the new "Pro Set" offense designed to take advantage of Manning's arm. Backfield vets Steve Hindman and Bo Bowen balanced Manning's aerials to soph end Vern Studdard. LB Frank Trapp and safety Glenn Cannon, Billy Cannonís second cousin, brought experience to the defense. Vaught continued to place a solid team onto the field but as the Sixties wound down the disadvantage of recruiting against schools that had made greater strides in racial desegregation and overcoming the national perception of Mississippi as a racist, backward state was making it more difficult to play and win with the athletes and procedures that had worked so effectively for Vaught's long tenure. 1968's 6-3-1 record was influenced by injuries and inexperience as the many sophs earned their stripes but the Rebels still earned a trip to the Liberty Bowl and a win over strong Virginia Tech which made Archie's debut a solid 7-3-1. The sophomore QB also walked away with three single season school records; 1510 passing yards, passes attempted, and total plays completed, all of which previously belonged to great Charley Conerly. Looking forward, the offense which had great games against Kentucky and LSU and poor games against Tennessee and Georgia would need more consistency for him and the Rebels to fulfill their promise.

If interested in any of these Ole Miss helmets please click on the photos below.