Passing the Baton

Defensive back Eddie Myles patrolled the Bulldog deep third as one of the league's top corner backs from 1987-90. Myles was a central figure in the 1989 Mississippi State victory over Southern Miss, the final meeting between the two teams at M.M. Roberts stadium. The upstart Eagles were ranked #18 fresh off of an upset of Florida State, but when the game was on the line for MSU, Myles stood tall.

"You know there are a lot of things about the game that still stand out to me," said Myles. "It was one of the better games that I played in during my career at Mississippi State.

"Brett Favre played in that game and after all that he's done, it's just made that win more special for me."

The two teams battled without much first half success until the final minutes of the second quarter.

As the Golden Eagles were driving deep into Mississippi State territory, the Southern Miss fans broke out into the traditional Florida State tomahawk chant.

"We heard all of that down on the field, but only for a second," said Myles. "You know as an athlete, you just block all of that out and just focus on doing your job, but we heard it.

"I think it might have motivated us a little bit."

Favre would give to Ricky Bradley who plunged into the paydirt to give Southern Miss a 10-7 lead late in the half.

Jerry Bouldin would return the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown and Bulldog fans would return the tomahawk chant in a mocking fashion.

"That's just sort of how that ball game was," said Myles. "It was back and forth.

"We knew how bad we wanted to win that game and we knew that this was going to be the last time we ever played down there.

"We wanted to get that win and we wanted to always be able to say we won the last one down there in their stadium.

"Even now, when I talk to Southern Miss fans I always remind them that we won those last two games and that we won that one down there in Hattiesburg."

The two teams would see saw back and forth in the fourth quarter, but with the game tied at 23 Myles made a play the set up the game winning score.

"I can't even remember the down and distance, but Favre tried to throw over to my side to get the first down," said Myles. "I was one of the best corners in the SEC, so I took that sort of personal.

"I couldn't believe he was throwing to my side and I was able to make a play on the ball and break up the pass.

"We got the ball back and went down and won the game."

Joel Logan's field goal attempt with just four seconds left sent the Bulldogs home happy.

A monsoon of golden cups rained down from the upper decks on to the field of play as Mississippi State fans found anything to throw in celebration.

"We were down on the field and it was just a great feeling," said Myles. "We knew we had won a huge ball game and that when that final second ticked off that we had a victory.

"We knew that it was a job well done.

"We just needed to go out and beat Ole Miss to be state champions and we wanted to have in state bragging rights.

"That's how it always was and I suppose it still is."

Myles looks back on his final contests with Southern Miss fondly and not just because his Bulldog team won the final two meetings.

"You know so few kids go on to play in the NFL," said Myles. "We all knew what kind of college quarterback Brett Favre was, but none of us knew what he would go on to be.

"Looking back and knowing that he went on to be an NFL hall of fame quarterback makes those games mean even more to me.

"I was proud to make those plays for my team, but being able to say that we beat Brett Favre in those games makes it even more special."

This weekend Myles will have the chance to see his Bulldogs take on Favre's Eagles for the first time in nearly twenty five years.

Myles will be more than just a casual observer, he will be watching his own son, Gabriel Myles, play his first college game.

"I tell you there is nothing better than this," said Myles. "You know as a father you're holding your breath all of the time hoping that nothing happens to your son.

"I am always praying that nothing happens to him, but I want to see him perform at the highest level.

"Watching him play this weekend is sort of like the track runners passing the baton.

"I am not a player anymore. I'm a cheerleader now.

"I will be rooting for all of those kids until I am absolutely hoarse.

"I want to see them all do well and I feel good about Mississippi State winning the game.....again."

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