Ole Miss rivals who became friends mourn the loss of LSU’s Billy Cannon 

They had been thrown together by fate and a strange bounce of the ball in one of the most unforgettable plays in college football history.

Yet in the decades following Billy Cannon’s game-winning 89-yard return of a Jake Gibbs punt to give No. 1 LSU a 7-3 win over No. 3 Ole Miss on a damp Halloween night 1959 in Tiger Stadium, the adversaries became lifelong friends who would kid each other about the play that hasn’t faded with time.

“Billy would always say, ‘I gave you the hip and took it away,'” said Gibbs, 79, who was the last Ole Miss tackler to miss Cannon on his legendary run. “I’d say, ‘Billy, you were a straight-line runner.’ And then we’d laugh and laugh.” 

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