RIP: Ole Miss football hero Buck Randall, 73
From Ole Miss media relations
OXFORD — Ole Miss and the State of Mississippi lost another sports legend Sunday, Nov. 17, with the passing of George M. “Buck” Randall, 73, of Clinton, Miss., following a lengthy illness.
Visitation will be at Sebrell Funeral Home (425 Northpark Drive, Ridgeland, Miss., (601-957-6946) from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19 and then again on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. A private burial service will be held at a later date.
Randall is survived by his wife, Sandra; daughter, Courtney Randall; sons, Rafe Randall and Buck Randall Jr.; and three grandchildren.
During his three varsity seasons (1961-63), the Greenwood, Miss., native earned three letters while helping lead Coach John Vaught’s team to a 26-3-2 record, including back-to-back Southeastern Conference titles in 1962 and 1963, as the Rebels played in two Sugar Bowls and one Cotton Bowl.
The 1962 team earned a share of the National Championship and finished 10-0, which still remains as the only perfect season in Ole Miss football history.
Although his career was plagued by knee and shoulder injuries, Randall was still considered one of the quickest starting fullbacks in the nation and also played outside linebacker on defense.
Playing during an era when teams scheduled only nine or 10 regular season games and bowl game statistics didn’t count, his offensive totals over three seasons included 413 yards rushing on 90 carries and four touchdowns as he averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Randall, who averaged 5.6 yards per carry as a junior in 1962, also had seven career pass receptions for 106 yards and one TD, returned one kickoff for 23 yards in 1961 and had one pass interception in 1962. His 36-yard rush against Vanderbilt in 1962 was the eighth longest offensive play for the Rebels that season.
Randall had three key defensive plays to help lift Ole Miss to a 17-13 victory over Arkansas in the Jan. 1, 1963 Sugar Bowl when the Rebels climaxed a perfect season by being named national champions by seven different rating systems, including the Football Writers (Grantland Rice Trophy). Two of those plays led to Arkansas field goals instead of touchdowns.
He also rushed for 17 yards and caught three passes for another 34 yards against the Razorbacks.
With All-America Billy Ray Adams unavailable due to an auto accident, Randall was the No. 1 fullback against Texas in the Jan. 1, 1962 Cotton Bowl, but suffered a knee injury in the first quarter.
During his prep career at Greenwood High School, Randall was twice selected as an All-Big Eight Conference halfback and rated All-Southern and All-State honors in 1959 while playing for Coach Bobby Wilson. Randall scored 26 touchdowns over his last three high school seasons, gaining 1,954 yards rushing and was co-captain in1959 . He lettered in five sports at Greenwood High, including football (4), baseball (4), basketball (1), track (1) and tennis (1).