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Meridian man still remembers 1947 game

By By Fredie Carmichael/The Meridian Star
Nov. 22, 2001
Charles Bidgood still remembers the day 54 years ago when he helped Ole Miss defeat Mississippi State University, capping the first season of legendary Rebel football coach John Vaught.
Bidgood, who played center and linebacker for the Rebel squad, was assigned to stop Bulldog running back Shorty McWilliams who ran MSU to victory in Oxford the year before.
Bidgood reminisced about the game with Vaught, who joined former MSU stars Johnie Cooks and John Bond at Books-A-Million this week to sign copes of "Bloodfeud" a book chronicling the football rivalry.
Vaught, 92, and still an avid football fan, now watches from the stands at Ole Miss games. He said he plans to be in Starkville tonight when the Rebs and Dogs meet for the 98th time.
Bidgood, who stopped by the book signing to visit his old coach, brought a photo from the 1947 game. The shot showed Bidgood trying to tackle McWilliams his former teammate at Meridian High School.
Bidgood said he couldn't remember the play. When he tried to view old game film, he said, it became fuzzy during that series of plays.
Cooks, a former MSU linebacker from 1977-1981 who was signing books and listening to Bodgood and Vaught talk, offered his own take on the game.
Bidgood, also laughing, shot back: "Now that I think about it, I believe it was a MSU game film. Maybe that explains it. That was probably the only bright spot in the game for them that day."
Whatever happened in the past, Bodgood, Vaught, Cooks, Bond and others at the signing agreed this year's game could be as exciting others in the series.
Fredie Carmichael is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3228, or e-mail him at