OXFORD (OleMissSports.com) - Ole Miss has lost another football legend with the passing of Jimmy Lear, 82, here Monday afternoon at Baptist Memorial Hospital - North Mississippi following a brief illness.
While Lear is among the list of All-American quarterbacks to play for Ole Miss, he may well be best remembered for directing the No. 11 Rebels to their 21-14 come-from-behind upset victory over then-No. 3 and unbeaten (7-0) Maryland in 1952. That game is often referred to as the one which put Ole Miss football on the national map, while Lear also helped lead the 1952 Rebels to their first undefeated (8-0-2) regular season.
The undefeated regular season record earned Ole Miss its first Sugar Bowl appearance in school history, but a 24-7 loss to Georgia Tech dropped the Rebels from the unbeaten ranks. However, the 8-1-2 finish was rewarded with a No. 7 final national ranking, the highest ever at that time for an Ole Miss team..
A 5-foot-11, 172-pound signal-caller from Greenwood, Lear lettered three years at quarterback for Coach John Vaught's Rebels, from 1950-1952. He was recognized as an All-American in 1952 and earned also All-SEC recognition in 1951 and 1952.
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