MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Ole Miss came to the Liberty Bowl Saturday morning to take on Memphis and kick off college football season in the Mid-South.
It was a game that fans on both sides had circled on the calendar for months.
The party on Tiger Lane started early with all the classic sights and sounds.
But the game means something more here in the Mid-South.
“Everybody is just hyped about this game,” said Donald Reed, Tigers fan.
Not only was it the first game of the year, but the rivalry between Ole Miss and Memphis has that sibling-like feeling.
Allegiances split friends and families--- sometimes leaving fans confused who they should root for.
“It always has been a friendly rivalry between Ole Miss and University of Memphis and we care for them, but we care for our Tigers more,” said Reed.
And there's always room for some pre-game trash talk.
“It's always a huge game when we play our real rival,” said Reed.
Inside the Liberty Bowl, the atmosphere was electric with more than 44,000 fans packing the stadium.
“Oh, it’s wild and crazy and exciting! Let's just give credit to Ole Miss fans for coming out and supporting their team but I think the blue outweigh the red,” said Helen Hopper, Tigers fan.
The high temperature left fans getting creative to stay cool.
“That's why I brought my spray mist bottle,” said Jay Stanford, Tigers fan.
And the Tigers football team started the year off hot, winning a close one, 15-10.
Which made for some happy Tiger fans and sad Ole Miss fans leaving the Liberty Bowl, but both sides had a good time.
“Man, it’s a great W, always great to beat Ole Miss,” said Chris Jones, Tigers fan.
“Hey, had a good time, surrounded by great fans, enjoyed being here. Memphis is a great city, a lot of energy behind the football team. And good luck,” said Frank Parsons, Rebels fan.
The fun is just beginning for the 2019 college football season and you can bet this friendly rivalry will live on until the next game.
It's unclear exactly when the Tigers and Ole Miss will play again.
They aren’t scheduled to face off in the near future, so bragging rights could remain with Tigers fans for a long time.