Tommy Tuberville adopted the nickname “The Riverboat Gambler” during his days as the head coach at Ole Miss. The Rebels were down in scholarship numbers and clearly outmanned against a number of SEC opponents. So Tuberville decided to roll the dice and do anything and everything possible to win games.
It worked for the Rebels, who under Tuberville, won as big underdogs at LSU, at Mississippi State, and at Georgia. Tuberville looked like a hero.
So what do you think about the nickname now?
Tubs told the Dallas Morning News, “It depends on how good your football team is. Last year, I kicked two or three onsides kicks, faked punts, did a lot of things because we weren’t very good. We couldn’t stop anybody. I tried to get the ball back for our offense and keep our defense off the field.”
“That was the same thing that happened to us when I was given that name back at Ole Miss. We just weren’t very good, and I told my players we’re going to do everything we possibly can to win the game. If it means we go for it on fourth down four or five times, don’t punt, fake field goals, do those things, so I was given the nickname “The Riverboat Gambler.” For some reason, a lot of those worked.”
“Last year we didn’t have much success in our trick plays. Once we start getting better, I like to take chances, but just to let our players out there know we are trying to win the game.”
Hopefully, Tubs won’t need surprise onsides and fourth-down gambles against Texas State and New Mexico, the first two opponents for the Red Raiders this season.