Football captures second consecutive egg bowl for 10th win
Match Recap: Football | | Jared Redding, OleMissSports.com
Rebels win 10 regular season games for first time in program history
STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Golden Egg Trophy goes back to where it came from on Thanksgiving Day. The No.9-ranked Ole Miss football team kept Mississippi State out of the end zone for more than 52 minutes of play in a 31-21 Egg Bowl win over the Bulldogs in a wet Davis Wade stadium on Thursday. The victory gives Ole Miss her first 10-game regular season in program history.
Matt Corral completed 26 of 34 passes for 234 yards and tallied two scores. Jerrion Ealy accounted for 103 yards of attack and received a touchdown, 60 of those yards came to the ground to lead the team. Snoop conner added 49 yards to his own and scored two touchdowns as Dontario Drummond had a 138-yard team leader on 14 receptions. The 14 receptions equal the school record for most catches in a game.
Defensively, Chance Campbell had 12 tackles to lead the way while Jake springer had 10 tackles. Sam williams had a dominant pass on the night with his two sacks as the defensive unit forced Mississippi State to finish 4 for 14 in the third and made critical saves when it mattered most.
Mississippi State scored the first with a 34-yard field goal from Nolan McCord to make it 3-0 with 11:46 left in the first quarter. The rebels responded to their own basket. After their fast training stalled in the red zone, Cale Nation logged on from a career-first 25-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3 with 7:07 left in the first quarter.
Mississippi State converted twice on the third down en route to Ole Miss’s seven-yard line, but had to settle for another field goal from McCord. His successful 29-yard attempt gave the Bulldogs a 6-3 lead going into the second quarter. The Bulldogs used their passing game again to get down the pitch, but Ole Miss came away with her first save of the game as McCord’s third attempt at 40 yards was missed on the right. Ole Miss seized the opportunity with the player who finally reached the end zone. Conner scored a touchdown on the goal line to give the Rebels their first lead of the game, 10-6 with 2:21 left in the first half.
Bulldog quarterback Will Rogers used a 32-yard Lideatrick Griffin reception to re-enter Ole Miss’s red zone, however, the Rebels held on again. Back-to-back drops near the red zone forced McCord to kick another basket and again he couldn’t connect. Her 33-yard failure gave Ole Miss a 10-6 halftime lead despite winning 208-178 overall.
The Rebels forced a punt out of the locker room and picked up where they left off offensively. A 34-yard reception by Drummond highlighted a seven-play, 82-yard practice that ended with another touchdown on the goal line by Conner. With 10:24 left in the third quarter, the Rebels had a 17-6 lead.
The rebel defense then made perhaps their biggest play of the night – a late practice sack by Sam williams the 4th and 7th to return the ball to Ole Miss with 2:16 left in the third quarter. The Rebels hit the Bulldog’s 31-yard line before the final quarter of play.
A 4th and 4th bet on the Mississippi state 30-yard line later paid off as Corral scored a five-yard touchdown to give Ole Miss a 24-6 lead with 11:17. remaining. The rebel defense prevailed again when Campbell deflected a 4th pass down midfield to give the ball to the Rebels with an 18-point lead.
In the third down game that followed, Corral was picked up by Jett Johnson of Mississippi State and the ball was returned to Ole Miss 22. Two games later, Rogers joined Jaden Walley to score their first touch of the night. After the PAT, the rebel advance was reduced to 24-13 with 7:20 remaining.
However, Ole Miss’s offense did not falter as Ealy scored on a 15-yard touchdown reception to reduce the lead to 18. Ole Miss held a 31-13 lead with 5:35 to to play. In desperation mode, Mississippi State’s Jo’quavious Marks scored a late touchdown and a two-run conversion followed. However, it was too late as the rebels retained possession of the Golden Egg.
The Rebels are now awaiting a playoff game and destination. The kick-off date and time will be determined at a later date.
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