Mississippi State Football wins weird Egg Bowl over Ole Miss

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - NOVEMBER 24: Jo'quavious Marks #7 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs carries the ball during the second half against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 24, 2022 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - NOVEMBER 24: Jo'quavious Marks #7 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs carries the ball during the second half against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 24, 2022 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

The Mississippi State Bulldogs beat the Ole Miss Rebels, 24-22. In a game that was weird, Will Rogers threw for 239 yards and 2 touchdowns in the victory. It featured a wild fourth quarter that included a controversial call, a fumble from Mississippi State Football that allowed the Rebels to try for one final drive, and then finally Ole Miss missing the 2-point conversion to tie the game.

The game started out with a solid drive from the Rebels. Ole Miss thrived off Jaxson Dart’s passes to get into the red zone. Once in the red zone, they struggled and settled for three. This would be an issue that Ole Miss would face all game.

Mississippi State’s offense cooked in their opening drive behind Will Rogers’ passing attack. They ended up with a touchdown and it was a 7-3 game midway through the first. The Rebels’ offense responded horribly and had a three-and-out on their next drive.

The Bulldogs allowed Ole Miss to get away with it, as they couldn’t get anything going and had to punt the ball away after three plays.

The Rebels’ offense woke up again behind Quinshon Judkins and got into the red zone once again.  They struggled to find the red zone and ended up setting for three. This was the second time the Rebels got into the red zone and couldn’t find paydirt. Obviously, this was one of the reasons they lost.

Lucky for Ole Miss, Mississippi State had to punt after three plays on their next drive. Ole Miss had good field position. They had a so-so drive but were able to get into field goal range. They took a 9-7 lead in the second quarter. Once again, Mississippi State couldn’t get their offense going and had to punt after the fifth play.

Ole Miss couldn’t extend their lead or get any real yardage and had to punt after three plays. Mississippi State returned the favor and had to punt the ball after five plays. The Rebels went three and out, as this game that was pitted as an offensive showdown was turning into a defensive showdown.

This theme continued as Will Rogers threw an interception on the next drive. Finally, Ole Miss broke the spell and went for a touchdown behind Jaxson Dart’s passes/typical Judkins greatness. The touchdown was scored by a defensive tackle, JJ Pegues. With 2 minutes left in the half, Mississippi State returned the favor with a touchdown of their own behind Will Rogers.

A game that was expected to be an offense show ended up being a 16-14 defensive show at the half. Mississippi State tried to retake the lead but couldn’t on their opening second-half drive. They went for it on fourth and 7 at the 37 and were unable to keep the chains moving.

Ole Miss’ offense went back to a stall position and had to punt after three plays. Mississippi State did the same thing on the other side, despite a 27-yard solid punt return from Zavion Thomas to start the drive. Ole Miss returned the favor with another three and out as well. The next play, Ole Miss’ defense decided they had enough and forced a Will Rogers fumble.

Ole Miss’ offense couldn’t do anything with the turnover. While they did get to the goal-line, Lane Kiffin decided to go for it on fourth and they were unable to find paydirt.

Will Rogers made up for his mistake, and along with the running game, turned horrible field position into the red zone. While they couldn’t convert this red zone opportunity, they were able to at least take the lead with a field goal.

Ole Miss responded with a three and out. Mississippi State got the ball back at the Rebels 45. They turned that good field position into a TD behind Jo’quavious Marks’s legs and Rara Thomas catch off a fly route.

Ole Miss would fumble on the next drive in a bit of a controversial play. Jaxson Dart would try to throw a pass to Jonathan Mingo. He would drop the pass, and the play was ruled dead. It turns out that the play on the second look was ruled a backward pass and therefore a fumble. 

Mississippi State did pick up the ball after Mingo dropped it but at the same time, it was ruled dead by the officials. Yes, it was a backward pass but Mingo would have gone for the ball if the play wasn’t ruled dead. Yes, Ole Miss did mess up by not playing through the whistle but the refs did mess up as well.

After a 24-yard rush by Dillion Johnson, It seemed like Mississippi State Football would have won the game at that point. Mississippi State was at the one, and on that run, they were inches away from a score and a two-possession lead. On the next play, Will Rogers would fumble the ball and Ole Miss had life with 5 minutes to go.

The Rebels would go 99 yards for the score. They still needed to convert the two-point conversion, but it seemed like it would come down to Ole Miss stopping an offense whose QB had two fumbles in this game.

Ole Miss would take two timeouts and decide to run a shovel-type play. Dart’s pass got knocked down and the game was practically over. With a recovered onside kick by Mississippi State Football, it was. The Bulldogs would win the Egg bowl for the first time in two years, 24-22.

Mississippi State Football wins 2022 Egg Bowl over Ole Miss

I am really proud of Mississippi State Football’s offense this season. Besides the LSU, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia games this year, the offense was electric for eight victories. In terms of the quality of the opponent, the only real bad loss here is Kentucky. Yes, Alabama has its own issues but its’ still Bama.

The offense shut down in the second half against LSU but that doesn’t look as bad as it did at the time considering LSU is the sixth-best team in the country. The Tigers do have a shot at the playoff. Yes, it requires beating Georgia (which is unlikely) but still, the fact that they do makes them a team that loses against them are not as bad as it seemed at the time.

Finally, the Georgia loss was against the best team in the country this year. Yes, Georgia played down to them (as they have down against all inferior teams this season) but still losing to that defense is kind of acceptable. Obviously, no loss is acceptable but Georgia is the best team in the country.

Mississippi State Football is going to go to a bowl this year. With the bowl placement coming, they have already eclipsed their win total from last year by one win. Additionally, they have a chance to win a bowl game, which they did not do last season. Mississippi State Football’s offense cooked this season.

On the other hand, Ole Miss’ outlook isn’t amazing. They will still be going to a bowl game, but three straight losses have turned a great season into a good season. The offense just stopped at times this season. The LSU loss showed this, as the Rebels didn’t get any points in the second half.

The next week, they barely beat a horrible Texas A&M team. They allowed a squad that couldn’t do anything offensively score 28 points. They still won, but it wasn’t a good look.

They barely lost to Bama the next week, which would be fine, but honestly, Alabama was very beatable in that game and this year.

The next week, they lost to Arkansas. In that game, the offense didn’t exist until the game was a Razorbacks blowout. Among other things, if they played better in the red zone; they would have won the game.

Ole Miss will still go to a bowl game, but this season could’ve be one to remember or at least great. Instead, it will be good to be a little bit above average. In terms of whether Lane Kiffin leaves for Auburn, I am unsure.

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While not trying to discredit the report earlier this week that Kiffin will leave for the Auburn job, at least for now Kiffin has said he will not leave the Rebels for another job. Obviously, he can get a lot more money at Auburn than at Ole Miss, but for now, let’s take the man at his word.