8-4 , 4-4
8-4 , 4-4
8-4 , 4-4
Game Recap: Football |
Rebels Fall Short in Egg Bowl Heartbreak, 22-24
OXFORD, Miss. – In the 119th Egg Bowl meetup between two in-state rival teams, the Ole Miss Rebels fought through a rainy Thanksgiving night at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium to fall in a close-knit battle to the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 22-24.
The Rebel defense gave Ole Miss (8-4, 4-4) multiple momentum sparks, forcing three fumbles into turnovers against the Mississippi State (8-4, 4-4) offense. Troy Brown (14), Otis Reese (11), and Tysheem Johnson (10) all walked away with double-digit tackles for the night – Brown and Reese earning season-high numbers. The three defenders contributed to Ole Miss’ 85 tackles of the night – the most tackles the Rebels have recorded this season in a game.
Ole Miss struck first with a 32-yard field goal from Jonathan Cruz to make it a 3-0 game with 12:16 left in the opening quarter. Mississippi State responded quickly, driving down the field in 10 plays before Jo’quavious Marks completed the drive running up the middle into the end zone to bounce the game back in the Bulldogs’ favor.
After an up-tempo drive where Ole Miss gained 58 yards down the field, the Bulldogs stalled the Rebels in the red zone, forcing them to settle with a Cruz 33-yard field goal with 1:33 left in the first quarter.
Another Ole Miss defensive stop, including a forced fumble on a sack by Khari Coleman for a loss of 22 yards, forced the Bulldogs to a punt.
The following drive led the Ole Miss offense to the Mississippi State 39-yard line. The Rebels looked to Cruz for a 49-yard field goal attempt, which Cruz completed right up the middle for Ole Miss to take back the lead 9-7 in the second quarter. The successful field goal marked Cruz’s 13th made field goal of the season – the most field goals he’s made in his career.
With 7:23 left in the second quarter, State’s drive began. It did not last long for the Bulldogs as Will Rogers’ pass was picked off by Reese at the Ole Miss 36-yard line for the Rebels to take over.
The drive was highlighted by the run game with a 17-yard rush by Quinshon Judkins to put the Rebels inside the 10. On a fourth down conversion on the three-yard line, a trick play was brought to perfect execution with a completed pass to JJ Pegues in the end zone to give Ole Miss its first touchdown of the night.
With little time on the clock left in the half, Mississippi State began its trek down the field quickly and efficiently. At the Ole Miss 19, Rogers found Lideatrick Griffin in the end zone to complete the 75-yard drive to end the half with a score of 16-14 in favor of the Rebels.
The rain came down to begin the second half, bringing out big-time defensive stops for both teams. Among them was a KD Hill sack for a loss of 14 yards and a Cedric Johnson strip-sack that resulted in an Ole Miss recovery.
After completing a 78-yard drive, Mississippi State converted a 34-yard field goal to regain the lead, 17-16, in the fourth quarter with 13:46 left in the game.
Following another defensive stop, the Bulldogs connected on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Rogers to Rara Thomas to give Mississippi State an eight-point lead at 24-16.
After an Ole Miss fumble recovered by Mississippi State, the Bulldogs marched to the 1-yard line, but the Rebels forced their third fumble of the night to get the ball back with 4:48 left in the game.
In the dying minutes, Ole Miss marched down 99 yards ending with a 23-yard pass to Dayton Wade into the end zone to score a touchdown that put the Rebels two points away from equalizing. Ole Miss elected to go for two but ultimately failed to convert, keeping the Rebels behind 22-24.
A failed onside kick was enough to give Mississippi State the win for the 119th Egg Bowl matchup.
The Rebels now await a postseason game and destination. Kickoff date and time will be determined at a later date.
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