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Former Rebel greats offer Egg Bowl predictions

Former Rebel greats offer Egg Bowl predictions

The Rebel Walk reached out to Ole Miss Rebels from prior teams to get their thoughts on the upcoming 2014 Egg Bowl. Below you’ll find predictions from some of the most admired and best-loved former players. (The years indicated are their last seasons with the Rebels.)

Marshay Green (8) celebrates after returning an interception 65 yards for a touchdown during the third quarter of the Cotton Bowl NCAA college football game against Texas Tech, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Marshay Green (8) celebrates after returning an INT 65 yards for a TD in the Cotton Bowl. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Marshay Green –  DB, Co-Captain; 2009

Both teams have had great seasons, I just hate we had to share the spotlight with State with the season we had, but their team deserved it, I guess. It’s gonna be one of the most hyped eggs bowls of all times, but Ole Miss wins 24-14 HoddyToddy!
Marshay’s pick: Ole Miss 24-14

 Jeff Miller –  OL, Co-Captain; 1994

It’s a great time to be an Ole Miss Rebel and a Mississippi State Bulldog. Both teams have been in the top ten of the rankings all year. It’s going to be a great game. The atmosphere is going to be incredible. Watching the Rebels this year makes you want to put on the pads again. I predict a win for the Rebels!
Jeff’s pick: Rebels 30 State 22

 Todd Wade –  OL, Co-Captain; 1999

Ole Miss will need to score early to control the game.  If the Rebels can score 14 points or more early, it will force State to change its game plan.  They will do everything they can to keep their running game.  Force them out of it and they will have serious problems.
Todd’s pick: Rebels 24-20

Joseph Harvell – Forward, Rebel Basketball; 1993

Forward Joe Harvell is an Ole Miss basketball legend.

Rebel basketball legend Joe Harvell

I believe this will be a game for the ages. I remember 2 years ago when we jumped all over Mississippi State and the atmosphere at that game was electric.

I don’t believe all our fans realize how important a home crowd can be to a team. We have got to be crazy this day. Mullen believes the state is his, but on this day we will show America who really is Mississippi Mayem!!

HOTTY TODDY!!!
Joseph’s pick: Ole Miss 27 State 17

Ferbia Allen, Jr. – TE; 2012

First off, Hotty Toddy!!!!!! I think this game will be one of (if not THE) biggest games this year. I think it will be a great game with big plays made on both sides of the field with the defense being the difference maker in the game. I’m predicting the score Ole Miss 28 – Miss State 14
Ferbia’s pick: Ole Miss 28-14

 Bill  Flowers –  WR; 2004

The State game this year is going to be one for the record books. What a finish to the year it would be if the Egg Bowl comes down to who wins the West and beyond!  The State game has not had the same intensity behind it like the LSU rivalry has had, but the last few years the rivalry has been building. What a game it will be this year! This might be the most important game, EVER, for both teams and especially for the state of Mississippi if it determines who wins the West and more. I can’t wait to see the Rebels bring the Egg home! Go Rebs!!! Rebs 28-21
Bill’s pick: Ole Miss 28-21

Jeff Scott runs 75 yards for winning TD against Vandy in 2013.

Jeff Scott runs 75 yards for winning TD against Vandy in 2013.

 Jeff Scott –  RB; 2013

I think this is the best defense Ole Miss has had in years. They have the secondary to cover the Mississippi State receivers, and have the front seven to shut the run down.

I think that if Bo has a great game and the Ole Miss offense takes care of the football,  they should come out on top.

Ole Miss has to establish a nice balance of run and pass to keep Mississippi State’s defense guessing. My prediction is Ole Miss 24-17 Hotty Toddy!!!
Jeff’s pick: Ole Miss 24-17

 Harry Harrison –  S; 1973

The most important Egg Bowl, ever, where national seedings are concerned. The Rebels should be able to run the ball outside on the dog defense.The dog downfall will be their secondary. Rebels throw it downfield;  Rebels win 27-17.
Harry’s pick: Ole Miss 27-17

 Mitch Skrmetta –  TE;  2001

I think we all were hoping this game would lead to Atlanta, but losses on both sides have stripped some of the luster from the Golden Egg.  That’s unfortunate because history was made this year, and these two programs have shed some very positive light on the State of Mississippi.  I hope that doesn’t get lost in all of this.

Getting into the X’s and O’s, it’s hard to breakdown the strengths and weaknesses of each team in a rivalry match up. Offensive and Defensive stats will tell you nothing going in to Saturday; the emotions and the wills of these young men will decide who leaves with the trophy. This year, I think the Rebels will hit the ground running. The Landshark Defense will be out for blood and Bo will find redemption with a career day.  Hotty Toddy, 34-13 Rebels!
Mitch’s pick: Ole Miss 34-13

 Johnny Dixon – S, Co-Captain; 1993

My biggest concern is the defense and how they approach State’s power run game, mainly the quarterback Prescott. Ole Miss’ defense will have to play big, meaning the front seven will have to control the game and let the secondary play pass first at all time, and then run support.

I really would hate to see State run that speed play action sweep, quarterback run pass thing they do, causing the guys in the secondary to start playing run when it’s a pass, letting receivers get behind them running free. If the Rebels defense controls the State run game, they win. But if they let State get a running game going, it’s going to be a long day in Oxford. With that being said, I still predict Ole Miss to win. Score Rebels 24, Bulldogs 20.
Johnny’s pick: Ole Miss 24-20

 Todd Irvin – OL, Co-Captain; 1987

The Egg Bowl has always been an emotional game, for players and fans alike.  You hate to put all your eggs in one basket and say it “makes our season” to win, but THIS year it is especially true!  When we played, it was for a winning record, a bowl bid, to salvage a season, or just plain bragging rights.  The pressure was huge.  I can only imagine what these players are experiencing this year.  Not only does this year’s game have local and regional importance, but national implications as well.

I believe the Rebels have learned from their success this year and know they have to play the game quarter by quarter, play by play.  Take care of the small things, and the larger picture will take care of itself.  We had a Latin phrase we used under Coach Brewer.  NIHIL OBSTAT.  Nothing Stands In Our Way.   I think it’s the Rebels’ time.  UM-31, MSU-24.  HOTTY TODDY!
Todd’s pick: Ole Miss 31-24

 Chris Herring –  DL; 2004

Ole Miss and Mississippi State! I’m looking forward to watching a great game. It’s not only a big game on the field, but off, as some of the top recruits around Mississippi make their decision based on who wins. I’m predicting Ole Miss 24; that other school 17. Hotty Toddy!
Chris’ pick: Ole Miss 24-17

 Cory Peterson –  WR, Tri-Captain; 1999

1n 1997, Cory Peterson, in an epic end to the Egg Bowl, caught the go-ahead two-point conversion that gave the Rebels a 15-14 win. (Photo Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics)

1n 1997, Cory Peterson caught the go-ahead two-point conversion that gave the Rebels a 15-14 win. (Photo Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics)

This will be a classic game with the records and seasons the schools are having. The State Championship has national implications.

I’m expecting an offensive battle with third down production being the key. In Dak, you have a right handed Tim Tebow. Bo is a great quarterback who experienced a tough game last season in Starkville, and you know he is hungry for redemption.

After the devastating injury to Laquon, Vince Sanders has not only played great, but provided senior leadership. Our offensive line has to perform against the large defensive line of State. I see it coming down to the end with Bo leading the Rebs down the field for a game winning field goal!  Rebels 31-28
Cory’s pick: Ole Miss 31-28

 Lee Rogers –  PK; 2003

I believe that the Ole Miss defense will keep us in any game we play.  If we win the field position game, I think we have a good chance against State.  If we play the entire game on our own end like we did against Arkansas, I believe State is too good of a team to be able to overcome that.  I still think we have a lot of fight and leadership and will battle till the end.  I see us catching a few breaks and the defense scoring some points.  Ole Miss 21; MS State 17
Lee’s pick: Ole Miss 21-17

 John Darnell –  QB, Co-Captain; 1989

John Darnell, QB of the 1989 Rebs that went 8-4 and played in Liberty Bowl.

John Darnell, QB of the 1989 Rebs that went 8-4 and played in Liberty Bowl.

The Mississippi State game will be a good game.  Although the Arkansas game was about as bad as we can play, the positive was that the defense played pretty well against the run.  To beat State, I believe we will have to stop their QB from running. IF the defense plays like it did against Arkansas and doesn’t give up big plays, we will have a better chance.

Offensively we need to play a lot better.  Turnovers will get you beat, and we have to take care of the ball.  This is a chance for Ole Miss to redeem itself from 3 straight SEC losses.   It will take everyone pulling together in the same directionOur back is against the wall.  The leaders of this team need to step up. 

Coach Brewer always had us ready to play LSU and Miss State.  Especially State.  It was important to him and all of us from Mississippi.  We had a 4-1 record against them my 5 years at Ole Miss.  A win Saturday would give us a good bowl.  9-3 and a win over MSU would be a great year, but we must play better to have a chance!  Rebels 24-21.  Hotty Toddy!
John’s pick: Ole Miss 24-21

 Reggie Hicks –  TE; 2010

This will be the biggest Egg Bowl I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Two teams with incredible defenses will go head to head with playoff implications on the line. Defensively I would give the edge to Ole Miss. The Rebels secondary has been outstanding all year. Every guy in the back four can change the game at any moment.

Offensively I would have to give the edge to Mississippi State. Dak Prescott is a playmaker, hands down. It’s hard to choose against him, because the guy just makes plays time and time again, reminiscent of another #15. With that being said I think Bo Wallace (much maligned after the fiasco in last year’s Egg Bowl) rides the wave of momentum he has built this season and has his most efficient game of his career. He takes what the defense gives him early and strikes big late.

The Ole Miss defense will take away the run and make State have to try and win the game with the pass. Ole Miss special teams will make the Bulldogs offense uneasy with consistently flipping the field position and causing two TO’s in the kicking game. Landsharks swarm 41-28.
Reggie’s pick: Ole Miss 41-28

H R. Greer – FB/TE/HB; 2012

The Egg Bowl has been and always will be what I consider one of the greatest rivalries. The truth is there is a genuine dislike of fan bases. It was the most intense and emotional game I played in all my years. If you are from the state of Mississippi, it isn’t necessarily just about bragging rights; it’s a sense of pride in protecting your school.

I think Dan Mullen has really taken the rivalry to another level, which I loved while I was playing. Coach Freeze also has done a great job with the kids that are from other states, explaining to them what the rivalry means for the University they bleed for.

We will always play for the Love of our University, while they play for hatred of ours. Love always prevails in the long run. I believe Ole Miss will play lights out and leave everything on the field.
H.R’s pick: Flagship University 28- State 17

 Travis Blanchard –  DB; 2003

I think both teams will play well early, but it will come down to a big defensive play that will win the game. Ole Miss has not given up too much of anything to opposing teams’ offenses all season. I think within a football season if one phase of your team is consistent all year, that won’t change. If we can stop big plays and keep State’s offense and Prescott off the field , the Ole Miss defense will make more plays to win the ballgame. Ole Miss 28, State 24
Travis’ pick: Ole Miss 28-24

Former QB Romaro Miller finished his Ole Miss career as the school leader in passing yards and TD's. (Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics)

Former QB Romaro Miller finished his Ole Miss career as the school leader in passing yards and TD’s. (Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics)

Romaro Miller  – QB, Captain; 2000

The atmosphere is going to be exciting as the Rebels take on the State with so much on the line. Offensively, we need to be able to run the ball while coming up with some big plays in the passing game. Our defense has had a great season. Limiting State’s running game and forcing them to pass would play into our strength. The secondary has been solid and their play will be one of the deciding factors as the Rebels win 31-24.
Romaro’s pick: Ole Miss 31-24

Conclusion

As you can see, it’s unanimous! All these former players believe our Rebels have what it takes to beat State in the 2014 Egg Bowl.

Former defensive standout Jason Jones, a Chucky Mullins Award Winner, offered a little advice for the Ole Miss players on beating State: “If you want it, fight hard and go get it. if you don’t, then you won’t. I truly BELIEVE in you, but you HAVE to perform like you want it!! “

 

About The Author

Rex Kinnison

Rex’s attachment to Ole Miss goes back to when his parent’s named him. It seems there was an Ole Miss football player that his dad liked his name so from day one he was destined to have Ole Miss as part of his life. He attended Ole Miss graduating in December, 1974 with a BBA majoring in Accountancy. While he’s lived in three states and a number of cities since then he’s always followed the Rebels in all sports. In 2013 Rex took a big step when he started a podcast, RebelRex, where he fulfilled a dream–talking with Ole Miss athletes, current and past, from all sports.

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