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Gamer: Ole Miss defeats State, 31-24, to win 2020 Egg Bowl

Gamer: Ole Miss defeats State, 31-24, to win 2020 Egg Bowl

OXFORD, Miss. — The inaugural Egg Bowl between Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and Mississippi State’s Mike Leach was expected to produce a lot of offense and it did. It just did not yield the number of points predicted.

The two offenses combined for 1,029 yards, but only 55 points, as the Rebels outlasted State 31-24 in Oxford.

After Ole Miss stopped the Bulldogs on an initial three-and-out, the Rebels took over at their own 28. Facing a second-and-long, Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral found wide receiver Elijah Moore for 58 yards to set the offense up deep in MSU territory. Yet the drive yielded no points as Corral and Braylon Sanders could not connect on a fourth-down pass and State took over possession.

Again, the Landsharks allowed nothing and after a punt, the Rebels took over at their own 46.

This time, Ole Miss capitalized. Corral found Dontario Drummond from 48-yards out and after Luke Logan’s kick, the Rebels had a 7-0 lead with just a few ticks under six minutes to go in the opening quarter.

Mississippi State rebounded on the next drive. Using a targeting penalty on Jon Haynes as a catalyst, the Bulldogs were able to drive to the doorstep of the tying touchdown, but receiver Austin Williams took a pass and fumbled. Tylan Knight drilled Williams to jar the ball loose and Deane Leonard picked it up and ran it back 84 yards to give the Rebels possession at the State 16.

Ole Miss got to the one and faced a fourth down when Snoop Conner blasted in and after Logan’s kick, the Rebels led 14-0 at the end of the first period.

As disastrous as the Bulldogs’ first quarter was, they made amends in the opening moments of the second period. State drove 75 yards in just four plays to a six-yard scoring pass from Rogers to Malik Heath and after Brandon Ruiz added the kick the score narrowed to 14-7.

Ole Miss had marginal success on the next drive but ended up punting and the Bulldogs took over at their own 16.

The Landsharks kept MSU bottled up and forced a punt and the Rebs took over at their own 27.

Ole Miss’ drive did not start well, but it ended beautifully. After a couple of plays made the Rebels’ look stagnant, Corral found Sanders down the right sideline for an 81-yard arching scoring pass and Logan’s boot gave the Rebels a 21-7 advantage.

On the next drive, the Rebels drove deep into Mississippi State territory, but decided to forgo a field goal opportunity and attempted a fourth-down conversion and failed to keep the score the same.

It marked the second time the Ole Miss had a long drive that culminated in no points.

The Bulldogs took advantage of the Rebs’ decision. State drove 93 yards and scored on a Rogers-to-Heath completions again. The kick cut the halftime score to 21-14.

Second-half action

Ole Miss started the second half the way it ended the first. After driving into State territory, Kiffin again decided to go for a fourth-down attempt that came nowhere near converting and another Rebels’ scoring opportunity went by the wayside.

The Rebels began the fourth quarter on the Mississippi State one-yard line, but two plays later found themselves back at the eight-yard line. This time, Kiffin sent Logan out and he connected on a 26-yarder to increase the lead to 24-14.

State came right back driving 75 yards in ten plays to a Rogers pass to Austin Williams to again cut the Ole Miss lead to three points.

The Rebels were able to hold on as a last-second pass from the Bulldogs fell incomplete as the clock expired to keep the Egg Bowl trophy in Oxford.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for, and as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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