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In a Nutshell: Ole Miss defeats State, 31-24, to regain the Golden Egg

In a Nutshell: Ole Miss defeats State, 31-24, to regain the Golden Egg

OXFORD, Miss. — The Egg is home.

It came down to knocking away a desperation pass as the clock expired, but Ole Miss regained possession of the Golden Egg with a 31-24 win over intrastate rival Mississippi State.

The win evens the Rebels’ record to 4-4 after Ole Miss has won its last three.

The Rebels never trailed in the game and left points on the field, or the outcome would have never been in doubt.

Here is The Rebel Walk’s look at the Egg Bowl win “In a nutshell:”

THE POSITIVE: Offensively, the explosive plays. Four receivers had a catch of at least 30 yards with the longest one an 81-yard touchdown strike from Matt Corral to Braylon Sanders. 

Defensively, the tackling. The Landsharks had their best day of the season, holding State receivers to minimal yards after the catch. A half dozen Rebels had at least six stops in the game. Just imagine this defensive performance coming to reality earlier in the season

THE NEGATIVE: Fourth down. All season, Lane Kiffin has not been shy about trying to convert fourth downs. Saturday, Ole Miss only converted 3-of-6. The Rebels were also just 3-of-5 in the red zone.

THE KEY UNIT: The Landsharks. Sure, State amassed 479 yards in total offense, but Ole Miss defended the Air Raid well. The defense recorded one sack courtesy of Cedric Johnson, tallied six quarterback hurries and broke up six passes.

THE KEY PLAY: Cleveland Browns’ fans will always remember when Ernest Byner fumbled at the goal line in the AFC Championship game to deny Cleveland a shot at the Super Bowl. To this day, Cleveland fans simply refer to it as “The Fumble.” Ole Miss created a version of that now. 

With the Rebels leading 7-0 in the first quarter, State had driven for a potential-tying touchdown. But as a Bulldogs’ receiver was about to score, Tylan Knight knocked the ball loose and Deane Leonard picked it up and ran 84 yards the other way. Not only did the play keep MSU from scoring, Ole Miss scored soon after the turnover in what amounted to a 14-point swing.

THE MOMENTUM SHIFTER: Early in the game, Corral found Elijah Moore behind the State defense and hit him with a 53-yard strike. The play not only led to the first score of the game, but it also served notice to the Mississippi State defense it could not try to crowd the box. Having to respect the deep ball, Ole Miss took advantage with 190 yards rushing with 93 of those coming from Jerrion Ealy.

WHAT THIS MEANS GOING FORWARD: With a three-game winning streak, Ole Miss appears to be on a roll. But to where are the Rebels rolling? Next week’s game at LSU has already been postponed as was an earlier game at Texas A&M. There will be two available dates – Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 – to make up those games, but who knows what will happen in this topsy-turvy season? With the momentum the Rebels have gained in recent weeks, Ole Miss should be favored to beat LSU and who knows what might happen against Texas A&M.

Hotty Toddy!

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 Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com 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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