Ole Miss already focused on Thursday’s Egg Bowl
OXFORD, Miss. — It did not take long.
Mere minutes after Ole Miss used a big second half to beat Louisiana-Monroe 35-3, the topic switched from the win over the Warhawks to a deeper topic — it is only five days until the Egg Bowl.
“(It’s a) short week,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said after the win over ULM.
“(We) have to go to work today after this. Need to work to get this trophy back. We screwed it up last year, so now we have a short week to get ready for that.“
Coach Lane Kiffin on the Egg Bowl
The Rebels dropped last year’s game to Mississippi State in Oxford, 24-22.
The sting of that memory is still on the mind of some players and they want to bring the Egg Bowl trophy back to Oxford.
“We have to be ten toes down and be where our feet are,” quarterback Jaxson Dart said.
“We have to make sure that we don’t get too high or too low. It’s funny because when you go out to the square or out of town, people tell you, ‘We don’t care if you don’t win any other game. We just care that you win the Egg Bowl.’ We understand the importance of it, and we are excited to go to Starkville and compete.”
Coach Kiffin had said earlier in the week that due to the number of transfers on the Ole Miss roster, many of his players have never been to Starkville. One particular transfer has — tight end Caden Prieskorn.
“Kind of the last two years I actually got to play them two times (while playing at Memphis). So kind of already prepared for them a little bit, but yeah, I just know around the building and just some of the people that have been around here a long time, this means a lot to them. This means a lot to everyone who goes to Ole Miss and has been here, so yeah, it’s definitely going to be a big one, we got to come prepared.“
Prieskorn’s Tigers lost in Starkville last season 49-22 and the season before, Memphis beat the Bulldogs 31-29 at home. He has two catches for 25 yards against State in his career.
Still, this is a short week for the Rebels to prepare for State who is 5-6 on the year after beating Southern Miss Saturday 41-20. “We will start practicing tomorrow with a walk-through,” Prieskorn said. “(It’s a) short week, short turnaround for Thursday, so we definitely need to speed up the process.”
State’s victory over Southern Miss came one week after Zach Arnett was dismissed as MSU’s coach. With a win over Ole Miss, the Bulldogs become bowl eligible.
Thursday will not be Trey Washington’s first Egg Bowl, but as a native Alabamian, the Rebel safety does have a barometer to gauge the rivalry game with the one he grew up watching — the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn.
“Yeah, it is very similar to the Iron Bowl, especially since it is on Thanksgiving and primetime,” Washington said.
“Probably more than the Iron Bowl since that is on Saturday with the rest of the games. We look to represent Mississippi well.”
Trey Washington on the Egg Bowl
With the win over ULM and a strong second half, Ole Miss heads to Starkville with its head held high.
“I’m super confident, Dart said. “I feel like we’ve been through a lot this year and have been able to bounce back from adverse situations. I have no doubt in our guys and our preparations for this week.”
The Egg Bowl kicks off Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and it can be seen on ESPN.
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.