“I’ll play them at 9 o’clock out in the parking lot,” said former Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen, when discussing his take on the Egg Bowl. The 2018 Ole Miss-Mississippi State matchup will be the 115th meeting between the two schools and the 90th Egg Bowl. Ole Miss holds a 63-44-6 advantage in the all time series dating back to 1901, and the Rebels hold a 57-27-5 edge in the Egg Bowl.
Mississippi State (8-3) was a 14-point favorite at home last year to the Rebels, but Ole Miss forced five turnovers to upset the Bulldogs, 31-28. Ole Miss used several explosive plays as A.J. Brown scored on 58- and 77-yard pass plays and D.J. Metcalf had a 63-yard score. Jordan Wilkins ran for two scores, but in the end the Ole Miss defense held off the MSU offense that was without quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. This year State (7-4) is another double digit favorite at 10 points in Oxford. The teams are 5-5 over the last ten years, but Ole Miss (5-6) has won three of the last four games played in the series.
Titles of the great Egg Bowl games
Drought Finally Over: The Bulldogs snapped an 18-year losing streak that dated back to 1946 with the 20-17 win in 1964.
The Immaculate Deflection: The 1983 Egg Bowl had one of the great all-time endings. Down by 24-23 with 24 seconds to play in the game, MSU freshman kicker Artie Crosby attempted a 27-yard field goal to win the game. Crosby's kick appeared headed straight and long, but as the ball reached the goal post, a 40 mph wind suspended the ball inches from the uprights, as it fell short, securing the Ole Miss win.
The 1992 Stand: Ole Miss kept MSU out of the end zone in the waning minutes. MSU had 11 chances from inside the Ole Miss 10 but failed to score in the 17-10 Rebels win.
No Name Game: The 1997 contest has no name but provided another close contest and perhaps the most exciting finish ever in the series. Stewart Patridge hit Andre Rone for a 10-yard TD pass with 25 seconds left and then found Cory Peterson over the middle on the two-point conversion attempt to give the Rebels a 15-14 win over Mississippi State.
The Pick and Kick in 1999: Romaro Miller's pass with 20 seconds left was deflected into the arms of MSU's Eugene Clinton, who returned it to the Ole Miss 27. Scott Westerfield then booted a 44-yard field goal to make the Bulldogs a 23-20 winner.
So on paper MSU looks like a big favorite, but let’s play the game first. It could be interesting Thursday night in Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium, and another title could be added to the history of the series.
You can reach Dale at firstname.lastname@example.org