History of the Egg Bowl

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Bully vs. Colonel Reb

At some point, early on in the history of this rivalry, a cow wondered on the field and State whipped the Rebels. No one really knows what the exact date was, but I'm going to guess it was 1915 when MSU won 65-0. As good-luck charms turn into traditions they had to follow it up with some wins, and Mississippi A&M (at the time) won 11 straight after that to bring the all-time record vs. Ole Miss to 17-5-1. During this time the game was played in Starkville, Oxford, Jackson, Tupelo, Greenwood, and Clarksdale, MS.

Ole Miss finally won for the first time in 16 years in 1926 and they rushed the field - in Starkville - and fights broke out prompting the creation of the Egg Bowl Trophy for bragging rights. Ole Miss won the first trophy in 1927 and proceeded to dominate the next 10 years. State dominated the 10 years after that winning 7 of 10. And then the glory years of Ole Miss football ensued and MSU could only muster 3 ties in 17 tries.

From 1926-1972 the series alternated between Starkville and Oxford. In 1973, it moved to Jackson where it was played every year until 1991 when it began alternating between Starkville and Oxford again.

In 1983, MSU missed a potential game-winning 27 yard field goal with 24 seconds left because a huge gust of wind came through knocking the ball down. This became known as the immaculate deflection, and resulted in a 24-23 Ole Miss victory and a trip to the Independence Bowl under first year coach Billy Brewer.

In 1994, both teams scored a combined 38 points within 10 minutes in the 2nd quarter. But that was all the scoring in the game and MSU won 21-17. In 1997, MSU was 7-3 and in the midst of a great season behind Matt Wyatt, reaching as high as #15 in the polls and ranked #22 coming into the Egg Bowl. Before the game started, a massive brawl between the teams broke out near midfield. State was up 14-0, but the Rebels came back and won the game 15-14 on a two point conversion...cementing Tommy Tubberville's status as the ‘riverboat gambler'. Both teams finished 7-4, but MSU was denied a bowl invite in favor of Ole Miss.

In 1998, MSU went to Oxford with the knowledge they could clinch the SEC West with a victory. In front of a packed house in newly renovated Vaught-Hemingway Stadium MSU won big, 28-6. The next day, Tubberville spurned Ole Miss by accepting the head coaching position at Auburn.

In 1999, State returned the favor for '97 by coming back from a 20-6 deficit at the end of the 3rd quarter. With 2:10 to play, Wayne Madkin engineered an 88-yard touchdown drive that tied the game 20-20 with 27 seconds left. When the Rebels got the ball back, they threw a pass which was deflected off Robert Bean's hand and foot and then intercepted by Eugene Clinton and returned to the Ole Miss 27 yard line. Scott Westerfield then nailed a 44-yard field goal to win it 23-20.

Eli Manning's first Egg Bowl was a 36-28 MSU win in 2001. This forced Ole Miss to a 7-4 season and they were not invited to a bowl game. The Rebels won the next three Eggs bowls. 2005 was an otherwise miserable year for MSU, but the Bulldogs whipped Ole Miss 35-14 for their only SEC win of the season. This game snapped the losing streak for MSU in the series.

In 2007, State was down 14-0 at the end of the 3rd quarter, just like in 1999. State didn't get on the board until there was less than 8 minutes remaining. Fueled by a 4th down stop at midfield, a Derek Pagues punt return for a touchdown, and a 48 yard Adam Carlson field goal MSU won 17-14. Coach O was fired, and Ole Miss ended the season 0-8 in the SEC.

Houston Nutt and Sly Croom met once, in 2008, and it wasn't pretty. In 2009, Mullen took the Egg Bowl trophy by beating #20 Ole Miss and he hasn't relinquished it. 2010′s Egg Bowl was more lopsided then the score indicated, and MSU won it's second straight. Last year's train-wreak Rebel team came into Starkville and it was hardly a contest, 31-3 State.

Out of the 108 matchups in this series, all but 12 have been played just before, on, or just after Thanksgiving. From 1998-2003, ESPN broadcast the game on Thanksgiving night. From '04-'06 it was moved back to the Saturday after Thanksgiving and was not on TV. In '07 and '08 the games was played the day after Thanksgiving. Since then it has been televised the Saturday after Turkey Day. State leads the series 11-9 in the last 20 years.

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