Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
Ole Miss knocked off Mississippi State to reclaim the Golden Egg. How did they do it?
The inability to establish a running game and uncharacteristic interceptions by Tyler Russell doomed Mississippi State's hopes to house the Golden Egg for a fourth straight season as the Bulldogs dropped a 41-24 decision to Mississippi at Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium.
The duo connected on three touchdown passes of 77-, 21- and 16-yards as Wallace completed 15-of-22 passes for 294 yards and five touchdown passes, and Moncrief hauled in seven catches for 173 yards.
After a sloppy first half that saw the teams tied at 17-17, the Rebels put the first points on the board in the second half on a 41-yard field goal from Bryson Rose with 10:08 to play in the third quarter. They pushed their lead to 27-17 on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Wallace to Moncrief with 6:47 to play in the third quarter, and the duo connected on a 16-yard touchdown with 3:40 in the quarter to go up 34-17.
The Rebels ended any hopes of a Mississippi State rally when Vincent Sanders caught a touchdown pass of 15-yards from Wallace with 11:44 to play to put Ole Miss up 41-17.
The Rebels took their opening drive 71 yards on four plays, capped off on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Wallace to Jamal Mosley with 13:17 to play in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead. Moncrief's 42-yard reception highlighted the drive.
Jameon Lewis took the following kickoff 101 yards to tie the game at 7-7 with 13:02 to play in the first quarter.
Mississippi State took a 14-7 lead when Russell eluded pressure from a collapsing pocket and Bumphis slipped behind the Ole Miss defense on a 42-yard completion with 2:46 to play in the first quarter.
Rose drilled a 43-yard field goal with 13:36 to play in the first half to cut the Mississippi State lead to 14-10, and after stopping Mississippi State on a fourth-and-two jump pass, the Rebels reclaimed the lead on a 77-yard touchdown connection from Wallace to Moncrief to take a 17-14 lead with 5:19 in the first half.
Devon Bell tied the game with 3:21 to play in the half with a 23-yard field goal.
Mississippi State potentially left a halftime lead on the field as the Bulldogs failed to turn two Cam Lawrence first half interceptions into points, missing a field goal and being forced to punt. The Bulldogs later forced a Bo Wallace fumble, recovered by Kaleb Eulls.
LaDarius Perkins picked up 45 yards on 16 carries, while the Rebels saw Jeff Scott run for 111 yards on 28 carries, and Barry Brunetti added 62 yards on seven carries. Russell finished 18 of 33 for 268 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions.
1. Play action against MSU defense: On the first two drives, Ole Miss completed three passes of over 20 yards on play action. All through the game, Mississippi State bit on play action and the first read of an option.
2. The 7-0 lead by Ole Miss was the first time the Rebels led in the Egg Bowl since they held a lead at 8:54 in the second quarter in 2010.
3. Mississippi State had a chance to put this game away early, but failing to convert on three turnovers hurt them. You have to score on turnovers.
4. The Bulldogs really got away from their running game in the first half. With Tyler Russell struggling, I do not get several long throws. Either run the ball or let Russell hit a few short throws to get his rhythm back. The Bulldogs did not really do any of that in the second half.
5. The fourth-and-two jump pass may not have doomed Mississippi State, but it did not help. The Bulldogs seemed as if they had momentum in the game, and they had a chance to go up seven points. Instead they ended up trailing, and had to come back to tie before the half.
6. Dan Mullen lost his first game in which his team won the turnover battle.
7. Did Ole Miss really storm the field? Thanks for the respect.
8. Credit is due to Hugh Freeze and his efforts at Ole Miss.
9. Please, please, ditch the special jerseys, special hashtags, etc. Two games with special jerseys, two losses. #Webelieve-loss, #SnowBowl12-loss. Just stop it...looks silly.