Top 10 Moments of the Last 10 Years; #4: Derek Pegues 75 Yard Punt Return for TD vs. Ole Miss (2007)

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You knew I had to include something from an Egg Bowl, right? #4 comes from the '07 game that ended Coach O's run at TSUN. A great 4th quarter comeback that not only gave State the Golden Egg, but also solidified a bowl game for MSU.

Coming into the game Ole Miss was 0-7 in the SEC. Mississippi State had a chance to give their rival its first winless SEC season since 1982. What's more, MSU was 6-5 coming in, and with only nine bowl tie-ins that year State needed a 7th victory to secure one of them (South Carolina was left out that year at 6-6). As a bonus: Ed Orgeron was on the hot seat in Oxford, and Sly Croom was prepared to put his stamp on another coach's pink slip.

The game was played the day after Thanksgiving, and started off with a 12-play, 75 yard drive by the Rebels capped off with a BenJarvus Green-Ellis touchdown. The rest of the half was filled with a bunch of punts by both teams (and a missed FG by them). MSU had 17 total yards in the first half.

The 3rd quarter wasn't much better. Michael Henig did come in for Wes Carroll and hit Anthony Dixon on a 53 yard pass, but that was the only highlight for State. Ole Miss led 14-0 going into the 4th quarter and it didn't look like the Dawgs were going to do anything all day.

The turning point of the game came with 12 minutes to play. At midfield, UM went for it on 4th and 1 but Jasper O'Quinn and Keith Fitzhugh stuffed Green-Ellis for a 3-yard loss. Wes Carroll quickly led the Bulldogs down for a touchdown to make it 14-7. The defense forced a 3 & out and Carroll was hot, leading State back into the red zone. But, with four minutes to play he threw an interception and it felt like that would be our last chance.

The Mississippi State D was able to hold, forcing a punt. That punt was a wobbler that bounced in front of returner Derek Pegues, but he scooped it up and raced towards the endzone without anything more than a couple Rebel hands touching him. It was awesome! After 3+ quarters of futility, Pegues bails us out with a huge punt return for a touchdown. 14-14.

Derek Pegues 75 yard punt return for a TD (via sfslickdawg)

Even though it only tied the game, it was an exhilarating moment. The defense was able to stop Ole Miss yet again, allowing Carroll to drive 34 yards in about 25 seconds. Defying logic, Croom decided to attempt a 48 yard field goal with :18 left, on 2nd down. It worked out though, as Adam Carlson hit his longest career FG, bloodied big toe and all. Then the happiest moments of the Croom era ensued (the backdrop of my twitter as well), as he carried a MSU flag across the field and the celebration was on. Good times.

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