The Battle for the Golden Egg, The Iron Bowl, the Red River Shootout, The Border War, The Holy War, the Backyard Brawl-All nicknames for the one thing that makes college football stand above nearly every other sport in terms of passion and intensity-rivalries.
Everyone enjoys knocking off his or her rival. The winning side holds bragging rights for a whole year, while the losing squad knows they have to wait an entire year before having an opportunity at redemption. While providing a beat down to your opponent much like last year's encounter with Ole Miss has its great moments, a comeback for the ages has a special way of ripping out someone's heart.
One three occasions, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have seemed to be down and out on the canvas.
In 1985, the Bulldogs trailed Memphis 28-14 with 9:12 left on the clock. The Bulldogs rallied, and Artie Cosby sent the ball through the uprights from 54-yards out to knock off Memphis 31-28 as time expired. While this may have been the first such experience, it did not lead to the joy that the future two would create. Mississippi State also rallied from the same deficit against Ole Miss in the 2007 edition of the Battle for the Golden Egg, but a different matchup with Ole Miss may have been the more exciting.
The 1999 season may have been the most exciting season in Mississippi State football history. The Bulldogs picked up four wins in the last two minutes of the game, including the greatest overall comeback in school history, bouncing back from a 16-point deficit in the third quarter to beat Auburn 18-16.
The game against Ole Miss did not disappoint. It appeared that Ole Miss would pick up a victory in this game and squash the joy of what had been a very exciting season. Late in the third quarter, Romaro Miller hit Adam Bettis for a touchdown to put the Rebels up by 14 and seemingly in charge of the game.
As had been the case that year, the Bulldogs would not die. Wayne Madkin hit Donald Lee for a touchdown with just over 12 minutes to play in the game to cut the score to 20-13. Both teams then traded possession, and the Bulldogs took back over at their own 11-yard line with just over two minutes to play.
After moving the ball down field, C. J. Sirmones (who is still wide open), hauled in a 38-yard touchdown pass from Madkin to tie the game at 20-20. With everyone thinking that Ole Miss would just run the ball or take a knee with twenty seconds to play, the Rebels decided to get aggressive.
That decision led to a Miller pass that was kicked by Robert Bean to Eugene Clinton for the interception. Clinton, with time running down, scurried down the sideline to set up a 44-yard Scott Westerfield field goal with four seconds left for the win.