While the thought of starting a young quarterback, or at least relying heavily on one, in a big rivalry game such as an Egg Bowl matchup seems to be a recipe for disaster, it has had a good bit of success for the Mississippi State Bulldogs over the last 15 or so years.
In 2009, Chris Relf burst onto the scene in the first Egg Bowl the Bulldogs played under Dan Mullen. Relf, who picked up playing time in most contests that season, exploded in the Egg Bowl rushing 15 times for 131 yards and one score. His performance helped to single-handedly sink the Rebels, something he would go on to do two more times against Ole Miss.
In 2007, Wesley Carroll made his first start against Ole Miss, and he helped guide Mississippi State to an unlikely come from behind win over the Rebels. His four-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Dixon with 7:51 to play put the first Bulldog points on the board on the way to victory.
In 2005, Mike Henig stepped into the fire as a freshman and led the Bulldogs to a win over Ole Miss. While Jerious Norwood rightfully gained the headlines with his 204 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, Henig had a good game in his own right, finishing the day with two touchdown passes.
In 2001, Kevin Fant started to take over the Mississippi State quarterback position, and in a rare instance where the Egg Bowl did not end the season, the former Moss Point Tiger finished the Egg Bowl 14 of 21 for 263 yards and a touchdown. While Fant did see action in the 2000 edition, this was his first go as the starter in the Egg Bowl.
In 1998, Wayne Madkin made his Egg Bowl debut in Oxford, tossing a touchdown in route to the Bulldogs winning the SEC West.
On Thursday, it will be interesting to see if Williams can add his name to the list of those who had success in their first ever significant Egg Bowl action.