The Mississippi State Bulldogs knocked off Ole Miss 17-10 to take back the Golden Egg and presumably set up a birth in the BBVA Compass Bowl at Legion Field in Birmingham on January 4.
There is not enough that can be said about the Mississippi State defense in this game. The unit only gave up three points in the contest, meaning they forced more turnovers than points allowed. The four turnovers pushed the Bulldogs' four week total to 14 turnovers. Geoff Collins caught some flack early for his defense, but it is looking quite impressive to close out the season.
Seeing Dak Prescott come into the game had to be one of the more exciting moments in Egg Bowl history. Yes, it comes with questions about how healthy he is, but he showed tremendous heart in leading Mississippi State to the win late. Don't forget a tip of the cap to Damian Williams. In all, he played well enough to have his team where they should have been winning, and even though he was not on the field when the win occurred, he guided Mississippi State to a position to pick up the win.
How fitting is it that Mississippi State special teams nearly cost the Bulldogs the Egg Bowl? Jameon Lewis should never have thought of returning the punt at the end of the first half, and the blocked punt was totally inexcusable. Of course, with a chance to win the game, the Bulldogs could not come up with a field goal to win the game. Say what you will about Dan Mullen as the special team's coach, but as a head coach, he showed guts and made the right call (conversion or not) on fourth down in overtime.
Even though he missed the game winner in regulation, good job by Evan Sobiesk hitting the game tying field goal in the fourth quarter.
I'm not a fan of blaming officials or pointing out questionable calls because they usually balance out, but tonight was atrocious. I am not sure any of it was really game changing, but the one that jumped out to me was Nickoe Whitley getting penalized when Bo Wallace lowered the shoulder and initiated contact out of bounds. The Teveze Calhoun interception deserved a review as well. Those two calls were just awful.
Compare this feeling to the feeling ten years ago after the 2003 Egg Bowl. Wow, what a difference.
Headed to the BBVA Bowl? Ride with someone else!