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Today in MSU History: Winning Our First Golden Egg

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11/21/1936- After a 10-year winless streak against ole miss, Major Ralph Sasse and Mississippi State defeated the Rebels 26-6 in Starkville and won our first Golden Egg.

When Major Ralph Sasse was hired before the 1935 season, Mississippi State football was in a horrid stretch of 7 losing seasons where we only once reached a measly total of 4 wins.

But Sasse brought military discipline and immediate results. The 1935 team finished 8-3, with a 2-3 record in the 3-year old Southeastern Conference. The team faced an incredibly tough schedule that featured 8 road games, which were much more taxing and lengthy back then. Still, over the course of 11 games, the Maroons posted 5 shutouts and only once allowed more than 2 touchdowns. Surely, there was deserved optimism around campus.

The 1936 season began with a disappointing 4-2-1 record, but the rivalry game against 4-4-1 Ole Miss offered redemption. State was winless in the last 10 matches against Ole Miss, dating back to the brawl of 1926, afterwhich The Golden Egg was created.

In Starkville, 22,000 came to watch the game - the largest crowd ever to fill Scott Stadium and the largest to ever witness a Mississippi State / Ole Miss game, regardless of location.

Major Sasse's boys broke through on their second possession, just four minutes into the game. Excellent punting by Ike Pickle pinned Ole Miss at their own 4 yardline, and after a 3-and-out, the University shanked a punt and gave the Maroons the ball on the Rebel 24 yardline.

A pass from Hight to Gelatka set up Mississippi State with first and goal at the 9, and three plays later, Bill Steadman ran over center for State's first touchdown, giving the Maroons a 7-0 lead.

Ole Miss finally found paydirt in the third quarter when Ray Hapes dropped back to pass and scrambled 37 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was no good, and State held a 7-6 lead.

The fourth quarter featured a wild scoring spree by the Maroons, first set up by Gelatka who intercepted a Rebel pass on the Ole Miss 16 yardline. Two plays later, Ike Pickle caught the ball, eluded a Rebel defender, and crossed the goal line to give State a 14-6 lead.

After a lengthy drive, Ole Miss fumbled the ball 8 yards shy of the goal line, and the Maroons put together a successful 92-yard drive full of "line-plunges and end runs" to extend the lead to 20-6. The extra point was blocked by Ole Miss's Country Graham, who had an All-American basketball career in Oxford and coached the Rebel basketball teams from 1950-1962.

The final score came when Major Sasse sent in four seniors - Caldwell, Armstrong, Wielgosz, and Reddoch - to take their last shot at Ole Miss. Pee Wee Armstrong faded back, deep behind the line of scrimmage, and heaved a beautiful 34-yard pass to Dennis Cross, who caught it and ran the remaining 30 yards, sending the Maroon fans into a frenzy.

The 1936 Reflector recollects the post-game antics after the 26-6 victory:

"the hysterical crowd swarmed on the field a few minutes later to carry the victorious Bulldogs off the field and to bring the Golden Egg back to its rightful resting place - Mississippi State College."

And for the first time in its 10-year existence, Mississippi State had won The Battle of the Golden Egg.