It is rivalry week across the college football world. When it comes to bitter rivalry games, look no further than the Egg Bowl each year as it pits Mississippi State against its in-state rival Ole Miss.
Dating back 114 years, this game never gets old and always bring out the best in both teams, even in years where both programs have had rough seasons.
Whether sitting near the top of the Southeastern Conference in standings or at the very bottom, the bragging rights that come along with winning the Egg Bowl are always a big deal for diehard Ole Miss and Mississippi State alums.
And on Saturday in Oxford, it will not be any different. No. 18 Mississippi State (7-4, 3-4) will look to add another win to end the regular season, hoping to get Bulldogs coach Joe Moorhead eight wins in his first season.
If Moorhead gets his eighth win, he will join only two other coaches in Mississippi State history to win eight or more games in their first season: Ralph Sasse (1935) finished 8-3 in his first season and Allyn McKeen (1939) finished 8-2 in his first season.
Meanwhile, Mississippi (5-6, 1-6) has lost four straight games as the Rebels last win came on the road against Arkansas on Oct. 13. Since then, Ole Miss lost to Auburn (31-16), South Carolina (48-44), Texas A&M (38-24) and Vanderbilt (36-29 in overtime).
A year ago in Starkville, Ole Miss upset then No. 16 Mississippi State 31-28 behind the play of Rebels quarterback Jordan Ta’amu’s 247 passing yards and two-touchdown performance. That game also saw Bulldogs quarterback Nick Fitzgerald go down with a dislocated ankle injury in the first quarter of the game, forcing Mississippi State to play Keytaon Thompson at quarterback.
Last year’s edition of the Egg Bowl would be the last for then head coach Dan Mullen who is finishing up his first year as head coach at Florida. As for Ole Miss, then interim Rebels coach Matt Luke is now the head coach this season, hoping to coach his team a .500 winning percentage (6-6 record) with a victory in by far the biggest game of the Rebels season.
And in Luke’s mind, he’s gotten the best of the Bulldogs once. He believes that he can do it again.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will have another agenda on Thanksgiving Day. Ole Miss leads the all-time series 64-44-6. However, Mississippi State has won six of the last 11 games since 2007, including a 55-20 victory against the Rebels in 2016 in Oxford.
With the Bulldogs coming off a huge win over Arkansas and looking to seek revenge from last year’s Egg Bowl loss and Ole Miss hoping to snap a four-game losing skid, the 2018 Egg Bowl should be a good one.
And as one knows, records mean nothing when it comes to this game.
Here are a few memorable games for Mississippi State within the last decade.
November 23, 1991 | Mississippi State 24 - Ole Miss 9— MSU Football (@HailStateFB) November 20, 2018
In the first #EggBowl played in Starkville since 1971, first year Mississippi State head coach Jackie Sherrill led the Bulldogs to victory.#HailState pic.twitter.com/F3ZreywvKc
2007 – Mississippi State came back to defeat Ole Miss in the fourth quarter of the game, winning 17-14.
2009 – Mississippi State running back Anthony Dixon ran for 133 yards and a touchdown, backup quarterback Chris Relf performance and a solid defensive performance down the stretch of the game helped the Bulldogs defeat the Rebels, 41-27.
2013 – Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss 17–10 in overtime overtime on Thanksgiving night at Davis Wade Stadium, winning the first overtime game in an Egg Bowl. Then Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott, who was injured at the time, led Mississippi State to a game-tying field goal that forced overtime. In overtime, Prescott scored a touchdown on fourth down from the three-yard line.
2014: This was an unusual Egg Bowl because there were so many CFP implications on the line. Mississippi State entered the game with a record of 10–1 and 6–1 in conference play. The Bulldogs were also ranked No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings. A win for Mississippi State and a loss by Alabama in the Iron Bowl would have given the Bulldogs the SEC West championship and a berth in the SEC Championship Game. Ole Miss entered the game at No. 19, marking only the fifth time in Egg Bowl history, and the first since 1999, that both teams entered the Egg Bowl ranked. However, the Rebels defeated the Bulldogs 31–17.
2016: Ole Miss and Mississippi State both entered the game with 2-5 conference records. Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss 55-20 behind the play of then sophomore quarterback Nick Fitzgerald who rushed for a school-record 258 yards. The 35-point win for the Bulldogs was the biggest-ever Bulldogs victory in Oxford.
2017: Following a dislocated ankle injury for Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald early in the first quarter, the unranked Rebels built a 24-6 third quarter lead over the Bulldogs in Starkville. However, despite five Bulldogs turnovers, quarterback Keyaton Thompson led Mississippi State on a furious fourth quarter rally. However, the Bulldogs came up short as Ole Miss defeated Mississippi State 31-28.