OXFORD, Miss. — The Golden Egg is returning to Starkville as the No. 18 Mississippi State football team downed Ole Miss 35-3 in dominating fashion in Thursday night’s annual Egg Bowl.
With the win, MSU ends the regular season 8-4 (4-4 SEC), while Ole Miss ends its season at 5-7 (1-7 SEC).
The Bulldogs set the pace through the entire 60 minutes of the game, as they recorded 420 yards of total offense, including 309 yards on the ground and 111 yards through the air. In comparison, Ole Miss was limited to just 189 yards of offense, including 37 yards on the ground and 152 through the air, though the Rebels’ senior quarterback Jordan Ta’amu injured his throwing hand in the first quarter of the game. He reportedly dislocated his finger on the first fumble and tried to come back in, but was unable to play the rest of the game.
Senior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and sophomore running back Kylin Hill fueled a strong Bulldog rushing attack, as Fitzgerald rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, while Hill added 108 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
Senior running back Aeris Williams also found the endzone and finished the day with 64 yards on 11 carries.
Through the air, Fitzgerald completed 11-17 passes for 111 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, the Bulldogs continued their dominating ways, holding Ole Miss to just 189 yards of total offense and just 37 on the ground. The Bulldog defense forced three turnovers—two interceptions and one fumble. Senior safety Johnathan Abram and junior cornerback Maurice Smitherman both came away with picks, while junior defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons forced a fumble.
The Bulldog defense compiled 11 tackles for loss and four sacks in the game. Sophomore linebacker Eroll Thompson led the way with seven tackles and two for a loss. Senior defensive end Montez Sweat added six tackles and a team-high 1.5 sacks. Simmons and senior defensive end Geri Green also had sacks in the game.
The Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead with about five minutes left in the first quarter on an eight-yard scamper by Hill. Fitzgerald made it 14-0 early in the second quarter with a touchdown run of his own, this one from eight yards out.
The Rebels’ only score came on a 32-yard field goal by Luke Logan with 6:46 remaining in the first half that made it 14-3 Bulldogs. MSU then scored 21 unanswered to close out the night on touchdowns from junior wide receiver Deddrick Thompson, Fitzgerald and Williams.
The Bulldogs end the season by taking back the Golden Egg Trophy in the 91st Egg Bowl and will now wait for their postseason fate. Bowl game matchups will be officially announced Sunday, Dec. 2.