STARKVILLE, Miss. — A scrappy rivalry game between Mississippi State and Ole Miss was decided by a missed extra point by Ole Miss junior kicker Luke Logan as the Bulldogs went on to win 21-20 to keep hold of the Golden Egg and reach bowl eligibility for the 10th straight season.
The missed extra point came after sophomore wide receiver Elijah Moore caught a 2-yard touchdown pass with four seconds left. He then did the dog peeing celebration and was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct, which pushed the extra point back 15 yards.
With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 6-6 (3-5 SEC), while the Rebels end the season with a record of 4-8 (2-6 SEC).
The Bulldogs compiled 318 yards of total offense compared to the Rebels’ 384.
Freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader finished 10-of-14 passing for 108 yards. His top target was senior wide receiver Deddrick Thomas who finished with four catches for 49 yards.
State accumulated 210 yards on the ground in the game. Junior running back Kylin Hill led the way with 132 yards rushing on 27 carries. Senior running back Nick Gibson finished with 57 yards on three carries, which included a run of 30 yards and a touchdown run of 27 yards.
Defensively, the Bulldogs limited the Rebels to 245 yards passing and 139 yards rushing. Freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee finished the contest 9-of-14 passing for 121 yards and carried the ball 18 times for 34 yards and one touchdown. Freshman quarterback Matt Corral completed 6-of-12 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown.
Junior linebacker Erroll Thompson anchored the defense with 11 tackles, which included seven solo stops and one tackle for loss. He also forced a fumble in the game. Junior cornerback Cameron Dantzler finished with nine solo tackles, while sophomore safety Marcus Murphy and senior safety Jaquarius Landrews finished with eight tackles each.
Gibson’s 27-yard touchdown run was the only touchdown of the first quarter as the Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead.
A 13-play, 74-yard drive was then capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run by Shrader to give State a 14-0 lead with 11:22 left in the half. Touchdown runs of two yards and five yards by Plumlee and freshman running back Jerrion Ealy then made it a 14-14 game at the half.
Shrader then found the end zone from five yards out to give MSU a 21-14 lead with 3:24 left in the third quarter.
Murphy came up with a clutch interception late into the fourth quarter with just over six minutes left in the game.
The ensuing drive took 4:04 off the clock with five straight runs by Hill before a sack forced a Bulldog punt.
A big-time sack on third-and-15 then made it fourth-and-24 for the Rebels. Corral did the unthinkable and completed a 57-yard pass to junior wide receiver Braylon Sanders down to the Mississippi State 29-yard line.
A roughing the passer call then moved Ole Miss down to the 15. An offside penalty on fourth-and-4 then gave the Rebels another first down. A pass interference penalty would move the Rebels down to the 2-yard line where Corral connected with Moore to make it 21-20.
After the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty following the Moore touchdown, Logan missed the game-tying extra point as the Bulldogs escaped with a 21-20 win.
The Bulldogs, bowl eligible for a school-record 10th-straight season, will now await their postseason plans. Bowl games will be officially announced Sunday, December 8th.