There is something about when Mississippi State wears a maroon and gold combination.
Let’s do this. Close your eyes.
The year is 2013. Dak Prescott is in at quarterback. It is 4th-and-1, and bowl eligibility is on the line. The cowbells are going nuts. Touchdown. On the next possession, Bo Wallace takes off and looks like he is about to tie the game. Nickoe Whitley had other ideas. Fumble. Mississippi State wins.
A crazy, walk-off Egg Bowl victory was followed by a 10-win season in 2014 and a nine-win season in 2015.
Flash-forward to 2019 and the Mississippi State is back in gold and, unfortunately, fighting for bowl eligibility. The Battle for the Golden is, and will always be, golden, but this year might have been as golden as ever. There have been some incredible games in the 116-year history of this game. There have been kicks blown by wind, goal-line stands, kick returns, and there has even been fake peeing on the field:
But there has never been fake peeing on the field that caused a missed field goal... until now:
This Egg Bowl ending was INSANE— ESPN (@espn) November 29, 2019
Ole Miss scored with 4 seconds left and had a chance to tie the game with the PAT.
After a flag for the excessive celebration moved the PAT back, the kicker missed wide right and Mississippi State held on to win the Egg Bowl 21-20. pic.twitter.com/z4U7c8JukQ
On national television, the Egg Bowl was peak Egg Bowl. It proved to be the best rivalry in sports, and it did so in a big way. In back-to-back years, a referee has say, “Unsportsmanlike Conduct on the entire team.” The miss sent the Mississippi State bench, crowd and social media into a frenzy. People now see what we have seen for years.
Now, Elijah Moore’s name will forever go down in Egg Bowl history, as will Luke Logan’s. The field goal went wide right, but it might have just sent Mississippi State football back on track. Mississippi State will, of course, reap the immediate rewards. The Bulldogs lifted the trophy, they celebrated accordingly and they will even get some recruits to commit, but the repercussions of this game won’t be evident until years from now. It was, by most, considered one of the most irrelevant Egg Bowls in years, but that wasn’t the case. The outcome of the game was going to change the course of both programs either way, but a Mississippi State victory might was always going to change things the most.
Going into the game, rumors ran rampant over Billy Napier taking over as head coach. Joe Moorhead was, supposedly, to be ousted after his second disappointing season. One pee-pee celebration later and the rumors have seemingly dissolved into nothing. It, at least on the surface, appears that Joe Moorhead will be the coach in 2020. In terms of retaining players for next year and for recruiting, this is a big step going forward. These players, as well as the 21st-ranked recruiting class, seemingly love Joe Moorhead. Players have been very open in their support, especially after the big-time win:
Let me tell y’all something This is my Coach I Love this man with my heart and Soul and it’s crazy to me how y’all Disrespect this man I just don’t understand it, But I know one thing y’all better learn to respect him because he ain’t going no where no time soon !! #Hailstate pic.twitter.com/GV2DnErhmI— Dillon (@Dill_7k) November 29, 2019
Keeping Moorhead, for at least next season, saves the reputation of this job. The university forking out roughly $10 million to fire a coach who has a winning record, two Egg Bowl victories and two bowl game appearances would destroy this job. Yes, he has some losses that are less than ideal, but Tennessee and Kansas State are both going bowling. He hasn’t lost to a Georgia State or Appalachian State. So, yes, it might mean another year of suffering, it at least shows that our administration will give you time to win.
As I mentioned earlier, though, it also might not mean another year of suffering. The momentum that was gained after a crazy 2013 win propelled the Dawgs to win 19 games in two seasons. The eerie similarities between the 2013 team and the 2019 team are outstanding. Tyler Russel was banged up for most of the season, much like Tommy Stevens. Prescott got to start on and off during the season, and eventually lead them to a dramatic win over Mississippi, much like Shrader. Both wins featured an insane ending as Bo Wallace fumbled at the goal line in 2013 and a missed PAT in 2019. Those wins secured a bowl game for Mississippi State, and they did so in gold accented uniforms.
So, will Joe Moorhead win 10 games in 2020? I am almost 100% sure that will not be happening, but the momentum that seized in this game will impact this team for years to come. The Golden Egg will reside in Starkville for yet another year, as will Joe Moorhead and a ton of momentum. Can they capitalize and win a bowl game to keep it going? They did in 2013. If they don’t, John Cohen might have to drag him out:
Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead: "This is my team, this is my school, this is my program. You'll have to drag my Yankee ass out of here."— Tyler Horka (@tbhorka) November 29, 2019
Either way, the future seemingly got a little bit brighter in Starkville, and hopefully it is not just from the Golden Egg.