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Manning, Ole Miss hang goose egg on MSU in Egg Bowl

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Starkville, MS (Sports Network) - completed 19-of-27 passes for 260 yards and three scores to lead the 17th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels to a 31-0 blanking of the Bulldogs in the Egg Bowl from Scott Field. caught eight passes for 113 yards and a touchdown to help secure the Golden Egg Trophy for the Rebels (9-3, 7-1 SEC).

finished with 70 rushing yards on 19 attempts, and also caught a touchdown pass, as Ole Miss won for the seventh time in eight games, following up a disappointing loss to last weekend with a decisive victory.

Ole Miss clinched at least a share of its first-ever SEC Western Division title. The Rebels can win the division title outright with an loss to Arkansas on Friday.

completed 14-of-28 passes for just 91 yards, and was intercepted once for the Bulldogs (2-10, 1-7). Jerious Norwood paced MSU with 11 carries for 53 yards and Nick Turner added 46 yards on eight rushes, but the Bulldogs just couldn't muster enough offense in the 100th overall meeting between the teams.

caught three balls for 43 yards, as the Bulldogs closed out the era of head coach Jackie Sherrill with their sixth straight defeat.

Sherrill won 75 games in 13 seasons as leader of the MSU program, but only two of those victories have come in this his farewell season. He was fourth on the all-time win list among active Division I-A coaches with 180.

Both teams saw their offenses stalled on their opening two possessions of the game, but on Ole Miss' third series, Manning began to make the Rebels click.

First, he hit Collins with a 38-yard pass, and later, from the Bulldogs' 25, Manning used an excellent play-action fake to find Turner in the back right corner for the touchdown with less than four minutes to play in the opening stanza.

The rains then grew from a drizzle to a downpour, and things started getting sloppy.

After two consecutive second-quarter Ole Miss possessions ended in Manning fumbles, the Rebels again found the end zone. Manning capped a quick, four- play 37-yard drive with an 11-yard scoring strike to Lawrence Lilly for the 14-0 lead midway through the frame. The possession was set up by an Ole Miss stop of Fant on a 4th-and-1 inside Bulldog territory.

On the third play of MSU's next drive, intercepted a Fant pass and returned 14 yards to the Bulldogs' 18. It set up a 32-yard field goal four plays later to give the Rebels a 17-0 edge.

came in behind center for the Bulldogs on the next series, and didn't fare well, throwing three straight incompletions. After the punt, the Rebels rolled down the field 55 yards in nine plays, ending to first half with a 24-0 advantage when danced into the end zone from one-yard out with 15 seconds to go.

Scoring slowed down in the second half, as Ole Miss did not reach the end zone until there were less than two minutes to go in the third. Two plays after MSU turned the ball over on a muffed punt, Manning hit Collins with a pass along the left sideline, and the wideout sped past defenders on the way to a 23-yard touchdown. Ole Miss claimed the 31-0 lead after 45 minutes of play.

MSU's best scoring chance of the final stanza came on its first drive, when Nick Turner had a 39-yard run to get well into Rebels' territory. But Fant's pass on 4th-and-7 from the 10-yard line fell harmlessly to the ground.

The Golden Egg trophy, which goes annually to the winner, was created in hopes of preventing post-game melees between the fans, such as the one that occurred after the 1926 matchup. Ole Miss holds a 57-37-6 advantage in the all-time series between these two teams.

In the game, Ole Miss broke the school's previous scoring record of 404 points in a season.
Tagged: Mississippi State, Mississippi

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