Mississippi St. 31, Mississippi 3
Vick Ballard rushed for 144 yards and scored two touchdowns,
LaDarius Perkins added two more touchdowns and Mississippi State
easily beat Mississippi 31-3 on Saturday night in the Egg Bowl.
Mississippi State (6-6, 2-6 Southeastern Conference) now has a
three-game winning streak in the Egg Bowl for the first time since
1942 and also earned bowl eligibility for the second straight
Ole Miss (2-10, 0-8) finished a miserable season that included
10 losses for the first time in program history and ends coach
Houston Nutt’s four-year tenure. Nutt’s resignation was announced
on Nov. 7, but he remained to coach the last three games, which the
Rebels lost by a combined score of 110-13.
Nutt ends with a 24-26 overall record at Ole Miss, including a
10-22 mark in conference games. The Rebels have lost 14 straight
Third-year Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen has injected new
life into the rivalry since his arrival in Starkville, with a
smack-talking persona that’s been backed up with dominant
victories. The Bulldogs unveiled new uniforms for Saturday’s game,
with gold numbers, gold shoes and the phrase `Hail State’ replacing
each player’s last name on the back of the jersey.
From the very first snap, it was evident Mississippi State was
the better and more motivated team. Relf rushed for 12 yards on the
first play and then 17 more on the second as the Bulldogs
methodically moved downfield. The 11-play, 68-yard drive ended on
an 18-yard touchdown pass from Relf to Ballard that gave the
Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 5:35 remaining in the first quarter.
Mississippi State stretched its lead to 21-0 by halftime on a
36-yard run by Perkins and then a 20-yard pass from Relf to
Perkins. To seal any doubt, Ballard rushed for a 25-yard touchdown
early in the third quarter to push the lead to 28-0.
Relf didn’t have to throw much, but was effective when he did,
completing 8 of 13 passes for 70 yards, two touchdowns and one
Ole Miss never could get moving on offense. Its only sustained
drive lasted 12 plays and 47 yards before Bryson Rose kicked a
28-yard field goal in the third quarter. Enrique Davis rushed for
32 yards on 12 carries while Donte Moncrief caught four passes for
The game had a fitting ending, with Ole Miss quarterback Barry
Brunetti leveled at the 3-yard line by the Mississippi State
defense as he was trying to score a touchdown. The Davis Wade
Stadium crowd roared its approval as the Bulldogs stormed the field
and Mullen raised the Egg Bowl trophy above his head.
Brunetti completed 12 of 22 passes for 112 yards.
The Rebels didn’t exactly rally around their outgoing coach,
losing by lopsided margins to Louisiana Tech, LSU and Mississippi
State since it was announced Nutt would not return.
Nutt was paid about $2.7 million this season to oversee the
collapse. He’s also owed a $6 million buyout.
The search for the Rebels’ fifth coach in 17 seasons now begins
in earnest. Whoever it is will have plenty of work ahead
considering Ole Miss is 1-15 in the SEC – including the 14-game
conference losing streak – over the past two seasons and resides in
arguably the hardest division in college football.