Welcome to the Egg Bowl, where an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for a celebration mimicking a dog peeing costs Ole Miss a chance at taking Mississippi State into overtime.
The Egg Bowl, by all accounts, is an odd and absurd rivalry. College football is known for unconventional traditions and heated feuds, but few are anything like the annual matchup between Mississippi State and Ole Miss. The 2019 edition of this historic (and ridiculous) rivalry summarizes just how outlandish it is.
A quick glance back at previous meetings can prove just how odd this series is. From the postgame brawl in 1926 that led to the creation of the Golden Egg trophy to “The Immaculate Deflection” in 1983 to “The Kick and The Pick” in 1999 to Bo Wallace fumbling into the end zone in overtime to lose in 2013, there’s been plenty of bizarre moments.
But while this rivalry is full of rich history of odd happenings and unique moments, few will top how the 2019 unfolded, and then ultimately ended.
Joe Moorhead and Mississippi State were able to get the game going brilliantly. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead over Ole Miss thanks to rushing touchdowns from Nick Gibson and Garrett Shrader.
As with any good Egg Bowl, drama was necessary. And that ingredient was missing from the recipe up to this point.
Ole Miss quickly responded with its own pair of rushing touchdowns from John Rhys Plumlee and Jerrion Ealy, tying things up at 14-14 heading into halftime.
Mississippi State, having blown a 14-0 lead in a game that it needed to win to get bowl eligibility, reclaimed its lead over Ole Miss thanks to another rushing score from Shrader (#AlwaysRunNeverPass), and found itself up 21-14 late in the third quarter.
Late in the fourth quarter, Ole Miss was granted an opportunity to tie the game up. The Rebels had turned to Matt Corral to lead their offense at this point and Corral previously responded by being picked off, but he was still set to lead the Ole Miss offense. With 2:06 left on the clock, Corral and the Rebels were set to march from their own 18-yard line.
After a couple of incomplete passes, a nine-yard sack, and a penalty, Ole Miss found itself in a painful 4th and 24. Corral responded by simply heaving a 57-yard pass through the air to advance the Rebels deep into Mississippi State territory.
Now with less than a minute to play, Ole Miss was set at the Bulldogs’ 29-yard line. A questionable roughing the passer call one play later made that the 15-yard line. Corral missed some more passes and the Mississippi State and Ole Miss combined to commit three penalties in three plays.
That put Ole Miss at the 2-yard line. Corral eventually got the Rebels into the end zone by tossing a touchdown pass to Elijah Moore, cutting MSU’s lead to 21-20. Moore then mimicked D.K. Metcalf’s infamous dog peeing celebration from the 2017 Egg Bowl (which Ole Miss won and sent then Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen packing for Florida). This celebration was met with a flag from the refs, forcing Ole Miss to kick its extra point attempt from the 18-yard line instead of the 3-yard line.
Luke Logan, who’d hit 96.7 percent of his extra point attempts throughout his career at Ole Miss prior to this attempt, somehow pushed the extra point attempt too far over, and the Rebels fell in Starkville.
To summarize: Ole Miss, trailing by a touchdown, gained 57 yards on 4th and 24, combined for seven penalties with the Bulldogs on the final drive, one of which was for a Ole Miss player pretending to pee like a dog in the end zone after a touchdown which cut the score to a one-point game, and then missed an extra point attempt that was backed up 15 yards following the fake dog peeing penalty to tie the game.
And that’s how Ole Miss lost the 2019 Egg Bowl.
That, my friends, is the epitome of the Egg Bowl. It’s always meaningful, even if the consequences of the game and the teams involved are meaningless.