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Miss. State Defeats Ole Miss to Win the Golden Egg

Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics
Photo courtesy of Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics

Rebel Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner didn’t mince words after the Ole Miss offense was held to 3 points in the 17-10 loss to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl Thursday night.

When Ole Miss Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner approached the media after the Rebs lost to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl 17-10 in overtime, he was to the point with what he saw during the game.

“The offense stunk and the defense played their butts off and we didn’t hold up our end of the bargain,” said Werner. “We turned the ball over, we couldn’t run it and we just didn’t play well.

“You can put it on me. It’s my job to get the offense ready and obviously I did not do a good job of it.”

Werner said he was surprised the Rebels were held to 99 yards rushing on 43 attempts.

“I really felt we could be successful running the ball today. We had the looks we wanted and everything they did we had seen before. I thought we had a good plan for it, but I was wrong. When we can’t run the ball, we have a hard time. We have seen that at other times this year. They stopped us with a six-man box most of the night,” Werner noted.

Rebel QB Bo Wallace threw three interceptions and fumbled into the end zone on a play that looked like he would score on in overtime to end the game in MSU’s favor.

“I thought he was going to score. I couldn’t tell if he had the ball protected or not, but they knocked it loose around the 1 or 2 and it went into the end zone, they covered it and the game was over,” noted a dejected Werner.

The Rebels, averaging 32 points a game coming into the contest, scored 3 on a field goal coming out of the halftime locker room after a long drive that stalled inside the five and did not score another point. They managed only 296 yards of total offense on 82 plays, about 3.5 yards a snap. The other Rebel points came on a blocked punt by Collins Moore and recovery in the MSU end zone by Terrell Grant.

“That’s just not a winning effort at all,” noted Werner. “It’s puzzling, to go from one of the top offenses in the country to the performances we had the last two games – and discouraging,” he noted.

Werner was asked if the loss of Laremy Tunsil early in the game, TE Evan Engram and OL Aaron Morris early in the year made a significant difference.

He would not use that as a crutch.

“No, the last two games, we just didn’t get the job done on the offensive side of the ball,” he closed.

The “whys” will obviously have to wait until after the coaches review the film.

Immediately after the Egg Bowl, it was apparent, they were baffled.

The defensive side actually played a very, very good game, allowing only 10 points in regulation despite having poor field position most of the night, but Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack took no solace in that fact.

“I’ll tell you the same thing I told you last week – they scored 10 points in regulation, we should have held them to 9,” Wommack stated. “What we did was not good enough.”

The Bulldogs got a boost when Dak Prescott took over for Damian Williams at quarterback with 11 minutes to go in the game, and although Wommack acknowledged the momentum shift, he also shook that off as a reason for the loss.

“We prepared for Dak and Damian. They do the same things. Certainly, he gave them a lift, but the first two series he was in there, we stopped them,” noted Wommack. “We just didn’t finish the game. Give him credit if you want, but it was our fault we didn’t finish.”

In the overtime, the Bulldogs faced 4th and 2 from the 4 and went for it. Prescott scored on the play.

“We called our play to defend the QB run. We stacked the line that way, but he made a play. He’s a big kid and he took it in over us,” Wommack added.

Wommack said he thought the defensive plan was good and his players played extremely hard, but. . .

“The bottom line is that we didn’t finish. I’m proud of how hard they played and the way they played within the gameplan, but we have to finish a game like this and we didn’t,” he said. “They made a play at the end and we didn’t.

“You expect this rivalry game to come down to a few plays. It did, in their favor.”

What’s next?

“I’ve been saying for two years that the only sure cure for our issues is recruiting, so we will hit the road next week and get after it,” he ended. “We will lick out wounds for a couple of days, recruit, see which bowl we are going to and get back to work.

“There’s nothing else to do.”

The Rebs finish the regular season 7-5 overall and 3-5 in the SEC.

— Chuck Rounsaville, OMSpirit.com

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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