By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss Rebels will close out the 2020 home slate tomorrow as they play host to the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the 93 rd rendition of the Egg Bowl. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. on the SEC Network.
Ole Miss (3-4, 3-4) comes into the Egg Bowl after a week off. The Rebel’s scheduled game against Texas A&M last weekend was postponed until December. The Rebels are on a two-game winning streak after victories over Vanderbilt and South Carolina in which Ole Miss put up over 50 points in each contest for the first time in program history.
Ole Miss’ offense ranks in the top three in the SEC in 10 separate categories: total offense (564.9), rushing offense (212.7), passing offense (352.1), scoring offense (41.0), completion percentage (.739), first downs (200), passing efficiency (191.1), fumbles lost (3), passing yards per completion (14.76), kickoff return defense (17.4) and fewest penalties (36).
The Rebel defense will add an additional player to the field against the Bulldogs now that defensive back Otis Reese has been cleared to play the rest of the season.
Mississippi State is 2-5 overall entering this week’s contest against Ole Miss. The Bulldogs are averaging over 329 yards of total offense per game, with 307 of those coming through the air. True freshman quarterback Will Rogers has started the last two games for the Bulldogs and is completing nearly 74% of his passes for 872 yards, three TDs and four interceptions.
“[Mississippi State] got back on track offensively against a good Georgia defense,” Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin said.
Jo’quavious Marks, a true freshman running back, leads Mississippi State in both rushing yards and receptions. Marks ranks fifth in the SEC in receptions per game (6.3) and has hauled in 44 catches for 184 yards. Osirus Mitchell leads the receiving corps in receiving yardage (389) and touchdowns (3).
Defensively, the Bulldogs are ranked No. 4 in the SEC in total defense, allowing 367 yards per game, giving up 110 rushing yards per game and 257 through the air. Senior linebacker Erroll Thompson leads Mississippi State in tackles, averaging 9.0 stops per game.
“[Mississippi State] has played really well on defense most of the season,” Kiffin said. “They give you a lot of different problems as they play really hard.”
Five different Bulldogs have tallied interceptions for Mississippi State, including two from cornerback Emmanuel Forbes. Marquiss Spencer and Aaron Brule lead Mississippi State with seven and six tackles for loss respectively.
Prior to the game, Ole Miss will honor 14 student-athletes on Senior Day.
Saturday’s Egg Bowl will be the 93rd matchup for the ‘Battle of the Golden Egg’, but it will also be the 117th meeting between the Rebels and the Bulldogs, making the game one of the nation’s most-played rivalries. Ole Miss holds a 62-46-6 advantage in the series dating back to 1901, including a 21-13-3 mark in Oxford.