By Adam Brown
The No. 8 Ole Miss Rebels close out the 2021 regular football season on Thanksgiving as they travel to Davis-Wade Stadium to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs for the Egg Bowl. The kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Ole Miss (9-2, 5-2 SEC) is coming off of a 31-17 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday night. The Rebels went 7-0 inside the Vaught for the first time.
A win over Mississippi State would give Ole Miss their first ten wins during the regular season in school history.
Ole Miss is the only team in the nation with four players with 500 or more rushing yards this season.
Junior quarterback Matt Corral is one of only three FBS QBs with more than 15 passing touchdowns and at least 10 rushing TDs. He ranks ninth in the FBS in total offense (332.5 ypg).
This season, Ole Miss is second in the FBS in fourth-down attempts (39) and is third in conversions (25).
The Rebels defense has forced a turnover in 20 of the 21 games under head coach Lane Kiffin.
Defensive lineman Sam Williams has a school record of 10.5 sacks on the season. He’s ranked sixth in the FBS in sacks.
Mississippi State (7-4, 4-3 SEC) is coming off a 55-10 victory over Tennessee State on Saturday. This season the Bulldogs are 3-1 against Top-25 opponents, with the lone loss coming to Alabama.
Head coach Mike Leach and quarterback Will Rogers lead an explosive passing attack that ranks second in the nation at 390.2 yards per game. Rogers is completing an FBS-best 76 percent of his passes and has thrown for 4,113 yards and 34 touchdowns. Makai Polk has been Rogers’ go-to target this season, with 88 receptions for 891 yards and nine scores. Wideouts Jaden Walley and Austin Williams each have over 500 receiving yards on the season too.
On the ground, the Bulldogs have only rushed for 889 yards through 11 games, with Dillon Johnson and Jo’quavious Marks splitting the workload.
Defensively, State is holding its opponents to 325.7 total yards per game. Linebacker Jett Johnson paces the team with 74 total tackles, while Tyrus Wheat has a team-high 7.0 sacks. The Bulldog defense has also forced at least one takeaway in 42 of their last 50 games.
Thursday’s game will mark the 94th “Battle of the Golden Egg,” as the two schools started playing for the trophy. Ole Miss holds a 57-29-5 advantage in the “Egg Bowl”. The Rebels hold a 63-46-6 advantage in the all-time series.