Egg Bowl Preview Pic

Mississippi State players celebrate a victory over Ole Miss in the 2019 Egg Bowl by hoisting the coveted Egg Bowl Trophy. The Rebels reclaimed the trophy last year at home with very few people in the stands and limited media. This Thursday it’s back to normal as No. 8 Ole Miss and No. 27 Mississippi State square off in Starkville in the latest edition in the phenomenon known as “The Battle for the Golden Egg.”

STARKVILLE — It’s finally here.

Egg Bowl Week.

It’s the biggest football game played in the state of Mississippi each and every year but this year there are stakes involved that haven’t been associated with the Ole Miss-Mississippi State rivalry since 2014.

Remember 2014? That’s the season both squads enjoyed unprecedented success. Both teams – coached at that time by Dan Mullen at MSU and Hugh Freeze at UM – reached the top four in the national polls with the Bulldogs reaching No. 1 after they took down then-No. 2 Auburn.

Granted, both clubs ended the regular season with two (Stare) and three (Ole Miss) losses before dropping their respective bowl games.

However, it still remains the most successful year for both teams within the same year.

This season, the Rebels will enter the contest as the No. 8 team in the country in both the AP and Coaches polls while the Bulldogs are just outside the top-25, checking in at No. 27 in AP and No. 28 in Coaches.

As far as the latest CFP Poll (the College Football Playoff poll), Ole Miss sits at No. 9 while State is in the No. 25 spot. The latest bowl projections have the Bulldogs playing in either the Texas Bowl or possibly the Outback or Gator Bowl, depending on what happens Thursday at Davis Wade Stadium. As far as the Rebels, they are currently projected, in most polls, to be in the Sugar Bowl.

These are just projections based on what has gone down as of this past weekend. But every college football fan knows that ‘Rivalry Weekend’ can shake things up a good deal. It has before and it appears there are certain games that could throw a wrench into the plans if they turn out a certain way – one being Saturday’s Iron Bowl in Auburn as the Tigers will face Alabama.

Back to Mississippi State and Ole Miss and that Egg-Shaped gold trophy.

Regardless of who wins or by what score, both teams have had what should be considered tremendous seasons, especially after the way two or three games between the two turned out. The Bulldogs traveled to College Station and upset Texas A&M, who then turned around and upset Alabama. Coach Mike Leach’s squad was eventually beaten by Arkansas, primarily because of three missed field goals. The Rebels have broken their season down into three four-game segments. They went 3-1 in the first two, losing the fourth games in each to the Crimson Tide and then Auburn.

They are currently 3-0 in the final four-game set with a win over Texas A&M.

State enters the 2021 Egg Bowl with an overall record of 7-4 (4-3 in SEC play) while Ole Miss is 9-2 overall (5-2 inside the SEC).

The game will feature two of the best quarterbacks in the country in Will Rodgers (MSU) and Matt Corral (OM). The Conerly Trophy may come down to which one has the better game this week. Rodgers has rewritten the record books in his short time in the Air-Raid. He has thrown for over an SEC and nations best 4,113 yards with 34 touchdowns. Corral has passed for 3,100 yards and 19 touchdowns. A dual-threat, the Ventura, Cali., native has also rushed for over 500 yards and 10 more scores, giving him 29 touchdowns.

However good the two offenses are in this contest it will likely come down to who controls the lines of scrimmage better and has the fewest turnovers. Both defenses have been opportunistic and have shown plenty of physicalities.

It’s likely gonna be another knock-down, drag-em-out game.

Good luck to both squads and their fans. Bragging rights for 365 days and major bowl bids are on the line once more.

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