By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – The Egg Bowl has had many unusual games over the years, and Thursday night’s edition was no different.
It was, however, a little longer.
For the first time, the annual rivalry game between Ole Miss and Mississippi State was sent into overtime. The Bulldogs gambled when facing fourth-and-2 from the 3-yard line, but Dak Prescott scored on a quarterback keeper on the initial drive of overtime.
Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace fumbled on a scramble attempting to answer and was it recovered by MSU’s Jamerson Love (Aberdeen) in the end zone to seal a 17-10 victory.
“It was a great win,” MSU coach Dan Mullen said. “I can’t say how proud I am of our team and our coaches handling all the adversity we’ve gone through all year. With all the injuries to come in and play the way that we did tonight was pretty special. We found a way to win the game.”
Prescott was not expected to play but entered the game in the fourth quarter and completed 11 of 20 passes for 115 yards and added the game-winning score on the ground.
“It was pretty amazing,” Mullen said. “I told my wife earlier today he has no chance of playing. But the doctor flew in from Nashville today and it was a miraculous recovery.”
The Bulldogs (6-6, 3-5) evened their overall record with the victory qualifying them for a bowl game for a fourth consecutive season. That’s a first for the program.
State finished with 296 yards with 197 yards coming through the air. Josh Robinson led the way on the ground for the Bulldogs with 38 yards on seven carries and a touchdown.
The Bulldogs picked off Wallace three times during the first half and would finally cash the third interception into points. Justin Cox made a leaping interception at the 30-yard line and MSU scored a touchdown six plays later on a 1-yard run by Robinson.
It appeared the Bulldogs would take the lead into the locker room at halftime but the Rebels had other ideas. Ole Miss’ defense forced MSU’s Baker Swedenburg to punt out of his own end zone with 31-seconds to play. Collins Moore broke through the line to block the punt and it was recovered in the end zone by Terrell Grant to tie the score.
The Rebels would add more points on the opening drive of the second half as Andrew Ritter snuck a 22-yarder through the uprights to take a 10-7 lead.
After sitting out the last two games and the first three quarters Thursday, Prescott entered in the fourth quarter leading the Bulldogs in for a game-tying field goal on his second drive. Evan Sobiesk came on to boot a 36-yarder with 2:21 remaining but missed a 39-yarder at the end of regulation.
Ole Miss (7-5, 3-5) ended the evening with 318 yards on offense including 201 passing but turned the ball over four times.
“They didn’t do anything real special with their defense,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. “They stayed too high high down field and were able to stop our run with a six man box. They beat us.”
Wallace completed 26 of 40 passing for 182 yards and three interceptions.
Laquon Treadwell caught nine passes for 57 yards to lead the Rebels in receiving.