Egg Bowl week: Plenty on the line Thursday night in Starkville

EggBowl1_display_imageBy Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

The 2013 edition of the Egg Bowl has many of the same story lines as the 2012 version.

One team is battling for bowl positioning, while the other needs a win just to reach bowl eligibility.

However, the roles are reversed this year as Ole Miss enters the Thanksgiving showdown in Starkville with a 7-4 record and Mississippi State, at 5-6, is trying to reach the postseason for a fourth consecutive year.

“It has the same feel to it every year that we’ve played in this game,” said MSU coach Dan Mullen. “It’s the biggest game of the year for us. It’s a rivalry game. It gives bragging rights to all our alumni, players and everybody from Mississippi. That trophy is a pretty special deal.”

Last year, the Rebels were able to mount a strong second half to gain possession of the Golden Egg Trophy. Ole Miss broke open a 17-17 halftime stalemate by outscoring the Bulldogs 24-7 in the second half for a 41-24 victory, advancing to a Compass Bowl bid.

The loss was part of a skid for MSU that saw it lose five of its final six games, including the Gator Bowl, to finish 8-5.

The Bulldogs snapped a three-game losing streak over the weekend by taking down Arkansas on the road 24-17 in overtime. However, the win could prove to be costly as senior quarterback Tyler Russell and senior running back LaDarius Perkins both left the game due to injury and did not return.

Rebels fall

Ole Miss saw its four-game winning streak snapped at home Saturday by Missouri, 24-10. The Rebels surrendered 485 yards, turned the ball over once and missed two field goals.

Both teams will have a quick turnaround this week.

“The weight that’s on this game will override that,” said Ole Miss senior defensive end D.T. Shakelford. “It won’t be hard to get fired up for the game. We know what’s on the line and they know what’s on the line also.”

logan.lowery@journalinc.com