By Parrish Alford and Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said he had a feeling Donte Moncrief was going to have a big game.
The Rebels’ sophomore wide receiver posted a career-high in receiving yards for the second straight week, getting 173 yards on seven catches, and tied a school single-game record with three touchdown catches.
“When Bo (Wallace) put it in the right spot, I knew I had to make a play,” Moncrief said.
It was the fourth 100-yard game of Moncrief’s career, all of them coming this season. That ties him for the fourth-most 100-yard receiving games in school history.
Freeze said Moncrief had extra motivation to face MSU’s defensive backs.
“He had had about enough of hearing how good their secondary was, and we felt like if given the opportunity without double coverage, he was going to win,” Freeze said.
The Rebels were able to find Moncrief in single coverage repeatedly.
“We happened to call some plays at the right time where they didn’t have a safety rode over the top of him, and he won,” Freeze said.
233 – The Rebels rushed for 233 yards, their fifth 200-yard game of the year. Ole Miss has rushed for 380 yards over the last two weeks after going a stretch of three games where it failed to reach 100 yards.
Bo Wallace’s 16-yard pass to Vince Sanders capped an 11-play, 87-yard drive that took 4:59 off the clock and gave the Rebels a 41-17 lead with 11:44 to play. You could sense the celebration of Ole Miss fans about to begin.
“It wouldn’t be no rivalry if we won every game.” – MSU cornerback Johnthan Banks
“I think I let my emotions play into the game more than they should have. In the second half I settled down and eliminated turnovers. It worked.” – Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace
Both teams are awaiting bowl destinations.
MSU managed only 30 net rushing yards on 25 carries, a season low. It was the fourth time in five games State was held below 100 yards rushing.
The Bulldogs tried the edges, but Ole Miss was too fast. There wasn’t much happening between the tackles, either.
“We lost two linemen in the first quarter with (Charles) Siddoway out for a couple of series and then Tobias (Smith) in warmups just didn’t feel like he could go tonight,” MSU coach Dan Mullen said. “I don’t know if it was the weather or what it was, just didn’t feel like he could go. I think that hurt early on.”
Smith started the game.
Egg Bowl bites
MSU receiver Chad Bumphis set the school’s career receiving yardage mark. He had 146 yards and two TDs on six catches and now has 2,252 career yards. … Ole Miss held State to 1 of 13 on third downs. … Ole Miss had 8 tackles-for-loss, 3 sacks.