By Logan Lowery
The outcomes of Ole Miss and Mississippi State’s games on Saturday were each decided by 10 points.
The bottom lines were quite different.
The Rebels bested Arkansas 34-24 at home on Saturday to become bowl eligible again, while the Bulldogs fell in a 51-41 shootout at Texas A&M.
It is the second straight year for Ole Miss (6-3, 3-3) to qualify for the postseason for Hugh Freeze.
“To be bowl eligible each of the first two years, we are ahead of schedule,” Freeze said. “I did expect to be bowl eligible this year after last year, but my plan when I first came in was to get to a bowl in Year 3.”
The Rebels continue their six-game homestand this week hosting Troy at 11 a.m. Saturday on ESPNU. The Trojans are 5-5 on the year having dropped two straight. Troy suffered a 41-36 setback to Louisiana-Lafayette on Thursday and also lost 62-7 to Mississippi State on Sept. 21.
The loss for the Bulldogs was their second consecutive, dropping them to 4-5 on the year and 1-4 in SEC play. All five losses have come to teams currently ranked in the top 18.
State had more yards, first downs and won the turnover battle against the Aggies, but could not close out the road upset.
“There is nothing good about losing a game, but I am proud of the way our kids battled for four quarters,” said MSU coach Dan Mullen. “We are going to continue to battle, continue to fight and continue to believe. We are going to need that down the stretch.”
Next up for MSU on that stretch run is a Highway 82 showdown with top-ranked Alabama on Saturday at 6:45 p.m. on ESPN.
The Crimson Tide have claimed three of the last four national championships. Alabama remains perfect at 9-0 following a 38-17 home win over LSU Saturday night scoring 21 unanswered points to close out the game.