MSU's offense has tended to start slowly, but it came out and socked it to Ole Miss, scoring on two of its first three possessions. The running game was established early, and State finished with 247 yards rushing.
Quarterback Chris Relf worked over the Ole Miss defense, mostly with his feet but also through the air. The offensive line and receivers both blocked well.
MSU wasn't great on third downs, converting just 4 of 13. The Bulldogs were also penalized eight times for 80 yards, including a pair of personal fouls late in the fourth quarter.
Keys to victory
Evaluating the keys to victory in Saturday's GameDay section:
1. Keep it covered. Ole Miss quarterback Barry Brunetti wasn't able to get the ball downfield to guys like Nick Brassell and Donta Moncrief. He finished 12 of 22 for 110 yards, but 61 of those yards came on one play with under a minute left in the game. Brunetti's second-longest completion was 14 yards.
2. Beware trickery. In his final game as coach, Houston Nutt didn't pull out any big trick plays to spark the Ole Miss offense. He did use Brassell and Tobias Singleton some in the run game, which was not highly unusual this season.
3. Start fast and strong. MSU did just that, racking up 170 yards in the first quarter alone (138 rushing), while Ole Miss had 38. State led 21-0 at halftime, and that increased to 28-0 early in the third quarter after a Rebel fumble gave the ball back.
Relf, the senior QB, had another Egg Bowl performance for the ages. He rushed for 49 yards on 10 carries and completed 8 of 13 passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns. He did most of his damage in the first half, and MSU pulled back on the offensive reins in the second half.
MSU accomplished two major goals Saturday: It kept the Egg Bowl trophy in Starkville for a third consecutive season, and it secured bowl eligibility for the second straight year. Coach Dan Mullen said after the game, "I'm proud of the direction the program's going in."