Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss Odds
Rivalry Week often features a slew of high profile matches between top 25 teams. The average college football consumer knows that the Egg Bowl is always the highest form of entertainment.
The aftermath of the game can be as extreme as it was in 2019. This game, titled “The Piss, the Miss and the Double Dismiss,” saw the end of two coaching regimes and the beginning of the era of Mike Leach and Lane Kiffin at Mississippi State and Ole Miss or
Ole Miss leads that streak 64-45-6 as Kiffin has gotten the best of Leach for the past two seasons.
Both Mississippi State and Ole Miss need wins to climb the bowl ladder of destinations. The latest bowl projections from our very own Brett McMurphy have the Bulldogs in the Las Vegas Bowl while Ole Miss plays in the newly branded Cheez-It Citrus Bowl.
Considering the Rebels know Kiffin could be poached, this could be the final iteration of the Thanksgiving Egg Bowl between these two coaches.
BREAK: #OleMiss According to sources, HC Lane Kiffin plans to step down as Rebels coach on Friday and travel to Auburn to become the Tigers’ next head coach
Sources say the Tigers have yet to officially offer the job to anyone.
So Lane to Auburn is happening. story soon.
— Jon Sokoloff (@JonSokoloff) November 22, 2022
Leach will cap his third season in Starkville with a third straight trip to a bowl game. In addition to winning the rivalry game, the Bulldogs are looking to secure a third-place finish in the SEC West with a tiebreak over Ole Miss.
There weren’t many surprises on the Mississippi State roster, which lost both games as an underdog and won seven of its nine games as a favorite. Every game in Starkville has surpassed the total while every street game has gone down.
Quarterback Will Rogers added a handful of touchdowns against East Tennessee State last week, giving the junior 32 points against five interceptions.
Rogers hasn’t committed a turnover-worthy game in the past two games, including one against Georgia’s defense. The last five games were troubled for the quarterback as he threw nine turnover-worthy games that led to two interceptions against Auburn and Kentucky.
Leach’s Air Raid concept has a 70% success rate at a short average target depth of six meters.
Four players with different skill positions have at least 50 targets, including Running Back Jo’quavious Marks. Wide receiver Rara Thomas was the most explosive target at 2.1 yards per route.
Defensive coordinator Zach Arnett is in his third season implementing the 3-3-5 scheme. The state’s numbers against the rush and creating pressure on the quarterbacks are generally low, but the Bulldogs’ defense has been in the top-25 in the early downs success rate.
Top-40 ranks in coverage and finishing drives show the Bulldogs are willing to give up center field before they solidify opposing scoring chances.
Edge Tyrus Wheat is the name to watch out for on defense as he’s been pushing nearly twice as much as any other defender this season.
Long gone are Matt Corral’s run-pass option, which offers an even mix of ground and air movement. Quarterback Jaxson Dart runs in the same formation, but the Rebels have achieved a 63% rush rate.
The two-headed monster Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans have combined for 24 touchdowns and more than 2,200 rushing yards.
Both Judkins and Evans produce more than 3.5 yards after contact. Only five running backs in FBS have created more missed tackles than Judkins, giving the Bulldogs a premium in tackling and defensive line yards.
The problems start when Ole Miss defaults, as the Rebels are an explosive top-25 team in standard downs but an explosive bottom-25 team in passing downs.
Dart has seen pressure on more than a third of its dropbacks this season as its adjusted completion percentage is down 25%.
Given that the bar was low when Kiffin arrived, the defense has continued to improve during the transition from DJ Durkin to Chris Partridge and Maurice Crum.
The Rebels have emerged as a top 40 pass rush team and also rank in the top 10 for limiting rush explosiveness. The scheme executed at Ole Miss can be light in the box, but the Rebels have excelled at limiting explosive plays.
Despite improving defense, execution in the red zone was poor. Ole Miss has fallen to 123rd in the opposition’s red zone rating, allowing 37 of their 40 opposition attempts to end in points.
Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Mississippi State and Ole Miss statistically match:
Mississippi State Offense vs. Ole Miss Defense
Ole Miss Offense vs. Mississippi State Defense
Game pace / Miscellaneous
|SP+ special teams||69||34|
|seconds per game||25.3 (42)||20.7 (2)|
|rush rate||30.1% (130)||63.4% (9)|
Data from CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Mississippi State vs Ole Miss betting tip
The first handicap focuses on the Mississippi State Front Seven stopping the Ole Miss ground assault. Despite leading a three-man front, the Bulldogs are top-30 in stuff rate.
The trouble comes behind the line of scrimmage as Mississippi State ranks 70th in line yards and 95th against the explosive rush. With a tackle rank of 55 nationally, the Bulldogs can stuff Judkins and Evans a half-dozen times while allowing an equal number of explosive runs.
In order for Mississippi State to extend drives and take advantage of Ole Miss’s weak red zone defense, Rogers needs to find his targets at close range.
The Rebels have two defenders who rank in the top 200 coverage defenders according to the PFF. Deantre Prince has been a top-notch cornerback this season, forcing seven pass separations in a zone-heavy scheme. All eyes on defense will be on second-best defender, AJ Finley, who has snapped more slots cornerbacks in the last four games.
Action Network projects the Egg Bowl to favor Ole Miss by six points. The Mississippi state market has seen plenty of steam in early bets as rumors of Kiffin’s move to Auburn lingered.
The Bulldogs will deliver explosives to Ole Miss’s running backs. But with better third down defense and numbers in the red zone, the rating will be low.
As for the state of Mississippi, the ability to burn zone coverage with short crossing routes puts an emphasis on Ole Miss’s tackling ability. The Rebels excelled at limiting explosive plays, especially on long downs and distance.
This game will go to the end, but the Bulldogs have the stuff rate needed to cash another under down the road. Watch out for Ole Miss on a field goal or less as both teams will be battling for points in the first half.
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