It is the fight for the golden egg, also known as the egg bowl. This Thanksgiving night, the Ole Miss Rebels host the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN or listened to on the Ole Miss Radio Network.
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Ole Miss is attempting to win his third straight Egg Bowl. In the event of a win, it would be the first time since 2002-2004. Thursday’s meeting will be the 119th all-time between the two programs, with Ole Miss holding an all-time advantage of 64-46-6. The last 30 meetings were split 15-15 between the two programs. Since playing for a Golden Egg Trophy, the Rebels have a 58-29-5 advantage. This will be the 31st meeting to take place on Thanksgiving.
The Bulldogs will roll into Oxford after losing three of their last five games, with all three losses coming to teams then ranked in the top 25. A common denominator of these losses was stumbling in the air raid offence. Despite this, they still average 400 yards of offense per game, with the passing game getting a predictable 321 of those yards per game. Will Rogers has another great year under his belt, completing 68 percent of his passes for 3,474 yards and throwing 32 touchdowns framed against just five picks. His favorite target was his 600-yard receiver Rare Thomas along with Caleb Ducking and Starkville native Rufus Harvey, both of whom have 40+ catches for 400+ yards each. On the ground, Jo’quavious Marks and Dillon Johnson are both over 400 yards, averaging just over five yards per try. Defensive, Nathaniel Watson and Jet Johnson were the consistent stoppers, both over 90 tackles in the season while Emmanuel Forbes was one of the best corners in the SEC with his six interceptions.
Despite last week’s struggles, the Rebels are still the only FBS team with more than 5,000 yards in total offense while rushing for more than 2,500 yards. They lead the SEC and rank #2 on the FBS with 78 plays of 20 yards or more and rank in the top 10 nationally in rushing yards (3,061), rushing tries (532), and rushing TDs (31). Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans are both among the top five rushers in the SEC, with Judkins leading the conference with 1,385 yards and 16 touchdowns. The latter stats surpassed Ole Miss’ records in one season. With 2,284 combined rushing yards, the Judkins/Evans tandem would rank 18th on the FBS as a separate team. Through the air, Jason Dart is in the middle of the SEC pack in passing yards with 2,363 total yards and throwing 16 TDs and eight picks. Defensively, the Rebels have sacked the opposing quarterback 29 times as a unit while an SEC-leading 829 team got tackles.