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Defense dominates as Mississippi State drubs Ole Miss 35-3

Two good offenses met in the Egg Bowl, but the Bulldogs’ defense emerged in style and in victory.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Mississippi Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The Egg Bowl. An annual whirlwind of Mississippi hate that descends on either Oxford or Starkville every Thanksgiving. In last year’s edition the Ole Miss Rebels upset the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville after Bulldog starting quarterback Nick Fitzgerald broke his ankle. In the 2018 edition of the rivalry the Rebels tried to upset the #18 Bulldogs once again.

They failed. Miserably.

The high-flying Ole Miss offense against the talented Mississippi State defense was the matchup to watch. At the end, the Bulldogs dominated. The Mississippi State defense forced three turnovers and held a good offense to only 189 total yards. They brought pressure on almost every snap, and totaled 4 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. It helped that Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu went down with an injury fairly early, forcing true freshman Matt Corral into the game. Corral only passed for 65 yards on limited action and he never stressed the defense.

The Mississippi State offense had a similar field day against the Rebel defense. In a “revenge” game, Nick Fitzgerald only threw for 111 yards on 18 attempts, but he added another 117 on the ground and combined for three total touchdowns. Overall, the Bulldog ground attack racked up 309 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns, and a 6.1 yard per rush average. Kylin Hill himself had a day with 108 yards, and Aeris Williams added to the scoring in his final regular season game.

The Bulldogs had been playing well going into this game, and they unleashed more of their new firepower on the Rebels. The Ole Miss defense in particular had struggled, and with the loss they fall to 5-7. Mississippi State meanwhile, moves to 8-4 and has a chance to go to a good bowl game. That would be a fitting way to send off a class of talented seniors, including the comeback man himself: Nick Fitzgerald.