Mississippi State Seniors Go Out With A Bang: Egg Bowl Game Review

November 27, 2011

News, Sports

Senior DB Wade Bonner

Senior DB Wade Bonner

Instant Analysis: The Mississippi State Bulldogs came into the 108th annual Battle for the Golden Egg game with in-state rival Ole Miss Rebels, looking to become bowl eligible and also win three Egg Bowls in a row.   The Bulldogs did just that, getting their sixth win of the regular season, by defeating the Rebels 31-3 and going .500 in the 2011 campaign. Senior Quarterback Chris Relf led the way with 119 total yards. The game was never really in doubt; State dominated every aspect of the game, and the Bulldogs are now bowl eligible for the second straight year.  The last time State won three Egg Bowls in a row, The Mississippi State Maroons did it from 1940-1942, led by College Football Hall Of Fame Head Coach Allyn McKeen.  From an Egg Bowl perspective, Head Coach Dan Mullen is in good company.

Things I Liked

Relf Getting To Play Whole Game: I figured Relf would play a lot as he has been a Rebel killer, but it was nice to see him start. He played well and got the player of the game nod from ESPN. It was good see him play well in his final regular season game as a Bulldog.

Dominance In The Run Game: The Bulldogs took advantage of a porous Rebel run defense, averaging 5.1 yards a carry.

Coverage Teams: I actually liked the way the coverage teams played the whole night. They kept some talented Rebel returners from doing any damage whatsoever.

Things I Didn’t Like

Uninspired Play from Ole Miss: I honestly expected Ole Miss to play a little harder than they did. I’m surprised Houston Nutt didn’t bench some guys on basic principle in his last game coaching the Rebels.

Key Stats

MSU Rushing Offense: Vick Ballard, LaDarius Perkins, and Chris Relf ran all over the Ole Miss run defense and were unstoppable all night long.

Ole Miss Total Offense 202 yards: The Rebels’ offense wasn’t able to muster anything the entire night, with a small exception of a couple of good passes.

MSU 8 Penalties: It’s never really good to get eight penalties, but I thought it was more a result of how hyped up the Bulldogs were for the Egg Bowl.

 Players To Watch

Ole Miss

Nickolas Brassell: Brassell only managed 11 yards rushing. He also had a 18 yard return on kickoffs.

Barry Brunetti: Brunetti had an OK game, but he looked out of place a good portion of the game.

Mike Marry: Marry didn’t have much of an impact. The Rebels simply couldn’t contain the Bulldogs’ strong run game.

Mississippi State

Chris Relf: Relf didn’t have monster numbers, but he did throw for two touchdowns. He set the tone with his running with an impressive first drive.

Vick Ballard: Ballard was able to break the 1,000 yard mark for the season with 144 yards rushing on the game.

Johnthan Banks: Banks balled out with a tackle for loss and a forced fumble. If this is his last Egg Bowl; he leaves the fans with some very good memories.

Three Keys To Victory

Ole Miss

Stuff The Run: I will just say they failed in this objective.

Go For It: They were oddly conservative, and didn’t really take many shots all night.

Minimize Turnovers: They had two fumbles and both were recovered by Mississippi State.

Mississippi State

Don’t Be Arrogant: The Bulldogs came in a little arrogant, but Ole Miss played so lifeless that it didn’t really matter — for State anyway.

Turn Relf Loose: I wouldn’t say they turned him loose, but he was a major factor in the victory, just as he was in the last two Egg Bowls.

Win Convincingly: This was exactly the type of victory the Bulldogs needed. They can point to this game when recruiting in-state prospects.

Final Analysis: Putting Ole Miss so easily away, the Mississippi State Bulldogs now look forward to their bowl invitation; the likely destination is the Music City or Liberty Bowl. A Liberty bowl berth could pit the Bulldogs against the other in-state school Southern Miss. They are already slated to face off with USM during the 2013 season, but the matchup would be a nice preview of that renewed rivalry.  In the eyes of the Mississippi State fans and the Bulldog Seniors, I believe Houston Nutt was bid adieu proper.

Bidding Adieu to some Mississippi State Bulldog Seniors:

Senior DL Sean Ferguson

Senior DL Sean Ferguson

Senior DL P.J. Jones

Senior LB Jamie "JJ" Jones

Senior TE Marcus Green

Senior TE Marcus Green

The Real Story would also like to show some love to the rest of the Mississippi State Bulldog Seniors:

#2 Robert Elliott, TE

#4 Charles Mitchell, DB

#9 Brandon Maye, LB

#26, Damien Anderson, DB

#40, Derek DePasquale, K

#41 Marvin Bure, DB

#49 Jonathan Phillips, TE

#55 Quentin Saulsberry, OL

#58 Brandon Wilson, LB

#62 Addison Lawrence, OL (nice pre-game prediction!)

#77 James Carmon, OL

You will be missed wearing the true Maroon and White!


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