The Egg Bowl between the Ole Miss Rebels and Mississippi State Bulldogs is one of the most historic and contentious rivalries in all of college football. However, the Egg Bowl has often been overshadowed by the other great rivalries in the SEC West, like the Iron Bowl, or LSU-Alabama. With Mississippi State currently sitting as 1 of 2 undefeated teams left in the CFP rankings, and Ole Miss still holding a legitimate shot at making one of the “New Year’s 6” bowl games, there may not be a more anticipated rivalry in the country this season than the Egg Bowl. This is why we are starting our countdown to rivalry week with a preview of the 2014 Egg Bowl.
Here are 5 storylines to follow leading up to the 2014 Egg Bowl:
This year’s Egg Bowl will feature possibly the top quarterback duel of the 2014 college football season.
Bo Wallace has had one of the best statistical seasons of any Rebels quarterback ever. There might not be a player in the country as important to his team’s success as Wallace. The senior has already accounted for 26 touchdowns, 22 of them coming through the air. The former junior college player has eclipsed the 2,500 yard passing mark and is only 10 completions away from 200 on the season.
Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott is a living breathing highlight reel. It is very likely that by seasons end Prescott will hold all of the single season passing records for the Bulldogs. But the thing that makes Prescott so dangerous is his ability to run the ball. The junior is within reach of finishing the season with over 3,000 passing yards, and 1,000 rushing yards, a feat that would put him in the elite company of Vince Young, and Johnny Manziel.
2. Rushing, Or Lack Thereof
While the quarterback play of Wallace and Prescott might be as good as anywhere in the country, the outcome of the Egg Bowl will likely be decided on the ground.
For Ole Miss, their problems running the ball have been evident all season. Ole Miss’s two leading rushers Jaylen Walton, and Jordan Wilkins have combined for only 709 yards rushing on the season and the Rebels have struggled running the ball between the tackles. They will go up against one of the nation’s best defensive fronts in Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs on the other hand have been running the ball at will. Junior running back Josh Robinson is only 16 yards away from 1,000 on the season, and Prescott has already rushed for more than 775 yards. Ole Miss’s defense is one of the most talented groups in the country, but gave up more than 250 yards on the ground in losses to LSU and Auburn. How the Ole Miss front 7 matches up with the Bulldogs running assault will probably determine the outcome of the 2014 Egg Bowl.
2014 is the 111th meeting between the Bulldogs and Rebels and is without a doubt the biggest matchup in the history of the game. The last time either Ole Miss or Mississippi State won the SEC was in 1963, and the Bulldogs haven’t won a conference championship since 1941. The last time either team was in shooting distance of the national championship was in 1962, and never before has this game featured Mississippi State as the number 1 team in the country.
Despite Ole Miss’s loss to Auburn last week, the Rebels still have a chance to win the SEC West and have an outside chance of making the inaugural College Football Playoff. If the Bulldogs beat Alabama this weekend, a win over Ole Miss would clinch them their first SEC West title since 1998 and give them a chance of winning their first SEC title in over 50 years. For the first time ever Mississippi State and Ole Miss will line up against each other with both teams talented enough to beat anyone in the country.
Last season’s Egg Bowl was one of the most thrilling games in the history of the rivalry. It was the first time Ole Miss and Mississippi State had ever played in overtime and saw an injured Dak Prescott convert a 4th down into a touchdown. Ole Miss’s chances ended with Bo Wallace fumbling into the end zone to end the game. Don’t think that Wallace, head coach Hugh Freeze or any of Rebels nation has forgotten this game. The Rebels will have a chance to pay the Bulldogs back in full on November 29th, and if Ole Miss is able to pull off the upset, it would go down as one of the top wins in the history of Ole Miss football.
Demand for tickets to the Egg Bowl at Vaught Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi is at an all-time high. The current average ticket price for tickets is at $190, with the median price coming in at $148. The record attendance for an Egg Bowl game at Vaught Hemingway Stadium is 60,240, expect attendance for this years game to rival that number, and for this to be the loudest, rowdiest, most exciting Egg Bowl ever seen.