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Ole Miss Apologizes for 'Unacceptable' Celebration That Cost Rebels Game vs. Mississippi State


Ole Miss issued apology statements to its fan base on Friday following Thursday's loss to rival Mississippi State due to a celebration penalty.

In the final minute of the game, the Rebels converted on 4th-and-24 from their own 14 when backup quarterback Matt Corral connected with Braylon Sanders for a 57-yard gain. After a series of penalties, Ole Miss nearly reached the Bulldogs' goal line before Corral found wide receiver Elijah Moore for a two-yard touchdown with four seconds left on the clock.

While it looked like Ole Miss would tie the game and send it to overtime, Moore proceeded to celebrate in the end zone by mimicking a dog peeing on a fire hydrant. His act drew an excessive celebration penalty, which the Bulldogs opted to enforce on the extra point attempt. Kicker Luke Logan missed the extra point to bring a crazy finish to the Egg Bowl.

Ole Miss coach Matt Luke and athletic director Keith Carter released a joint statement on Friday calling Moore's celebration "disappointing and unacceptable."

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"We want to apologize formally as a program to the Ole Miss family for the disappointing and unacceptable action that occurred at the end of Thursday's game. Elijah is a fine young man who lost control in the moment. This incident does not reflect in any way the type of student-athletes on our football team or the culture of respect that permeates our locker room," the statement said.

"In maintaining our team's high level of accountability, we will address the matter, and disciplinary action will be handled internally."

Moore also issued an apology to Rebel Nation.

"I apologize to my teammates, coaches and Rebel Nation for my actions at the end of the game. It was an emotional moment, and I deeply regret it. It does not represent who I am or who we are as a team, and I will grow stronger from this mistake."

With the loss, Ole Miss finished the regular season 4–8. Mississippi State improved to 6–6 to become bowl eligible.