OPINION: Credit where it's due: Ole Miss' Elijah Moore has turned infamous Egg Bowl gaffe into success story

Mississippi State will try to slow down Moore and Ole Miss on Saturday
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I've scoured the internet. I've checked the Guinness World Records. I can't find it, but I'm certain – there has never been a more infamous incident of fake peeing than Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore's leg hike in last season's Battle for the Golden Egg against Mississippi State.

You all know the result. The Rebels were pushed back 15-yards on their extra point attempt to tie the game. No good. Bulldogs win. Moore and the Rebels were laughingstocks. 

A year later, it's MSU-Ole Miss time again. You better believe the Rebels will once again be turning to Moore's talents in their bid to reacquire the Golden Egg Trophy that the Bulldogs have held since 2018. No matter what Moore does on Saturday, he'll always be 'that guy' to State fans – the one whose stupid mistake of urination simulation all but hand delivered an Egg Bowl victory to the Dogs. He'll forever wear that, and maybe he should. But credit where it's due. Since that moment in Starkville when Moore invisibly watered the invisible fire hydrant, he has risen above his gaffe to become one of the Southeastern Conference's most productive receivers.

Yes, if you're reading this with maroon-and-white-tinted glasses as many of you are, you're probably gonna have to take them off for a moment. I get it. But I personally enjoy a good bounce-back story. So forget for just a moment Moore wears Rebel red. 

Here was a (at the time) 19-year-old guy getting caught up in his emotions in a rivalry football game, on a nationwide stage on Thanksgiving night. It was perhaps a move that not only lost his team a game, but was the final straw in getting his coaching staff fired. Couple all that with the scorn he faced on social media and likely everywhere he went and those are some unenviable shoes. Maybe it's the father coming out in me. I feel for a kid having to wear that, even if it was his own doing. 

Moore could've tucked his tail between his legs and got the heck out of Oxford. Instead, he put his head down and moved forward.

"I never thought to transfer," Moore told reporters on Monday. "I'm not that type of kid. I don't just fall out when things get tough. That never really just crossed my mind. I just know I'm human. I'm going to make a mistake. It's really just what you learn from it."

And learn it appears Moore did. If you haven't kept up with Moore since last Thanksgiving, check out these numbers. He leads the SEC this season in receiving yards with 1,054 and is more than 150 yards over the total of Alabama's DeVonta Smith at No. 2. Moore is also tops in receptions with 74. He's tied for third in the league in receiving touchdowns with eight. The junior has put himself in fantastic position to possibly hear his name called in the upper half of the upcoming NFL Draft if he chooses to enter.

Now I don't expect too many Mississippi State supporters to be clapping for Moore if that's indeed how it plays out. Such is the nature of the Egg Bowl rivalry. To many, he'll always be viewed as a classless Rebel that made a rear end of himself with all eyes on him.

But this mediocre sportswriter right here would like to give Moore a ton of credit. He had to endure a load of humiliation for much of the last year and he has come out better for it on the other side.

"Everything is a lesson," Moore said. "I let my team down. I just know it won't happen again."

In a year's time, Moore went from taking a fake leak to playing at his peak. And if Mississippi State is going to have a chance to beat the Rebels again, a key to the whole thing will be making sure Moore stays out of the end zone and couldn't re-empty his fake-full bladder even if he wanted to.

Joel Coleman is the publisher/editor of Sports Illustrated’s Cowbell Corner and this column is Coleman’s opinion alone. It is not necessarily the opinion of any other person affiliated with Sports Illustrated/Maven. To follow along on Cowbell Corner and comment on articles and participate in the community, simply sign up, get a username and chime in with your thoughts and questions. Also, be sure to follow Cowbell Corner on Twitter (@SIBulldogs) by clicking here, and like it on Facebook by clicking here. Thank you for coming to Cowbell Corner for coverage of Mississippi State sports.