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Final: Ole Miss 31, Mississippi State 21

Rebels look to cap the holiday with the first 10-win regular season in program history

Egg Bowl, Thanksgiving night with plenty at stake from each angle.

What more can a Mississippian ask for? 

In the 2021 version of the Magnolia State matchup, each rival is on an upward trajectory with bowl game slots, perception and of course bragging rights on the line. But this isn't just a regional or local game, with the holiday spotlight pointed to the SEC West to cap college football's Thanksgiving slate from a national angle. 

Ole Miss (9-2, 5-2 SEC) hits the road to Starkville to face Mike Leach, Will Rogers and the surging Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-4, 4-3) and the Air Raid offense. The Bulldog defense is better than one would expect, especially against the run, in what should be a strength-vs-strength angle while the explosive and balanced Rebel offense takes the field. 

Each team was relatively unchallenged the week prior and should line up quite healthy for game No. 12, so few expect one team to separate from the other on this night.

The Grove Report staff is not unanimous in the winner of the game, either, as most expect it to be relatively close throughout. The SI Sportsbook has the line favoring the hometown Bulldogs by 2.5 points just about an hour before kickoff (with the over/under up to 65 for those interested). 

Stay tuned to this story for updates throughout the game, from breaking news, recaps, analysis and everything in between.

Pregame

For those keeping an eye on the weather, last check had the temperature at 56 degrees with a 35% chance of precipitation. How big of a role may that play tonight? 

First Quarter

Ole Miss received the kick and Kiffin immediately went for the first fourth down of the night. A dive to Jarrion Ealy was well-fit by the state defense and the home team got the stop and all the momentum.

change of possession 

Will Rogers and the MSU passing offense came out of the gates throwing and moved the chains against a short field. Rebels got the stop but the ice was broken in short field goal form.

1Q | 11:46, 3-0 Mississippi State

Corral and the tempo got going on the second drive, converting first downs with his arm and legs. Kiffin would not test on the next fourth down, just in time for Cale Nation to nail the first field goal attempt of his career.

1Q | 7:07, 3-3

Rogers also looked more comfortable on the second drive and the Bulldogs marched with his quick trigger. After missing a wide open target in the end zone on first and goal, Mark Robinson set the drive back with a sack and the defense rallied on third down. Nolan McCord connected on his second try of the night to help re-take the lead.

1Q | 0:55, 6-3 MSU

Second Quarter

Tempo again the theme for the Rebels, mixing in Ealy with the run game. Corral showed some speed on a third down conversion but the next was wiped out due to a Jonathan Mingo drop. The first punt of the game followed.

change of possession 

Rogers appeared to be banged up on the Robinson sack but did not miss a snap on the next drive. Rogers to Makai Polk showcased their dominant chemistry on a back-shoulder conversion, but the wide receiver would exit the game with an apparent leg injury on his next catch. McCord pushed the ensuing attempt right.

change of possession 

An intentional grounding while under pressure from Nathaniel Watson set the Rebels back, but a dime to Braylon Sanders near mid field moved the chains anyway. Snoop Conner found a seam a few plays later and the red zone was reached. Conner capped it with a short score to take the lead. 

2Q | 2:21, 10-6 Ole Miss 

Rogers worked Griffin along the sidelines on a pretty back-shoulder ball and then for a screen to threaten the red zone. Sam Williams drew a clutch holding call and some key State drops helped to preserve the Rebel lead — along with another McCord miss. 

Halftime: 10-6 Ole Miss

Third Quarter

Gang tackling by the Rebels, and strong defense at the catch point, forced the first MSU punt of the evening. 

change of possession 

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A catch-and-run from Dontario Drummond flipped the field, Corral moved the sticks and Conner punched it in from a yard out like he often does. 

3Q | 10:24, 17-6, Ole Miss

Sam Williams had been close all night, and he finally got home. On third down he beat the right tackle with ease and closed on Rogers for a crucial sack.

change of possession

A huge Corral run was called back by a holding penalty on Ealy, leading to long second and third down yardage to gain. 

change of possession

Williams was all over Scott Lashley on the ensuing MSU drive, enticing a holding call before sacking Rogers on fourth down to get the back to his offense for the second consecutive possession. 

change of possession

Fourth Quarter

Just outside of the red zone, Kiffin looked for a dagger fourth-down conversion, and a swing pass to Ealy aided by a great block from Mingo did the trick. Corral capped the drive with an iconic spin inside the 5 to break the plane and likely seal the fate of this one. 

4Q | 11:17, 24-6 Ole Miss

Chance Campbell and Williams flashed and State went for it on their own fourth down, again, to no avail. 

change of possession

Corral and company were running clock until Jett Johnson broke off of his assignment to play the throwing lane and pick off the Rebel passer. A big return has some hope restored in the home faithful. 

change of possession

Rogers made quick work with a short field to work with, connecting with Walley over the middle for the first Bulldog touchdown of the night. 

4Q | 7:20, 24-13 Ole Miss

Kiffin and Corral went for a couple of dagger shots and got a pass interference on the second to run more clock — we thought. Ealy iced the game with a 15-yard touchdown run on the next snap. 

4Q | 5:35, 31-13 Ole Miss

Against a prevent Rebel defense, MSU was methodical down the field. Marks found the end zone on the ground and Polk converted the 2-point conversion. 

4Q | 2:27, 31-21 Ole Miss

Johnson forced another turnover, this time on downs, for MSU. He stopped Ealy on 4th-and-2 but the clock is winding down rapidly. 

change of possession 

Rogers worked the ball down the field but ran out of time. 

FINAL: Ole Miss 31-21.


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