Has anyone had as low-key and quiet of a 385 yard passing game as Matt Corral had in the Egg Bowl?
Ole Miss pulled away late from the visiting Mississippi State Bulldogs in Saturday's Egg Bowl, winning by a final score of 31-24. It was the first Ole Miss win in the series since 2017, but the Rebels extend their all-time series lead to 63–48–6.
Mississippi State hung around in the game, giving Ole Miss a run for their money with an impressive touchdown drive to cut the Ole Miss lead to 24-21, but Ole Miss had answers of their own.
Just minutes after the Bulldogs made things tense inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Jerrion Ealy brought the house down with a bulldozing 8-yard touchdown run, carrying defenders into the end zone to boost the Rebel lead back to ten points.
The stars of the show, as they have been all year, were Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral and receiver Elijah Moore. A superstar in the making and shooting up draft boards, Moore broke the Ole Miss receptions record in this game 86, topping AJ Brown's prior mark.
Not to be outdone, Corral posted an incredibly quiet 385 yard game, adding two touchdowns and not turning it over for an efficiency rating of 174.8. Corral's big game included two big touchdown passes, one going 48 yards to Dontario Drummond to open up scoring in the first quarter, and another 81-yard bomb to Braylon Sanders that may have been the best ball Corral has ever thrown.
Defensively, Ole Miss was anchored buy a guy playing his first game in a Rebel uniform. Otis Reese, cleared this past week for action by the NCAA after transferring from Georgia, finished second on the team with eight tackles and added one pass breakup.. He also forced what appeared to be a fumble in the third quarter, one in which the State ballcarrier was suspended on the Rebel defender's back, but that play was overturned by officials.
However, Reese wasn't the only Rebel defender coming up with big plays. Tylan Knight, moving from running back to defensive back not two months ago while Ole Miss was struggling with some COVID-19 issues, forced a massive fumble right on the goal line, one in which Ole Miss returned from the goal line over 70 yards to set up a touchdown.
State made the Rebels sweat, completing an absurdly lucky 41-yard prayer on the final drive to give them one final change from the Ole Miss 44 and 10 seconds left. They ran a quick eight yard out before the Hail Mary attempt ended the game.
In total, Ole Miss got their first Egg Bowl since 2017. Lane Kiffin won his first Egg Bowl, and is now 1-0 head-to-head against Mike Leach, a coach he'll be forever tied to as long as both are within the Magnolia State. Matt Corral won his first Egg Bowl. Elijah Moore won his first Egg Bowl. A pair of transfer Canadians who played a lot on defense in this game, Deane Leonard and Tavius Robinson, won their first Egg Bowls.
For a large number of Rebels, this was their first time lifting that Golden Egg. Ole Miss football is back to .500 and their back to being the top program in the state of Mississippi.
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