Jevan Snead threw for 213 yards and four touchdowns, Greg Hardy had
three of Mississippi’s school-record 11 sacks and the 25th-ranked
Rebels beat Mississippi State 45-0 on Friday in the most lopsided Egg
Bowl in 37 years.
Miss. — Jevan Snead threw for 213 yards and four touchdowns, Greg
Hardy had three of Mississippi’s school-record 11 sacks and the
25th-ranked Rebels beat Mississippi State 45-0 on Friday in the most
lopsided Egg Bowl in 37 years.
The Rebels (8-4, 5-3 Southeastern
Conference), spurred by an opportunity to play in a top-tier bowl,
scored 2:20 seconds in, led 24-0 after the first quarter and dominated
the fading Bulldogs (4-8, 2-6) in every phase. The margin of victory
was the largest in the series since Ole Miss beat Mississippi State
48-0 in 1971.
Snead completed his first nine passes for 117 yards and touchdowns of 10 yards to Shay Hodge and 17 yards to Mike Wallace.
the Ole Miss defense hit Mississippi State’s quarterbacks on nine of
their first 10 pass attempts, intercepted two of their first five
passes and knocked starter Tyson Lee from the game twice with a bruised
shoulder and a cut to his face.
The Rebels finally slowed down in
the second quarter, but Snead hit a wide-open Wallace sprinting down
the right sideline on a 72-yard touchdown for a 31-0 lead with 42
seconds left until halftime. It was their best start in an SEC game
since they went up on Alabama by the same score behind Eli Manning in
Hodge had 76 yards receiving and a touchdown in the first quarter alone
and Wallace finished with 105 yards receiving. Dexter McCluster opened
the scoring with a 36-yard touchdown run out of the Wild Rebel
formation and finished with 68 yards rushing.
It was the fifth straight win at home for Ole Miss, which has won five of the last seven Egg Bowls.
representatives from the SEC’s top three non-BCS bowls — the Capital
One, Peach and Cotton bowls — in attendance, the Rebels needed to put
on a top performance to pull in a top payday. Ole Miss finishes second
in the SEC West and with Alabama and Florida both possibly playing in
BCS bowls, the Rebels and Georgia figure to be selected next by
The Capital One Bowl has first pick and representatives from the
Orlando, Fla., game were in attendance. They saw a heck of a game from
the Rebels, who have peaked at the end of the season with their fourth
straight win under first-year coach Houston Nutt.
The Rebels had 324 yards to the Bulldogs’ 42 at halftime and finished with an advantage of 461-37.
Ole Miss defensive line was dominant. Already second in the nation with
8.36 tackles for loss per game, the Rebels turned it up against an
overwhelmed Bulldogs offensive line.
The Rebels finished with a school-record minus-51 rushing yards
allowed and 14 tackles for loss. Defensive end Hardy and tackle Peria
Jerry led the charge. Jerry had four tackles for loss, including two
sacks. Fellow tackle Jerrell Powe finished with 1 1/2 sacks, two
tackles for loss and an interception.
Mississippi State crossed
midfield just twice, but only once under its own steam after Karlin
Brown returned a second-quarter interception into Ole Miss territory. A
second foray across midfield was quickly pushed back across the 50 by a
personal foul penalty.
Ole Miss held tailback Anthony Dixon to 14 yards a week after he rushed for a career-high 179 yards against Arkansas.
poor offensive performance will cast more doubt on the future of coach
Sylvester Croom, who signed a contract extension following last year’s
breakthrough 8-5 performance, but is under pressure to make changes
after difficulties on offense and special teams cost the Bulldogs this
Photos by Joel McNeece/Calhoun County Journal
Visit our photo gallery for more pictures from the 2008 Egg Bowl