If you still have the strength to log on to the internet dot com and find your way to this website, you know how this dog and pony show operates. I look at things Ole Miss is doing wrong or things another team is doing right that will cause Ole Miss much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and make a few observations through a series of seemingly endless screenshots.
However, today we’re not following that approach. Don’t get me wrong, the screenshots will still go on forever, but I’m not looking at anything related to Thursday’s Egg Bowl.
The dance-for-the-nickels routine is changing in this final week for a pair of reasons. One, I would rather read birthday retweets from a massage parlor-loving, non-linebacker-recruiting former head coach than watch video from any of either team’s games. And two, the game can be previewed as simply as this: Ole Miss’ only chance is if they hold Mississippi State to around 150 yards rushing (lol) and protect Jordan Ta’amu against four-man rushes. END OF ANALYSIS, BOB.
Instead of reviewing something relevant to the game, I want to look at memorable plays from Egg Bowls of yore and give those the attention they need to distract our current attention from what will come to pass on Thursday. I limited myself to one play from an individual Egg Bowl so that as much ground as possible is covered and my time is valued. We’ll begin with more recent games and work our way back in time.
2015: The Poopception
After two touchdown drives in the first 10 minutes of the game, Ole Miss held a 14-0 lead. Mississippi State, in a drive where they needed points to keep Ole Miss from running away from them, pushed the ball to near midfield.
A false start penalty created a second and 10 at the 40. Ole Miss, playing with a lone linebacker in DeMarquis Gates, rushes four defensive linemen, and had Gates not rush, but get in the center’s space to occupy him and be somewhat of a spy on Dak Prescott.
Gates essentially starts a hand fight with State’s center, but makes no effort to get by him.
Because the center is in a hand fight royal rumble with Gates, he can’t offer any help to the three State offensive linemen who are being overwhelmed.
As a result, Prescott bails from the pocket, looking to find a target down the field. Gates leaves the hand fight behind and looks to close down Prescott as quickly as possible.
How did that work out?
Let’s check in with Dan Mullen for a teaching point:
2014: Matt Luke Called That Play, Brotha!
At the end of yet another season where Ole Miss struggled to run the ball under Hugh Freeze, they needed to find a way to get rushing yards to keep Mississippi State from teeing off on Dr. Bo Wallace, who was missing his best receiver in Laquon Treadwell. Late in the third quarter, Matt Luke suggested a play to Freeze.
Dr. Bo lined up under center, which was unusual, and put tight end Jeremy Liggins on the line of scrimmage.
The play is a simple toss to Jaylen Walton and is designed to work as follows: Liggins and right tackle Fahn Cooper take on the men across from them, center Robert Conyers picks up a linebacker, and right guard Justin Bell pulls to wipe out the other linebacker, who will be tracking Walton.
Seems like a good plan, yes? Let’s see how it goes.
If you’re scoring at home, that’s one lead blocker five yards behind the line of scrimmage and a second face down on the turf, both of whom have blocked no one.
Mercifully for Ole Miss, Walton’s agility and quickness ratings are 493 out of 100, and he is able to reverse his field. Unfortunately for Ole Miss, a host of Mississippi State defenders are there.
Because we can’t really see him, the only logical conclusion is that Walton picked up a Super Mario star, which allowed him to explode through and past the State defenders. More importantly, as Walton breaks into the secondary, LOOK WHO HAS RETURNED TO THE FRAME:
A valiant effort put forth by Liggins in the 90-yard sprint. Now let’s watch him block out two players.
2012: Dr. Bo Delivers A Nutritious Meal To Donte Moncrief
Perhaps due to a poor job of scrubbing in before surgery, Dr. Bo threw two first-quarter passes to Mississippi State, one of which occurred in the end zone. The turnovers were part of the reason Ole Miss trailed by four when it got the ball back just over halfway through the second quarter.
As you will note, Mississippi State showed Ole Miss a one-high safety look, meaning every receiver would have man coverage. It also meant that because State was blitzing a cornerback off the edge, the second safety would have man coverage on Donte Moncrief (a poor choice, friends).
Ole Miss wants to attack this setup by flashing a receiver in front of the safety, in hopes he would be distracted by the dig route, leaving Moncrief to work against one man. Ja-Mes Logan is tasked with running said dig route out of the slot
If the safety bites on Logan’s route, even with half a step, there’s no way he can recover to help on Moncrief. Please, screenshot, remind me what choice he made?
2011: They Remember November
With 4:59 to play in the third quarter, trailing 28-0 and facing a fourth and seven on Mississippi State’s 10-yard line, and oh, by the way, you’ve already been fired:
NO ONE SHUTS OUT HOUSTON DALE NUTT. GIGGITY.
2008: Sylvester Croom Is Made A Running Backs Coach Again
If you remember one thing from today’s exercise, let it be the intro to Raycom Sports’ (IT’S STILL JEFFERSON PILOT TO ME, DAMMIT) broadcast of SEC games:
Also, the point of that was to get “Bob That Head” lodged in your brain for the next three days so that you hum it around relatives. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.
As for the memorable play in the burial of Sylvester Croom’s head coaching career, we go to Ole Miss’ last possession of the first half. Leading 24-0, the Reb- WHAT IS THIS PICTURE QUALITY?
Give yourselves $20 for having watched those broadcasts.
Anyway, on to the actual play, Ole Miss ran the ball on the previous two plays, giving the impression a 24-0 lead at halftime was just fine. But Houston Nutt had a different plan.
If you’ve got an NFL wide receiver in Mike Wallace, why not let him go to work?
Wallace runs straight up the hash marks at a safety who is backpedaling against someone who is kinda fast and reaching peak speed.
Was he in trouble?
Your thoughts, Sylvester Croom?
Your thoughts, Gray?
2007: Local Man Digs His Own Grave
NEVER CEASE TO BE AMAZED AT THIS.
1997: The Fight For A Birth In The Motor City Bowl
For any non-Ole Miss/Mississippi State people who happen to read this, you should know that the two schools have played for many prestigious rewards. And by many, I mean more than one.
In 1997, we were not yet #blessed with bowls like the Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl or the greatest bowl game on earth in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl, which meant getting to a bowl back in those prehistoric times wasn’t so easy, even if you had six or seven wins. Coming into the 1997 Egg Bowl, it was understood that the loser probably wouldn’t get invited to a bowl game (especially Ole Miss, who would’ve been 6-5 had they lost).
As you might expect, tensions were high and Jefferson Pilot (YOU DAMN RIGHT) was there to cover it. And cover it they did.
Enjoy this shot that is 66% cloudy sky and showcases nothing pleasing to the eye from State’s campus or Starkville.
Someone just lost a local Emmy.
I don’t want to hype this game for more than it was, BUT FOLKS, IT WAS A DAGGUM BIG DEAL.
If you recall, Ole Miss scored with 25 seconds left to make the score 14-13 in favor of Mississippi State. Jackie Sherrill, did Ole Miss decide to go for one or two?
Ok, thanks. But before we get to that two-point conversion, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.
And we’re back.
Because he is Joe Lee Dunn, the Mississippi State defensive coordinator crowds the line of scrimmage with all 11 defenders.
However, State will only (ONLY) send seven rushers, which is convenient for Ole Miss because they leave seven in to protect and send three receivers into the pattern. Andre Rone is the first read, followed by Cory Peterson.
Ole Miss catches a break when the State linebacker drifts to the left, either protecting against a run or release from a blocking back. Whatever his reason, he leaves the middle of the field wide open for receivers against man coverage.
As mentioned, Ole Miss has seven blockers for seven rushers, which means no rusher has a free shot at the quarterback. That gives the receivers enough time to beat their coverage and Ole Miss quarterback Stewart Patridge enough time to find one of them.
It also helps when Ole Miss’ current head coach, Matt Luke, gambles that they’re not gonna call a penalty here.
Let’s check in on THE KANG CAM:
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.