It was always going to be this kind of game - Ole Miss’ defense rather than its offense shined the brightest on Thanksgiving in a 17-7 win in Starkville in the Egg Bowl.
The Rebels (10-2, 6-2 SEC) used two second half touchdowns to bury the Bulldogs (5-7, 1-7 SEC) who struggled to get any kind of momentum during the game. This is the second time in the last three seasons Ole Miss has won 10 regular season games, and Lane Kiffin has become the second Rebels coach ever to have multiple 10-win seasons (some guy named Johnny Vaught is the other?).
Defenses for both teams played damn well, but ultimately Ole Miss had just enough firepower in its run game with Quinshon Judkins and a tough as hell outing from Jaxson Dart to pull this game off. Judkins finished with 119 yards and a touchdown while Dart had 124 total offensive yards and a passing touchdown.
Daijahn Anthony led the Rebels defense with 15 total tackles with Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste also logging 10 total tackles in the game. In a strange turn of events, neither team turned the ball over, which really never allowed either offense to have a short field for the entire game.
It’s a damn good night to be a Rebel. This is one of those ugly kind of wins that good teams figure out a way to get the points and stops it needs to overcome a hostile environment on the road in a rivalry game.
Dart’s single touchdown pass to Caden Prieskorn could not have been more wide open, and the absolute pin drop silence at Davis-Wade was the wake up call that the game was pretty much over. MSU was loading the box on third and short to stop a likely give to Judkins, and Dart did like a Henry Rowengartner floater to Prieskorn who was jogging and celebrating into the endzone. Hell of a play call and one that Ole Miss fans should cement as a core memory in this rivalry.
Well, the regular season is over, and now after the Friday and Saturday games are played, it’s likely the Rebels will have a better idea of its bowl destination. There’s conference championships as well, but beyond some insane upsets, it looks like for now Ole Miss is headed to the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl against Iowa.
Keep your fingers crossed for chaos though - it’s college football, anything can happen. HYDR and cheers!