By Stan Beall
The Star Herald
OXFORD––The 2009 Bulldogs and the 2012 Rebels have a lot of similarities in how their seasons played out.
The Bulldogs defeated a Rebel squad with an 8-3 record and gained momentum for the next two years, winning three Egg Bowls.
MSU would not go bowling that year and finished with a 5-7 record, but many folks think back to the LSU game when Mullen should have given the ball to Anthony Dixon when they had a chance to score while they were on the Tiger goal line late in the game. That did not happen and LSU withstood, keeping the Bulldogs out of the end zone.
With that win, the Bulldogs would have been bowl eligible in Mullen’s first year.
The 2012 Rebels, coming off heartbreaking losses to Vanderbilt and LSU, needed just one more win to become bowl eligible, and that win would now have to come in the Egg Bowl.
The Bulldogs won the toss and deferred, kicking off to the Rebels. After a big catch by Donte Moncrief, Bo Wallace found Jamal Mosley from 25 yards out with 13:17 left on the clock to take a quick 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jameon Lewis took it back, untouched, 100 yards for a touchdown to even things up at 7-7 with 13:04 remaining in the first quarter.
The Rebels would march right back down the field again, but on third-and-goal, Cameron Lawrence stepped in front of a Wallace pass in the end zone, and promptly ended the Rebel drive.
The Bulldogs would take a 14-7 lead with 2:46 remaining in the first quarter after Tyler Russell found Chad Bumphis from 42 yards out after Russell was forced out of the pocket and towards the Ole Miss sideline.
Bumphis made the catch near the sideline and raced in for the go-ahead score. The Bulldogs lead 14-7 to start the second quarter.
Ole Miss kicker Bryson Rose was good from 43-yards and the Rebels now trailed 14-10 with 13:36 remaining in the half.
The Rebels would regain the lead, 17-14, on a Wallace to Moncrief 77-yard touchdown pass with 5:19 remaining in the half.
The Bulldogs would answer after a long Bumphis reception on a busted coverage by the Rebels when Devon Bell kicked one through from 23 yards to tie the score at 17-17 with 3:21 remaining in the half.
Neither team would score again in the first half and went to the locker rooms deadlocked at 17-17.
The Rebels wasted little time in the third quarter and took the lead on a Rose 41-yard field goal to pull ahead of the Bulldogs 20-17. At the 6:47 mark of the third quarter, Wallace found Moncrief once again from 21 yards and the Rebels now led 27-17, and would not look back.
Moncrief scored again, his third touchdown catch of the night, on a 16-yard reception from Wallace with 3:40 remaining in the third quarter to take a commanding 34-17 lead. The Rebels would score once again in the fourth quarter when Wallace found former Noxubee County star Vincent Sanders on a 16 yard strike with 11:44 left that put the game out of reach for the Bulldogs, 41-17.
The Bulldogs would score a touchdown with .07 seconds on the clock to push the final score to 41-24.
The Rebels would tally 527 yards of total offense to the Bulldogs 333.
Ole Miss would rush for 233 yards on the night and held MSU to only 30 yards on the ground.
With this win, the Rebels became bowl eligible for the first time since 2009.