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(Saturday, November 28th)
Final Score: Mississippi State 41, (20) Ole Miss 27
Starkville, MS (Sports Network) - Chris Relf threw two touchdown passes and added another score on the ground -- all coming in the second half -- to help Mississippi State upend 20th-ranked Ole Miss, 41-27, in the Egg Bowl.
Relf finished with 131 rushing yards, while Anthony Dixon had 133 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries for the Bulldogs (5-7, 3-5 SEC), who snapped a two-game losing streak and reclaimed the Golden Egg.
Dixon also broke the Mississippi State single-season rushing record, eclipsing the mark set by James Johnson in 1998. Dixon has 1,391 yards this season, eight more than Johnson.
"It was a great day, It is great for our program to send our seniors out like that," said Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen.
Jevan Snead completed 17-of-29 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted three times in the loss for the Rebels (8-4, 4-4), who had won three straight. Dexter McCluster rushed for 82 yards on 16 carries and had a 52-yard touchdown reception.
The Bulldogs' first drive of the third quarter resulted in a career-long 48- yard boot from Derek DePasquale that tied the score, 13-13.
After Ole Miss went three-and-out on its first series of the second half, Relf guided the Bulldogs on a 13-play, 70-yard drive that culminated in a two-yard grab by Marcus Green.
Snead was then picked off at the MSU 45 on the ensuing drive by Charles Mitchell, who returned the ball to the Ole Miss 34. The Bulldogs gained no yards after three plays and opted to go for it on fourth down. Relf completed a toss to Chad Bumphis beyond the first-down marker, but Bumphis could not be tackled as he scampered into the end zone, giving MSU a 27-13 lead with 38 seconds remaining.
Ole Miss immediately responded when Snead spotted a wide open Markeith Summers behind the secondary for a 48-yard TD on the first play of the fourth quarter.
A 10-yard dash by Relf made it 34-20 four minutes later. Following another interception by Mitchell, the Bulldogs drove to the one before Arnil Stallworth fumbled.
Corey Broomfield picked off Snead on the ensuing drive and rumbled 64 yards for the touchdown with 5:17 remaining. Ole Miss answered 21 seconds later when a screen pass turned into a 52-yard touchdown for the elusive McCluster.
The Bulldogs then ran out the remaining time.
"It is a sick feeling, It is not what we planned, but give Mississippi State credit," said Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt. "They did a good job. Did we do a good job of running the ball or not turning the ball over? I do not think so. You absolutely cannot turn the ball over, especially in a rivalry game like this. That was the quickest game I have been a part of in a long time. Mississippi State just did a great job of running the football."
Ole Miss took the game's opening kickoff and marched to the MSU eight-yard line before Joshua Shene kicked a 26-yard field goal. The key play of the drive was a fourth down conversion off of a punt formation at the Bulldogs' 36. Billy Tapp cradled the direct snap and his 20-yard completion to Reggie Hicks moved the chains and allowed Ole Miss to get on the board.
Mississippi State's initial series consumed the remainder of the first quarter and DePasquale drilled a 28-yard field goal on the first play of the second frame, tying the score at 3-3.
After the club's exchanged turnovers on the next two possessions, Ole Miss regained the lead on Shene's 28-yarder.
MSU then moved ahead when Dixon lunged and nipped the pylon along the left sideline for a two-yard score with 3:22 left in the second quarter. The Rebels, though, quickly countered on their next drive as Shay Hodge made a remarkable catch in corner of the end zone, securing a tipped ball while lying on the ground for a 20-yard touchdown and 13-10 advantage with 61 seconds remaining.
MSU has won 19 straight games when leading after three quarters...Tyson Lee completed 5-of-9 throws for 52 yards with one interception for the Bulldogs...Hodge had 96 yards on six catches...Ole Miss still leads the all-time series, 60-40-6.
11/28 18:18:46 ET