College Football Preview – Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Ole Miss Rebels
This year’s Egg Bowl has the potential to be the most exciting game of Thanksgiving weekend. The Ole Miss Rebels are 9-2 and ranked No. 9 in the College Football Playoff, but they are slight underdogs to the 7-4 Mississippi State Bulldogs. Both these offenses can put up a lot of points, as Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach are two of the best offensive minds in the sport.
On Thursday, November 25, 2021, the Mississippi State Bulldogs will take on the Ole Miss Rebels in the Egg Bowl. This year’s game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN from Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi.
College Football Betting Odds
Ole Miss +1.5
Mississippi State -1.5
Ole Miss’ only two losses this year came on the road to the two Alabama schools. The Rebels were unable to beat Alabama or Auburn, but they have knocked off every other team they have faced. Their offense is ranked sixth in SP+, yet they haven’t scored more than 31 points in a game since a thrilling 52-51 shootout win over Arkansas on October 9.
Three of Mississippi State’s four losses were by three points or less. The Bulldogs’ lone uncompetitive loss came against Alabama, and this offense is starting to him since that defeat. They were able to overcome a 28-3 deficit against Auburn two weeks ago, scoring 33 points in the second half to beat the Tigers.
When Ole Miss Has the Ball
Matt Corral was once seen as a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy. However, injuries have derailed those hopes, and he is no longer the running threat he was earlier this season. Still, Ole Miss has one of the best running games under offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. Jerrion Ealy, Henry Parrish Jr., and Snoop Conner have combined to run for over 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns as the Rebels are averaging more than 220 YPG on the ground and 5.2 YPC.
Top receiver Jonathan Mingo is finally back on the sidelines and ready to play again for Ole Miss, and Dontario Drummond is currently leading the team with 53 receptions for 786 yards and eight touchdowns. Braylon Sanders and Jahcour Pearson are both seniors that can stretch the field for Corral too.
The Bulldogs are better than expected on defense. They rank 25th in total defense (338.2 YPG), and the front seven is allowing just 3.6 YPC. Mississippi State will need to hold the line as much as possible against this ground game.
When Mississippi State Has the Ball
Will Rogers is having a phenomenal season in Starkville. Rogers ranks second in passing nationally, completing 76% of his passes for 4,113 yards with 34 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has thrown for 300 yards or more in all but one game this season, and he has thrown at least four touchdown passes in four of his last five games.
The best receiver has been Makai Polk with 88 receptions for 891 yards and nine touchdowns. Five players have the chance to finish with over 500 receiving yards this season though, and running backs Jo’Quavious Marks and Dillon Johnson have combined to catch 126 passes for 769 yards and four touchdowns.
Ole Miss has improved on defense over the course of the season. The Rebels rank 27th in Defensive SP+, but this front seven can be run on. They are allowing 4.4 YPC and 199.8 YPG on the ground.
The Bulldogs will lay claim to the Egg Bowl this season as Corral is banged up and Rogers has taken his game to the next level.