Mississippi State football lays an egg against Ole Miss

Mississippi State football

Mississippi State football laid an egg against Ole Miss in a 31-24 loss to the Rebels. For head coach Mike Leach, his record in the most important football game in the state of Mississippi starts 0-1.

The 2020 Egg Bowl was one to remember, thanks to coming down to the wire and several notable plays. Ole Miss cornerback Deane Leonard returned a fumble by receiver Austin Williams all the way to the Mississippi State 16-yard line, Matt Corral completed a ridiculous 81-yard touchdown to receiver Braylon Sanders, and Bulldogs receiver Geor’quarius Spivey caught a 41-yard prayer setting up the final Hail Mary at the end of the game.

What happened to that great defense?

After being one of the top defenses in the SEC all season, the Mississippi State defense was sliced and diced by Corral and the Rebel offense.

The Heisman hopeful Ole Miss quarterback was able to find his receivers open deep easily and consistently as Corral threw for 385 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target and FBS leader in receiving yards this season Elijah Moore continued to dominate opposing secondaries by going for 12 receptions for 139 yards. The pair continues to be one of the most unstoppable and exciting duos to watch in all of college football.

Big plays killed the Bulldogs as they allowed over four plays of 30-plus yards. Every time you thought the defense would get off the field, Corral threw another bomb. The emotions of the two sidelines were a stark contrast with Ole Miss dancing while Mississippi State looked dejected for the majority of the game.

Things didn’t get much better for the battle in the trenches. The Rebels were able to garner 163 total yards rushing, including 93 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries from Jerrion Ealy. Ealy played a large role in helping Ole Miss run out valuable clock time late in the game.

Unfortunately, the impressive offensive showcase was to the dismay of all Mississippi State football fans.

Air raid offense starting to click

If quarterback Will Rogers flashed his potential last week against No. 13 Georgia, it appears Leach’s grand plan may actually be coming to fruition. The Mississippi State offense has put together two good games after being one of the worst offenses in college football for much of the season.

Rogers had his best game of the season by far, completing 45 of 61 pass attempts for 440 yards and three touchdowns, all being new career highs. His accuracy on throws was especially impressive and looked to be the result of finally beginning to get in sync with his receivers. Rogers also showed off his athleticism by running the ball four times for 26 yards with a long of 15.

One of those receivers Rogers has been able to get in sync with is fellow true freshman Jaden Walley. Since both practiced together as second-stringers before finding the field, the pair has developed quite the chemistry. Walley has gone for back to back career games, going for nine catches for 176 yards in this one. He also made the most impressive play of the game by making a one-handed catch on the right sideline right before getting cracked by the safety yet still held on for one of the best catches you’ll ever see.

One of the main reasons for Rogers’ newfound success is the improvement of the offensive line play. The offensive line has been simply terrible all season but found a way to keep Rogers standing confident in the pocket and only allowed one sack.

What’s next?

This Saturday’s Mississippi State football matchup against the Missouri Tigers has been postponed, in large part, to ensure that Alabama vs. LSU and Arkansas vs. Missouri, two games that were postponed earlier in the season, could play on Dec. 5. Mississippi State football is hoping to reschedule the game against Missouri, but no announcements have been made yet.

The next scheduled game for Mississippi State football is at home on Dec. 12 against the Auburn Tigers, originally scheduled for Nov. 14.