Mississippi State was able to snap out of a four-game losing skid on Saturday with a 54-24 victory at Arkansas, while a Ole Miss upset bid at then-No. 11 Auburn came up short in a 20-14 loss, the Rebels’ third straight.
The Bulldogs have the week off before they host second-ranked Alabama on Nov. 16. Ole Miss, meanwhile, will welcome winless New Mexico State to Oxford at 3 p.m. Saturday for its final non-league game of the season, to be seen on the SEC Network.
It will be the second meeting between the Rebels and New Mexico State. Ole Miss won the previous encounter 52-3 in Oxford in 2015 with seven touchdowns and 665 yards of offense.
The Rebels’ bowl aspirations are on life support. At 3-6, Ole Miss would have to win out its remaining games against the Aggies, No. 1 LSU and Mississippi State to reach bowl eligibility.
Reaching a bowl at 5-7, on the strength of academic performance, is a distant possibility.
“A lot of people outside the locker room have given up on us,” said Ole Miss linebacker Jacquez Jones. “But we believe we’ve got something special coming up at Ole Miss and that’s why we come out every week and play as hard as we can.”
MSU: Better pathThe bowl picture is a little more manageable for MSU. The Bulldogs are 4-5 and must win two of their next three games – all of which are at home. State hosts Alabama, Abilene Christian and Ole Miss to close out the regular season.
“Coach always says ‘make them remember November,’” said MSU cornerback Cameron Dantzler. “We’ve just got to finish strong. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, so we’ll just keep that in mind and keep on rolling.”
The Bulldogs have been bowl eligible for the past nine seasons, a school record. Mississippi State has made three appearances in the TaxSlayer/ Gator Bowl during that streak along with single showings at the Music City, Liberty, Orange, Belk, St. Petersburg and Outback bowls