STARKVILLE • Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss 21-20 on Thursday night in a wild and crazy Egg Bowl finish for the ages.
Ole Miss scored with four seconds remaining on a 2-yard pass from Matt Corral to Elijah Moore to cap a 12-play, 82-yard drive.
However, Moore was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty with his indecent celebration in the end zone. Because of the 15-yard infraction, Ole Miss kicker Luke Logan missed wide on his 35-yard extra point attempt, setting off a cowbell-ringing celebration.
State improved to 6-6 overall and 3-5 in the SEC and clinched an opportunity to play in a postseason bowl under second-year head coach Joe Moorhead, who has been the source of rumors that he wasn’t the right man for the job.
“This is my team, my school, my program,” a passionate Moorhead said postgame.
Ole Miss saw its season end at 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the SEC.
State’s Garrett Shrader was the standout freshman quarterback on this night, not the heralded Ole Miss running rookie, John Rhys Plumlee.
Shrader, subbing for injured senior starter Tommy Stevens, completed 10 of 14 passes for 108 yards. He rushed for two touchdowns, including the eventual game-winner on a 5-yard scamper with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter.
State’s defense held Plumlee in check. He rushed 18 times for 34 yards and scored one TD. He passed for 121 yards on 9 of 14 attempts. He finished the season with 1,023 yards rushing.
Plumlee watched from the sidelines as Corral played the final two series. Corral was 6 of 12 for 124 yards passing.
Senior back Nick Gibson’s 27-yard touchdown run gave the Bulldogs an early 7-0 lead. Shrader scored on a 1-yard run to give State a 14-0 lead with 11:22 left in the second quarter.
Ole Miss answered to cut the Bulldogs’ lead 14-7 on Plumlee’s 2-yard keeper on a third-and-goal. His 31-yard pass to Braylen Sanders moved the ball inside the State 10.
A muffed punt attempt by State gave the Rebels the ball at midfield late in the first half. Ole Miss covered 49 yards in nine plays to tie the score at 14-14 on Jerrion Elay’s 5-yard run.
Turning Point: Logan’s missed 35-yard extra point attempt following penalty on Moore.
Point Man: Shrader scored two rushing TDs, his second in the third quarter.