OXFORD • For Ole Miss, the next 10 days are about working to get the trophy back.
The Golden Egg trophy was lost last season when Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss 35-3 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford.
Mississippi’s two SEC entries meet Thanksgiving night – Nov. 28 – at MSU.
The Rebels have the advantage of an open date this Saturday while the Bulldogs must prepare and play, albeit against an FCS foe with a sub-.500 record in Abilene Christian.
“It’s a one-game season. We’ve got to use these next 10 days to get as healthy as we can and go try to get the trophy back,” Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said.
Luke acknowledged the Rebels’ (4-7, 2-5 SEC) interest in a possible bowl game as a 5-7 team should Ole Miss beat MSU but says that’s not where the team’s focus is and would not discuss it beyond that.
This will be a different sort of open date for Ole Miss in that Luke and his staff have no more recruiting visits they can make.
“Our advantage is the extra rest time and trying to go into the game fresh,” Luke said. “We’re going to have some mental days but also some get after it days so we don’t lose the speed of the game. We’d like to balance that and go into the game as fresh an healthy as possible.”
Several players were held out of the Rebels’ 58-37 loss to No. 1 LSU.
Luke expects senior running back Scottie Phillips (knee) to return for the Egg Bowl, but junior cornerback Jaylon Jones (knee) will not.
Offensive lineman Ben Brown (ankle), defensive lineman Benito Jones (concussion) and safety Jon Haynes (ankle) will be limited this week but are listed as probable for the game.
The home team has not won in the series since the Rebels defeated the Bulldogs 31-17 in Oxford in 2014.