STARKVILLE • Mississippi State saw five key players leave last Saturday’s game against Abilene Christian with injuries.
Fortunately for the Bulldogs, none of those ailments will keep wide receiver Osirus Mitchell, left tackle Tyre Phillips, defensive end Marquiss Spencer, linebacker Erroll Thompson or cornerback Jarrian Jones out of Thursday’s Egg Bowl against Ole Miss.
Additionally, MSU will also get All-American corner Cameron Dantzler back after sitting out against Abilene Christian with an undisclosed injury.
“Cam is available and all the guys that went out from the game will be ready for” practice on Monday, MSU coach Joe Moorhead told reporters.
Moorhead announced that offensive linemen Tommy Champion, Greg Eiland and Michael Story’s suspensions this past Saturday were all one-game punishments for a violation of team rules.
The Bulldogs are also expected to have defensive tackle Lee Autry, linebacker Willie Gay Jr., safety Marcus Murphy and offensive tackle Kwatrivous Johnson added to the mix as well this week after missing most of the season to suspensions.
SO LONG SENIORSOn Thursday, MSU will say goodbye to 26 seniors during a pregame ceremony as they suit up for one last time at Davis Wade Stadium.
“It’s their final game in the maroon and white, guys who have done a ton over their careers to bring a lot of positive success to Mississippi State,” Moorhead said. “We want to make sure we send those guys out the right way.”
Those offensive seniors are quarterback Tommy Stevens, running backs Malik Dear, Nick Gibson and Alec Murphy, wide receivers Stephen Guidry, Tristan Pisacane, Deddrick Thomas and Isaiah Zuber, tight end Farrod Green, offensive linemen Champion, Phillips, Story, Evans Wilkerson and Darryl Williams.
On defense, the Bulldogs bid farewell to defensive linemen Autry, Fletcher Adams, Kendell Jones and Chauncey Rivers, linebackers Sh’mar Kilby-Lane, Leo Lewis and Tim Washington, defensive backs Brian Cole, Jaquarius Landrews and Maurice Smitherman as well as punter Kody Schexnayder and long snapper Nathan Swanson.
WELCOME BACK, DOGSState’s seniors will not be the only ones honored on Saturday. The Bulldogs will have a reunion for their 1998 and 1999 football teams that were coached by Jackie Sherrill.
The 1998 team went 8-5 and is the only Mississippi State team to play in the SEC Championship Game after winning the Western Division and earned a Cotton Bowl berth.
The following year the Bulldogs went 10-2 and won the Peach Bowl.
MSU won the Egg Bowl in both of those seasons with this year marking the 20-year anniversary of “The Pick and the Kick.”
The Bulldogs won the 1999 Egg Bowl 23-20 in Starkville thanks to Robert Bean batting an Ole Miss pass into the air and then kicking it to Eugene Clinton for an interception return that set up a 44-yard field goal by Scott Westerfield with eight seconds remaining.