Elijah Moore

Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore is consoled by Ashley Luke, wife of head coach Matt Luke, after Thursday’s loss to Mississippi State.

OXFORD Ole Miss apologizes.

A possible comeback win against rival Mississippi State slipped from the Rebels grasp after end zone antics from sophomore wide receiver Elijah Moore following his touchdown with 4 seconds remaining on Thursday night.

Moore lifted a leg and mimicked a dog urinating, exactly as Ole Miss wide receiver DK Metcalf did two years ago.

Friday afternoon, amid embarrassing media coverage, the school issued a joint statement from Rebels coach Matt Luke and athletics director Keith Carter, and a separate apology from Moore, a sophomore from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The apologies were issued to Ole Miss fans, not to Mississippi State.

Moore will face discipline, the statement said.

‘Lost control’

“We want to apologize formally as a program to the Ole Miss family for the disappointing end of Thursday’s game,” Carter and Luke said in the statement. “Elijah is a fine young man who lost control of his emotions in the moment. This incident does not reflect in any way the type of student-athletes on our football team or the culture of respect that permeates our locker room.”

Moore likewise addressed the fans.

“I apologize to my teammates, coaches and Rebel Nation for my actions at the end of the game. It was an emotional moment, and I deeply regret it.

“It does not represent who I am or who we are as a team, and I will grow stronger from this mistake.”

The Rebels were able to overcome an unsportsmanlike call against Metcalf but not against Moore on Thursday night.

His penalty removed all possibility of a two-point conversion attempt for the win, though Luke already had his PAT team on the field.

It also forced sophomore kicker Luke Logan, who had missed four of his last seven field goal attempts, to hit a 35-yard extra point with the game on the line.

Carter and Luke praised the “discipline” of the Ole Miss program.

The Egg Bowl caught the attention of SEC commissioner Greg Sankey after last year’s fight in Oxford.

The 2019 game including occasional chest-bumping and staredowns – at least once game officials stepped between players – but no fight.

Ole Miss had 34 penalty yards, MSU 41.

“Discipline is a staple of our program as evidenced by being the least penalized team in our league, and we will continue to uphold an uncompromising standard of behavior on and off the field. In maintaining our team’s high level of accountability, we will address the matter and disciplinary action will be handled internally,” the release said.

The most current release of SEC football statistics shows that Ole Miss and Arkansas are tied for the least number of penalties against with 54 each.

The Rebels are third in penalty yardage against at 50.1 yards per game.

parrish.alford@journalinc.com

Twitter: @parrishalford

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