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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Mississippi State loses Golden Egg to Ole Miss Rebels

The+game+between+the+Ole+Miss+Rebels+and+the+Mississippi+State+Bulldogs+at+Davis+Wade+Stadium+at+Scott+Field+in+Starkville%2C+MS.
Brooks Surber | The Reflector

The game between the Ole Miss Rebels and the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field in Starkville, MS.

The Battle for the Golden Egg was held in Starkville on Thanksgiving night, and despite the turbulent season for Mississippi State University, they were not going down without a fight.
Greg Knox, who served as the Bulldogs interim coach for the game following the firing of head coach Zach Arnett two weeks prior, rolled on to the field of Davis Wade Stadium atop a four-wheeler with his team alongside him. Hoping for an upset against No. 13 Ole Miss, the Bulldogs football squad rushed onto the field with a spark of determination.
The Bulldogs’ defense came to play, holding the Rebels to under 100 yards passing and 307 yards of total offense. However, some key mistakes costed the Bulldogs the win.
While the defense was breaking its back, the offense sputtered at times, producing only 303 yards of total offense and going 4-to-16 on third down. The Bulldogs’ kicking unit also missed two field goals.
The Bulldogs would gain a 7-3 lead as the Rebels offense took the field, but a controversial targeting call against Bulldog linebacker DeShawn Page on Rebel quarterback Jaxon Dart killed the momentum for the Bulldogs, and the Rebels scored on the ensuing drive.
In the end, the Rebels put the game out of reach, resulting in a 17-7 defeat for the Bulldogs in the 120th edition of the Egg Bowl.
Will Rogers, in what will likely be his last game wearing the Maroon and White, completed 25-of-35 passes for 207 yards while recording a rushing touchdown. A day after the loss, Rogers entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal.
In his postgame press conference, an emotional Rogers shared his thoughts on what the team has been through this season.
“It would have been so easy to quit after everything that we’ve been through on and off the field. People can say what they want to, but we’re not quitters,” Rogers said. “Coach Knox did a really good job. I’m proud of the team and the real fighters. It would have been easy to tap out and let a really good team come here and walk all over us. I gave it my all.”
Knox also commended his senior group of Bulldog players following the loss on Thanksgiving night.
“Great group of seniors that took control, led this team. I can’t thank them enough for all they did through the tough times,” Knox said. “They did everything they could to hold this team together and I appreciate them.”
With the loss, the Bulldogs finish with a 5-7 overall record, including 1-7 in SEC play. Their record also makes the team bowl ineligible for the first time since 2009, thus ending their season.
There have been a lot of ups and downs with the Bulldogs since the passing of coach Mike Leach in 2022. The Bulldog team and the Egg Bowl rivalry will likely never be quite the same without him leading the charge and swinging his sword — something that Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin echoed in his postgame conference.
“That was really painful last year to lose that. But, you know, kind of thought maybe that if you’re ever going to lose it – once we learned later on that that was Coach Leach’s last game – maybe that was meant to be,” Kiffin said in a tribute to Leach. “So, I miss him. Missed him today. And we’ll never forget him.”
With the season officially over, it is time for the Bulldogs to look ahead into what the future might hold as a new era of Bulldog football is set to begin.

About the Contributor
Colin James, Staff Writer
Colin James is a senior communication major. Colin is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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Mississippi State loses Golden Egg to Ole Miss Rebels