Bowl Bound: Rebels Rout Bulldogs To Gain Bowl Eligibility

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Sophomore wide receiver Donte Moncrief finished with seven catches for 173 yards and three touchdowns.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Sophomore wide receiver Donte Moncrief finished with seven catches for 173 yards and three touchdowns.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 24, 2012

Stats |  Quotes |  Notes | Finished In-Game Live Blog | Video Highlights | Complete Game Book Get Acrobat Reader | Photo Gallery

OXFORD, Miss. - For the first time since 2009, the Ole Miss Rebels will go bowling.

Paced by a three-touchdown performance from sophomore wide receiver Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss (6-6, 3-5 Southeastern Conference) defeated its intrastate rival, No. 24 Mississippi State, 41-24 on a beautiful Saturday night in front of 61,005 fans at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

"I cannot be more proud of this group of young men and coaches," Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. "I'm first and foremost happy and thrilled for them, and then secondly for our fans, administration and the people of the Rebel Nation who had to go through losing the momentum in this series. I understand that was difficult. I've lived it, I've been through it, and I know how important it is to this state and to our University, and our kids were very aware of that tonight."

For Ole Miss, Saturday's win is extra special. Over the last two seasons, the Rebels had won just six games combined. Saturday's win over Mississippi State (8-4, 4-4 SEC) gave the Rebels their sixth win this season, and propels the young team to a bowl game to be determined in the coming weeks. The win also gives the Rebels the Egg Bowl trophy for the first time since 2008.

"We didn't play out of hatred for anyone," Freeze said. "It was more about playing out of love
for one another and this University, and our kids proved that they thought about one another and that they care for one another tonight."

Perhaps most importantly, Saturday gave the Rebels a sense of validation for their hard work this season. After losing its last two games by a combined seven points, some had to wonder if it simply wasn't meant to be for the Rebels.

"It was a great game," freshman linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche said. "We played our hearts out and we have been upset so many times this year. Those losses were heartbreaking and I feel honored to get this one. It's just a great feeling."

Moncrief finished the day with seven catches for a career-high 173 yards to go along with his three touchdown receptions. Moncrief's 173 yards receiving are the fourth-most in a single game in Ole Miss history, and the Raleigh, Miss., native is now tied for the most touchdown receptions in a single season with 10.

Sophomore quarterback Bo Wallace finished 15-of-22 for 294 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions. Junior running back Jeff Scott led Ole Miss on the ground with 28 carries for 111 yards.

Junior cornerback Charles Sawyer led Ole Miss with nine total tackles, including eight solo tackles and three pass breakups. Sophomore defensive end C.J. Johnson had a pair of sacks for the Rebels, and Nkemdiche had three total tackles and an interception, his third of the season.

In a game that started off tight and was back and forth for much of the first half, it was all Ole Miss in the second half. Tied 17-17 at halftime, Ole Miss scored 24 unanswered points before allowing a Bulldog touchdown with seven seconds left on the clock.

The 109th meeting between the two schools, and the 85th edition of the Battle of the Golden Egg, began with some fireworks, as each team put seven points on the board in the opening two minutes. The Rebels used a four-play, 71-yard drive to get on the board, capped off by a 25-yard pass from Wallace to Jamal Mosley down the left sideline.

Ole Miss scored on each of its first four possessions to open the second half, including two touchdowns from Moncrief, a 21-yard reception with 6:47 left on the clock in the third quarter, and a 16-yard reception just over three minutes later to give Ole Miss a 34-17 lead.

"We're going to have some fun times together," Freeze said. "Those kids have had some difficult times, and now they can hear the good side of it, so I'm thrilled. To send them out to a bowl game somewhere will be really nice."

Ole Miss will now wait to hear its bowl fate. The Rebels are believed to be contenders for the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, AutoZone Liberty Bowl and BBVA Compass Bowl.

2012 Egg Bowl Highlights

Ole Miss Postgame News Conference

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Wallace Looks to Make More History

      Thursday, December 18, 2014 - Football

      Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, like his head coach, stepped into a program that had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14 straight games.  Three years later, Wallace helped lead the ninth-ranked Rebels to their first nine-win regular... read more

    • Rebels Ink Nation's Top JUCO Quarterback

      Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - Football

      Official welcome to Chad Kelly, the No. 1 JUCO QB in the country from national champion East Mississippi CC. #HottyToddy-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) December 17, 2014 Just Sent My LOI In To The University Of Mississippi!!! Feel's Good To... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 8-14, 2014)

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 8-14, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team rebounded with a 88-48 win over South Alabama on Sunday. The win was the first after back-to-back losses for the Rebels for the first time... read more

    • Recapping Monday's Media Opportunities

      Monday, December 15, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Details Stadium Expansion Plans Ole Miss unveiled the master plan for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, which includes two phases of renovation and expansion. Scheduled for completion by the start of the 2016 season, the expansion will bring the seating capacity... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 14

      Sunday, December 14, 2014 - Athletics

      With final exam week on the Ole Miss campus, there was not much game action, but there's still plenty to talk about, as Ole Miss finalized salary increases for head football coach Hugh Freeze and his staff, and the football... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Volleyball Season Highlight

      Friday, December 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight

      Tuesday, December 9, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss Football 2014 Season Highlight from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 1-7, 2014)

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 1-7, 2014Football- No. 9 Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, where they will face No. 6 TCU on Dec. 31 in Atlanta's Georgia Dime.- Ole Miss is making... read more

    • Testing One, Two, Three

      Monday, December 8, 2014 - Academics

      While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Dec. 7

      Sunday, December 7, 2014 - Athletics

      In the early part of the week, Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract. In the late part of the week, the Rebels learned their postseason bowl destination. Here are... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 13

      Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - Men's Basketball

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 13 - MSU (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rebels Finding a Rhythm after Trip to Florida

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 -

      Ole Miss continued its strong bounce-back from a season-opening loss to Charleston Southern, improving to 5-1 on the season and knocking off two previously unbeaten opponents in No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati to capture the inaugural Emerald Coast Classic. "We... read more

    • Bjork, Freeze Reach Agreement on New Contract

      Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - Football

      Athletics Director Ross Bjork and head football coach Hugh Freeze reached an agreement on a new contract, they both announced on Twitter early Tuesday morning. Terms will be released as they are finalized and are expected in the coming days.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (No. 24-30, 2014)

      Monday, December 1, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Nov. 24-30, 2014Football- No. 18 Ole Miss won the annual "Egg Bowl" rivalry 31-17 over No. 4 Mississippi State in front of another sold-out crowd at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday afternoon.- The Rebels finish the... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 30

      Sunday, November 30, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss collected a lot of hardware over the weekend, as the football team reclaimed the Egg Bowl trophy and the men's and women's basketball returned home with regular-season tournament championship. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week... read more