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
    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Arkansas

      Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 8 Ole Miss travels to Arkansas in its final road game of the regular season Saturday. Slowing the Hogs' Ground Attack The extra week of preparation, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said, should prove beneficial... read more

    • Rebels Ahead of Schedule in Year Three

      Thursday, November 20, 2014 - Football

      It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 10-16, 2014)

      Monday, November 17, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 16

      Sunday, November 16, 2014 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more

    • Getting Healthy, Staying Sharp on the Bye Week

      Friday, November 14, 2014 - Football

      No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited.  But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 11

      Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 11 - Presbyterian (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 3-9, 2014)

      Monday, November 10, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Nov. 9

      Sunday, November 9, 2014 - Football

      Austin Miller handled all of this week's edition of the Observations from the Best Seat in the House. Check out what he had to say below:- The nation's best scoring defense finally got its first shutout of the season, as... read more

    • Wilkins, Dodson Shine in Blowout Win

      Saturday, November 8, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss racked up the second-most yards in school history, totaling 640 yards, including 402 yards on the ground, in a 48-0 rout of Presbyterian. The Rebels were able to limit the reps for several players in the contest, with... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-PC

      Saturday, November 8, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 11 Ole Miss hosts FCS opponent Presbyterian in its final non-conference matchup of the regular season. Execute, Stay Heathy Saturday's game with Presbyterian is more about Ole Miss than its opponent, as the team's... read more

    • Injuries Create Opportunities for Young Players

      Thursday, November 6, 2014 - Football

      With injuries mounting on both sides of the ball, Saturday's game against Presbyterian presents an opportunity for young players and backups to gain experience and make an impression on the coaching staff. Among those injured players, head coach Hugh Freeze... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 10

      Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 10 - Auburn (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Path To Atlanta: A Little Homecookin'

      Monday, November 3, 2014 - Football

      A question we keep hearing is what needs to happen in order for the Rebels to get to the SEC Championship game. It's pretty simple, just cheer for the home team. The lone exception to that notion is Ole Miss'... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014)

      Monday, November 3, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 27-Nov. 2, 2014Football- No. 4 Ole Miss lost a heartbreaker to No. 3 Auburn on Saturday night, 35-31.- In addition to losing the game, the Rebels lost star receiver Laquon Treadwell on what looked... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 2

      Sunday, November 2, 2014 - Athletics

      In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. There's a lot on our... read more