FRIDAY FLASHBACK: 2000 Egg Bowl

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM The Deuce was loose against State in 2000.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
The Deuce was loose against State in 2000.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 23, 2012

FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games from this week's all-time series. This week features the Rebels' 45-30 victory in 2000 Egg Bowl behind the amazing exploits of Deuce McAllister.

Deuce does it all

By the Associated Press

November 23, 2000

OXFORD, Miss. - With the Golden Egg on the line, Deuce broke loose.

Deuce McAllister ran for three touchdowns and threw for another score to lead Ole Miss to a 45-30 victory over No. 23 Mississippi State on Thursday night in the highest-scoring Egg Bowl game ever between the rivals.

"Players want to play in big games and this was definitely a big game," McAllister said.

McAllister was hyped as a Heisman Trophy candidate before the season by Ole Miss, but injuries and sporadic play have made it a frustrating senior year for the talented 220-pound tailback. He had rushed for just 646 yards coming into the game.

Then a tough season got much tougher for McAllister two weeks ago when his 23-year-old brother died after years of struggling with scoliosis and respiratory ailments.

"It relieves a lot of the frustration," he said. "We played the way we were supposed to."

McAllister said he was thinking about his brother throughout the game.

"I think I played to the standards that he would have wanted me to," he said.

The first TD pass of his career gave Ole Miss the lead for good at the end of the third quarter.

McAllister took a pitch toward right end on a second-and-16 from the Bulldogs' 20. With the defense in heavy pursuit, McAllister stopped and floated a pass across field to quarterback Romaro Miller, who scampered in for a touchdown that gave Ole Miss a 35-30 lead with 44 seconds left in the third.

The Rebels sealed the game with the help of a Mississippi State miscue.

A fumbled snap by Mississippi State punter Prentiss Cole gave Ole Miss the ball at the Bulldogs' 8. Two plays later, McAllister vaulted into the end zone from a yard out to make it 42-30 with 6:53 left in the game.

McAllister finished with 121 yards on 24 carries. Playing Mississippi State has always brought out the best him. In the two previous Egg Bowls, McAllister had run for 321 yards.

Ole Miss (7-4, 4-4 Southeastern Conference) snapped a two-game losing streak in the annual Egg Bowl -- so-called for the Golden Egg Trophy that goes to the winner.

Mississippi State (7-4, 4-4) ended the season on a two-game losing streak.

"It really hurts," Bulldogs defensive back George White said. "We were in position to go to the SEC championship and let it slip away."

On the first play of the second half, McAllister took a handoff through a large hole in the middle of the line and sprinted away from the defense for a 72-yard touchdown run and a 28-16 lead.

It was Ole Miss' fourth touchdown in a span of four possessions covering 7 minutes, 48 seconds.

The Bulldogs finally stopped the Ole Miss run with two touchdown runs in four minutes by Dontae Walker. The second was a McAllister-like 73-yard burst that gave Mississippi State 30-28 midway through the third.

Walker has 121 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns.

Mississippi State jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first half, but also lost starting quarterback Wayne Madkin.

The junior had a 102-degree fever and missed practice Wednesday. He started the game and threw a 39-yard TD pass to Terrell Grindle midway through the first quarter before giving way to redshirt freshman Kevin Fant for the rest of the game.

Fant was 10-for-21 for 135 yards and was sacked seven times.

Ole Miss scored three TDs in the final 7:22 of the first half to take a 21-16 lead. Miller threw touchdown passes of 8 and 7 yards to Grant Heard and McAllister scored on a 1-yard leap.

McAllister's touchdown was his 15th of the season, breaking the single-season school record previously held by Archie Manning and Kayo Dottley.

The previous highest-scoring Egg Bowl was a 45-27 Ole Miss victory in 1985.

Ole Miss leads the series 55-36-6. It is the second-longest rivalry in the SEC with only Georgia and Auburn having played more often.

Representatives from the Cotton, Independence and Citrus bowls were in attendance.

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