FRIDAY FLASHBACK: 1997 Egg Bowl

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OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

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FRIDAY FLASHBACK rewinds to some of the memorable Ole Miss games from this week's all-time series. The Egg Bowl has produced countless classic bouts through the years. Amongst those encounters in Starkville, few have been sweeter for Rebel fans than 1997 and the Patridge-to-Peterson game-winning connection. The following is the Clarion-Ledger's account of the events of Nov. 29, 1997.

Patridge Leads Rebels to Last-Minute Win

By Robert Falkoff
The Clarion-Ledger

For Ole Miss quarterback Stewart Patridge, it was the perfect Cinderella ending to a rags-to-riches senior year.

Trailing 14-7 with 2:12 remaining, the Rebels were on the respirator tonight at Scott Field. But the poised Patridge pulled off the emergency rescue of his life by directing a 64-yard TD drive and then hitting Cory Peterson for a two-point conversion with 25 seconds left that gave Ole Miss a 15-14 victory over Mississippi State.

"What a miracle," Ole Miss coach Tommy Tuberville said afterward.

And what a disaster for the Bulldogs, who in two short weeks have gone from a possible date in the SEC Championship Game to possibly being left out of the bowl picture.

While the 7-4 Rebels were prancing around the field with the Egg Bowl trophy, the 7-4 Bulldogs retreated to the locker room and tried to figure out what had happened.

After Ole Miss too the opening kickoff and marched for a touchdown, the Bulldogs controlled the game until the final two minutes. That's when Patridge went to work with a drive that figures to withstand the test of time when stories of the Egg Bowl are retold.

The Rebels scored with 25 seconds left on the Patridge's 10-yard pass to Andre Rone. Peterson then ran a "Z-drive," a short crossing pattern, for the winning points.

Patridge and Peterson also teamed on the Rebels' first touchdown -- a 35-yarder in the first quarter that completed a 13-play, 71-yard drive to give Ole Miss a 7-0 lead.

State got on the scoreboard with a 5-yard pass from Rob Morgan to John Jennings in the second quarter that evened the score at 7-7.

The Bulldogs drove 47 yards in the third quarter to reach the Ole Miss end zone. J.J. Johnson went over the top for the final yard for the TD. Brian Hazelwood added his second extra-point kick to make it 14-7.

State ruled until Patridge pulled it out for the Rebels in the last two mintues.

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