Chris Collins

Nov. 28, 2013

Today's THROWBACK THURSDAY rewinds to the last Egg Bowl played on Thanksgiving Day, when Ole Miss traveled to Starkville and handed Mississippi State a crushing 31-0 loss on the Bulldogs' home field.

Goose Egg fairly shouts of Reb' rule, Dogs' despair

By Rick Cleveland, The Clarion-Ledger

November 28, 2003

STARKVILLE, Miss. -Today, the Ole Miss Rebels turn their attention – and television sets – to Arkansas-LSU.

Hoghats anyone?

The Rebels have earned a share of the Southeastern Conference Western Division title, their first of any sort in 40 years. Now, they fervently hope the Razorbacks will beat LSU and send Ole Miss to the SEC Championship game.

Meanwhile, Mississippi State’s Bulldogs today turn their attention to, well, perhaps to Sylvester Croom, the leading candidate to succeed Jackie Sherrill.

We shall see. Late Thursday night, it sure seemed as if the job is Croom’s to accept or turn down.

What we surely saw last night, through persistent rain showers in the 100th Egg Bowl, is that Croom, or whomever, will have much work to do.

What we also saw was an Ole Miss team that has established clear superiority over its archrival over the past two seasons. The Rebels trounced the Bulldogs 31-0 on their home field. It was every bit as one-sided as it sounds – the first time Ole Miss has blanked State since 1971.

Watching the Rebels’ dominating Thursday night, it seemed almost inconceivable that two years ago we sat in the same stadium and watched Kevin Fant lead the Bulldogs to a 36-28 victory over Eli Manning and the Rebels.

That defeat combined to knock Ole Miss out of a bowl game and earn Sherrill a contract extension.

Just two years ago …

Yes, Ole Miss has improved that much.

Yes, State has gone backwards that far.

It showed afterward, too. Hard to say what was thicker: the cigar smoke inside the Ole Miss locker room or the gloom inside the State locker room.

Here’s the play that best typified State’s season: Ole Miss was leading 31-0 with nine minutes remaining. State was trying desperately to avoid the shutout. The Bulldogs faced fourth down at the Ole Miss 9-yard line. State called for a pass play from Fant to fellow senior, Justin Jenkins.

Jenkins broke inside; Fant threw outside.

And Ole Miss defenders, who badly wanted a shutout, celebrated.

So it was, the goose egg remained on State’s side of the scoreboard, one final exclamation point on a season of abject misery.

The Bulldogs were outscored 267 to 57 over their last six games, all defeats. That’s an average of five touchdowns per game if you're keeping score.

Now then, compare that to Ole Miss, which has won seven of its last eight and beaten several traditional powerhouses in the process.

“We’re 7-1 in the SEC,” Cutcliffe said, smiling broadly. “That’s exciting, because it’s not easy to be 7 and 1 in this league.”

Manning made his last regular season game one to remember. Despite the terrible conditions, Manning completed 19 of 27 for 260 yards and three touchdowns. Had it not been raining so hard, had it not been so one-sided, he might have thrown for 500.

Put it this way: In the first half, when it was still a game, Manning completed 16 of 21 passes for 211 yards. Three of five incompletions were dropped. One was a throw-away.

The other one?

Well, nobody’s perfect.

Afterward, Manning was reminded of that night two years ago when Ole Miss lost the Egg Bowl and a chance to play in a post-season bowl.

“That game was probably the worst feeling I’ve ever had as a player,” Manning said.

And how did it feel to win on the same field two years later, with at least a share of the division title on the line.

His smile said it all.

“It’s been a great season … we’ve earned everything we’ve gotten,” Manning said. “It’s been the best year for Ole Miss in a long, long time. It’s just been a career year.”

Yes, and it is a career year that still could have an even more special ending. Late Thursday night, the Rebels practiced calling the Hogs in the smoke-filled locker room.

Cutcliffe said he planned to watch the Arkansas game at home with his family. Ole Miss players are on their own and most said they planned to watch the game at their homes.

Said Chris Collins, who caught eight of Manning’s throws for 113 yards and a touchdown, “I am now the biggest Hog fan ever.”

In Mississippi, today, he will have much company.

Meanwhile, State fans will wait to hear who gets the job of turning around the Bulldogs’ fortunes.

It will be a Yeoman’s task.

Ole Miss Gear
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    • Ratings, Exposure Huge for Ole Miss-Alabama

      Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss' historic win over Alabama last Saturday was not only popular with members of Rebel Nation, it was among the most-watched college football games of the year.The Rebels' thrilling 43-37 victory over the Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium was the... read more

    • Rebels Pass First Test in Search of Playoff Berth

      Sunday, September 20, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsThe road to the College Football Playoff includes many tests along the way. The Ole Miss Rebels (3-0, 1-0 SEC) just passed their first, proving that they are a legitimate contender after knocking... read more

    • Kelly Makes Statement in Big Rebel Win

      Saturday, September 12, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;... read more

    • Big Plays Highlight Season-Opening Win

      Saturday, September 5, 2015 - Football

      Offense, defense and special teams. Ole Miss dominated all three aspects of the game as the 15th-ranked Rebels routed UT Martin 76-3 in the season opener. The 60,186 fans, mostly dressed in white, anticipated an exciting start to the 2015... read more

    • Time to Take a Stand

      Monday, August 31, 2015 -

      It's finally week! It's been 242 days since the Ole Miss Rebels last took to the gridiron for a clash of the helmets. After a successful 2014 campaign in which Ole Miss knocked off a No. 1-ranked team... read more

    • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge to Air on ESPNU Aug. 1

      Thursday, July 30, 2015 -

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ATLANTA - On Saturday, fans can tune in to see the Rebels duo of Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze and former Ole Miss basketball player Sean Tuohy compete in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • Rebels Emerge on Four Watch Lists This Week

      Friday, July 17, 2015 -

      Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more

    • Football Rebels All Over First Week of Watch List Releases

      Friday, July 10, 2015 -

      As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more

    • Engram, Hilton and Johnson to Represent Ole Miss at SEC Football Media Days

      Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -

      Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more

    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more

    • Lindy's Sports Gives Seven Rebels Preseason Recognition

      Wednesday, June 24, 2015 -

      The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more

    • Five Rebels Named Preseason All-America by Athlon Sports

      Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -

      With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more

    • Sporting News Tabs Four Rebels to Preseason All-America Teams

      Monday, June 15, 2015 - Football

      Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more

    • Athlon Sports Names Nine Rebels Preseason All-SEC

      Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Football

      Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more

    • Eleven Rebels Garner Phil Steele Preseason Honors

      Monday, June 1, 2015 - Football

      The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more