How can we not have talked about an Egg Bowl in these Rivalry Rewinds yet?
As you can see we are not going to far back in time for this week’s Rivalry Rewind. I wanted to cover with y’all an Egg Bowl game and why not cover the last time we won one. These rewind back to historical games against rivalry teams of Ole Miss is to get you pumped up for the upcoming 2014 football season. It gets us pumped just writing them and recalling what we were doing and how the game went down in our point of view.
I remember the 2012 Egg Bowl very clearly and what I was doing during the time of the game. I was with family and friends watching the game, there was some good grilling and some alcohol involved. We watched the game on the big TV at our home and to tell you the truth I did not know what to expect.
It was the first year under the Coach Hugh Freeze era. It was of course the last game of the season, and the Ole Miss Rebels were coming into the game needing this win to become bowl eligible for the first time in three years. To tell you the truth, I was very surprised and thought it was remarkable that the team had been this successful to this point in the season. I mean come on, every Ole Miss fan was surprised. If you were expecting more, then you must have just became an Ole Miss fan in 2012 and did not know all the turmoil we went through in the previous years.
In 2012, Hugh Freeze was left with a crumbling program that was nearly destroyed by previous Head Coach Houston Nutt and former Athletic Director Pete Boone. The Rebels were coming off an embarrassing 2-10 2011 season and was on a thirteen conference game losing streak.
The Ole Miss Rebels would continue that losing streak mid-way through Freeze’s first season at Ole Miss. Their would be heartbreaking losses to Alabama and Texas A&M before the Rebels would break the fifteen conference game losing streak against Auburn in the final year of the Gene Chizik era.
Leading into the 2012 Egg Bowl, Ole Miss was coming off impressive wins against Auburn and Arkansas, but was on a three game losing streak from defeats by Georgia and nail-biting finishes that result in a loss to LSU and Vanderbilt.
Mississippi State was under the 4th year of Dan Mullen. Mullen had set high expectations for the Bulldogs, by beating the Rebels three consecutive years of his tenure and sending the team to three straight postseasons. Mullen would coin the phrases – “This is Our State”, “We will never lose to this team (Ole Miss) again”, and dubbing the phrase “TSUN” or “That School Up North” as referring that to the Ole Miss Rebels. Mullen stole the phrase from Ohio State legendary Head Coach Wood Hayes who referred to Michigan as “That School Up North” during his tenure from 1951-1978 as the Buckeyes head coach. Hayes could not bring himself to refer to Michigan as “Michigan”, and coined the phrase, leaving fans to shorten the phrase to “TSUN”.
The 2012 Mississippi State Bulldogs started the season as one of the most impressive starts in school history, by winning the first seven games of the season. Then they played Alabama, Texas A&M, and LSU who were all ranked in the top 25 and loss the games in an embarrassing fashion. This proved that the team was not as good as all the hype that had been built up surrounding the team.
Ole Miss was led by quarterback Bo Wallace in his first year at the university. Wallace was coming off of junior college success at EMCC by leading the team to a National Championship win. Wallace had his good moments and his bad up to this point in his first year in the SEC. Wallace was ranked in the top ten of the SEC season passing yards, but lead the conference in interceptions.
The 2012 Egg Bowl kicked off at 7:00 p.m. CT on November 24, 2012 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. The Rebels were sitting at a 5-6 record and needed the win to become bowl eligible and bring hope for fans of the near broken football program. Mississippi State had an 8-3 record heading into the game and needed the win to continue the win streak over big brother to four consecutive years.
Ole Miss got on the scoreboard first in their first drive of the game. The scoring drive resulted in a 25-yard touchdown pass by Bo Wallace to Jamal Mosley, and was followed up by a Bryson Rose extra point. Mississippi State would answer with a 100-yard kickoff return by Jameon Lewis, and with the extra point tying the game at seven all.
Late in the 2nd quarter, Mississippi State would take a 14-7 lead with 42-yard touchdown pass by Tyler Russell to State star receiver Chad Bumphis. A few drives later, Ole Miss would cut the Bulldog lead to four with a 43-yard field goal by Bryson Rose.
Ole Miss wide receiver, Donte Moncrief showed why he was a leader on offense after catching a 77-yard touchdown pass by Wallace, giving the Rebels the 17-14 edge. A few minutes later, State would answer with a 23-yard field goal by Devon Bell to tie the game heading into halftime.
The Rebels would reclaim the lead near midway through the 3rd quarter by a 41-yard field goal from Rose. Ole Miss would never look back at this point. The rest of the third quarter was all about Donte Moncrief and Bo Wallace. The duo would post a 21-yard and 16-yard touchdowns that gave the Rebels a commanding 34-17 lead over Mullen and his Bulldogs.
The 4th quarter showed another Ole Miss star receiver was ready to put an Egg Bowl victory into the books. Vince Sanders would catch a 16-yard touchdown pass from Wallace that would solidify the victory for the Rebels. Mississippi State would attempt to comeback, but it was not enough as Ole Miss would beat Mississippi, 41-24.
Ole Miss would go on to beat Pittsburgh in the BBVA Compass Bowl, and received that opportunity thanks to the Bulldogs. Mullen and the Bulldogs would go on to lose to Northwestern in the Gator Bowl. It was if the sting of losing to big brother had a major role in their season bringing misfortunes.
Houston Nutt was fired almost immediately after the conclusion of the 2011 Egg Bowl where the Rebels lost an embarrassing game in Starkville. Ole Miss legendary quarterback Archie Manning was hired by Pete Boone to find the next head football coach for the university. Manning made the decision on December 5, 2011 to hire Arkansas State Head Coach and former Recruiting Coordinator of Ole Miss Hugh Freeze.
After a decade of serving as the Ole Miss athletic director, Pete Boone was forced into retirement on June 30, 2012 and was replaced by current Athletic Director Ross Bjork on October 2, 2012.
Now, Coach Hugh Freeze is about to head into his third season in his tenure at Ole Miss. He has lead the team to two winning seasons, including two bowl victories. In February 2013, Freeze and his staff put together the best recruiting class in school history. Ross Bjork saw the first basketball conference championship in nearly 30 years for Ole Miss in his first year as athletic director, something Boone never accomplished in any sport during his years with the university.