Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State live updates, score, time: Bulldogs blowout Rebels for Egg Bowl victory
Final: Mississippi State 55, Ole Miss 20. Bulldogs end 2-year winning streak for Ole Miss
Cedric Jiles intercepts Patterson after Akeem Judd bobbled the pass, returning it 74 yards for the touchdown. Mississippi State 55, Ole Miss 20 2:59 4Q
Nick Fitzgerald rushes 30 yards for his second rushing touchdown of the game. He has 258 yards on 14 carries, setting a new school record for rushing yards in a game by any player. Mississippi State 48, Ole Miss 20 5:09 4Q
END OF THIRD QUARTER: Mississippi State 41, Ole Miss 20
Fitzgerald breaks free up the middle for a 61-yard touchdown run, and Mississippi State has its biggest lead late in the third quarter. Mississippi State 41, Ole Miss 20, 2:57 3Q
Tony Bridges hits Jordan Thomas out of bounds for a personal foul. Mississippi State has it at Ole Miss’ 45-yard line. Fitzgerald is stopped for a 1-yard gain on third and 4, but MSU goes on fourth down and increases its lead with Fitzgerald’s 38-yard touchdown pass to Fred Ross. Mississippi State 34, Ole Miss 20, 5:22 3Q
Ole Miss gets a stop on MSU’s first possession of the second half, but the Rebels go on fourth-and-1 from the Bulldogs’ 18 and don’t get it. Leo Lewis stuffs Akeem Judd for a loss of 1, and MSU takes over on downs.
HALFTIME: Mississippi State 27, Ole Miss 20. Rebels score 10 straight to end the half in a game that’s seen 675 yards of offense. Mississippi State has run for 250 yards while the Rebels are averaging 7 yards a play.
Ole Miss gets a stop and drives inside the Bulldogs’ 30, but intentional grounding forces a third-and-long that the Rebels can’t convert. Wunderlich adds a 38-yard field goal to get Ole Miss a little closer. Mississippi State 27, Ole Miss 20, 0:26 2Q
The gamble pays off as Patterson finds a wide-open Stringfellow over the middle for a 25-yard catch-and-run score. We’re up to 617 yards of offense in this one. Mississippi State 27, Ole Miss 17, 4:47 2Q
Ole Miss fakes a punt. Will Gleeson picks up the first down at the Rebels’ 38.
After running deep into Ole Miss territory, Mississippi State adds to its lead with a 24-yard pass from Fitzgerald to Malik Dear. The Rebels aren’t offering any resistance. Bulldogs have 316 yards early in the second quarter. Mississippi State 27, Ole Miss 10, 9:13 2Q
Ole Miss uses a long pass to Van Jefferson — and a personal foul tacked on — to get back in the red zone, but Patterson is picked in the end zone by Brandon Bryant.
Mississippi State uses another touchdown run from Williams — a 13-yarder — to increase its lead. Williams ran for 36 yards to set that up. The Bulldogs are averaging more than 11 yards a play and more than 16 per rush. Mississippi State 20, Ole Miss 10, 12:55 2Q
END OF FIRST QUARTER: Mississippi State 13, Ole Miss 10
The string of points stops for now as a run and two incompletions from Patterson force Ole Miss to punt. MSU will have it as its own 33.
Mississippi State comes right back to take the lead. After a 70-yard run, Nick Fitzgerald finds Donald Gray for a 8-yard touchdown. Gray broke a couple of tackles on that play. Mississippi State 13, Ole Miss 10, 2:33 1Q
Ole Miss finishes its next possession on Patterson’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Damore’ea Stringfellow. Akeem Judd did a lot of the work on that drive with a couple of long runs. Ole Miss 10, Mississippi State 6, 3:56 1Q
Mississippi State goes 63 yards in five plays to reach the end zone on a 16-yard run on Aeris Williams. Westin Graves misses the extra point. Mississippi State 6, Ole Miss 3, 5:48 1Q
Ole Miss with the game’s first threat, moving 77 yards inside Mississippi State’s 10-yard line on its second drive. But the Rebels bog down after getting to the 5 and settle for Gary Wunderlich’s 24-yard field goal. Ugly sequence there where Ole Miss burned two timeouts and brought in Jason Pellerin for a run that went nowhere on second down. Ole Miss 3, Mississippi State 0, 7:43 1Q
Ole Miss picks up one first down on the game’s opening possession but ends up punting.
Tight end Evan Engram isn’t in pads. He’s out today.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze’s pregame analysis of this weekend’s Egg Bowl is pretty straightforward.
Both teams are good on offense. Both have been pretty bad on defense.
So when Mississippi State (4-7, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) travels to face Ole Miss (5-6, 2-5) on Saturday for their annual rivalry game, Freeze feels that no lead will be safe.
We will have live score updates here throughout the game today so bookmark this page and return back at game time for the Egg Bowl 2016.
Game time today: 2:30 p.m. central
TV channel: SEC Network
“They’ve given up yards and points, as have we, and we’ve got to be sure that we’re scoring touchdowns in the red zone when we get those opportunities, because it seems, as you watch them and you watch us, that it could easily be who scores the most touchdowns,” Freeze said.
The statistics certainly back Freeze’s assessment.
Mississippi State has given up a combined 109 points over the past two weeks in back-to-back losses to Alabama and Arkansas . The Bulldogs are giving up more than 34 points per game, which is the worst mark in the SEC.
Mississippi State defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon said the problems are simple to see, but so far have been hard to fix.
“It is execution and tackling,” Sirmon said. “That’s really the roots of playing defensive football. There are no magic calls. It’s about execution. We need the defense to behave the way the defense is designed to behave.”
Ole Miss isn’t much better on defense. The Rebels are coming off a game where they gave up 38 points in a loss to Vanderbilt and have surrendered a little more than 32 points per game, which ranks 12th in the 14-team SEC.
Ole Miss can earn bowl eligibility for a fifth straight season if it wins on Saturday. That would be the school’s longest streak since 15 straight appearances from 1957-71.
Here are a few things to watch in this year’s Egg Bowl:
PATTERSON’S TIME: Ole Miss freshman quarterback Shea Patterson will be making his third career start on Saturday. Patterson was expected to redshirt this season, but was pushed into action when senior Chad Kelly went down with a season-ending knee injury against Georgia Southern on Nov. 5. Patterson has had mixed success in two games, throwing for 560 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
ENGRAM’S HEALTH: Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram has been one of the league’s most productive receivers all season, catching 65 passes for 926 yards and eight touchdowns. But the senior is dealing with a hamstring injury and might not be able to play in the Egg Bowl. Freeze said Engram would play if there’s “any way possible.”
NO GATES FOR 1ST HALF: Ole Miss will be without junior linebacker DeMarquis Gates in the first half of the Egg Bowl because he was ejected for targeting during the second half of the Vanderbilt game. It’s a big loss for the Rebels considering Gates has been one of the team’s few consistent options at linebacker this season. He leads the team with 75 tackles.
HOME SWEET HOME: The home team has won 10 out of the past 12 meetings in the Egg Bowl dating back to 2004. The only exceptions in the trend were in 2010 when Mississippi State won 31-23 in Oxford and last year when Ole Miss pulled off a 38-27 win in Starkville.
FITZGERALD THE GREAT: Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald has quietly produced one of the SEC’s most productive seasons this fall. The sophomore is third in the league in total offense with 2,178 yards passing and 985 yards rushing. Fitzgerald is the first player in the SEC with three games of at least 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing since Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel did it during his 2012 Heisman Trophy season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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