/Egg Bowl or Egg Brawl Either way, it’s State, 35-3

Egg Bowl or Egg Brawl Either way, it’s State, 35-3

After a brief, sideline-clearing brawl at Thursday’s Mississippi State-Ole Miss match, James Carter declared that Carter had ruled the play. Carter told us moments later that the play that led to the brawl did not count as Ole Miss had taken the ball from the clock. After a play that didn’t even count, four players, including three Bulldogs were ejected by the 115th Egg Bowl. This was not a good look for Mississippi, the self-proclaimed Hospitality State. There will be few complaints from the visitors’ side of Vaught Hemingway Stadium. The Bulldogs of Mississippi State were dominant in a convincing victory, which ended up being a 35-3 win. This was a great game of butt-kicking. The Rebels out-gained Ole Miss 420-189, and Ole Miss was out-rushed by state 309-37. From start to finish, Ole Miss was out-blocked, outtackled and out-hit by the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs returned Ole Miss’s favor one year after it shocked the State 31-28 in Starkville. The Bulldogs planted the school flag at the 50-yard line, one year after Scott Field was flooded with celebrations by the Rebels. It didn’t go down well, as you might imagine. There was a heated exchange between administrators, coaches, and players, including Ross Bjork, and John Cohen, who were both athletic directors. Post-game, there were no punches. There was plenty of that during the end-of-the-third-quarter mayhem. Matt Corral, a freshman quarterback, completed what looked to be a 41 yard touchdown pass to A.J. Brown, who struggled his way to the end zone with State safety Johnathan Abram wrestling him to the ground. This is when pushing and shoving, and lots of jawing, began and quickly escalated to the north end zone. A review of TV coverage shows that Brown was the one who took the first punch. A few feet away Corral was enthralled by State safety Jamal Peters. Peters ripped Corral’s helmet before they could be separated. The benches were cleared but the order was quickly restored. Both coaches ushered their players to the sidelines. Officials expelled Peters, Cameron Dantzler, State cornerback for the State, and C.J. Moore, Ole Miss defensive back. Moore. Willie Gay Jr., a State linebacker was expelled for the second time in the game due to the blanket unsportsmanlike behavior penalty. All State players will be barred from participating in the State’s bowl game for at least half an hour after those ejections. After the SEC reviews the film, there may be additional penalties. The extra-curricular activities were not appreciated by Joe Moorhead of the State and Matt Luke from the Rebels. Luke stated that it was not what you would want in a rivalry match. “You want the play between the whistles.” Moorhead stated that he was too busy trying get his players to watch the fight from the sidelines. He wanted to review the film before commenting, “We want our play between the whistles and not after.” It was clear that he was satisfied with the outcome of this evening’s whistles. State’s defense was brutal. Nick Fitzgerald, a senior quarterback, was leading the offense. Fitzgerald stated, “From the beginning we were going to be running the ball straight towards them until they stopped me.” Fitzgerald was the only Ole Miss player to finish with more than 117 yards, two touchdowns, and 111 yards passing. How did it feel to achieve this much success one year after sustaining a terrible ankle injury against the same Ole Miss team? Fitzgerald stated, “It felt great honestly,” before pausing to look for more words. He concluded that it was “just feels great.” This game, like most football games at any level, was decided largely at the line-of-scrimmage. State won both offensively as well as defensively. Aeris Williams ran 65 yards, while Kylin Hill ran 108 yards. State’s skilled defensive front stopped Ole Miss quarterbacks from getting away four times. The Rebels were also limited to only 37 yards by 29 running plays, which was a remarkable feat. Unfortunately, the 2018 Egg Bowl will be remembered for more than what happened between the whistles in years to come. This is not a new phenomenon. The football series was born in 1901 amid disputes about unfair play and ineligible athletes. There have been pre-game, post-game, and in-game brawls. Some involved players as well as fans. After a post-game brawl in which Ole Miss had won 7-6 at Starkville the previous year, the Golden Egg trophy was also created. To take down the goal posts, Ole Miss students were invading the field. State supporters defended the posts with wooden chairs that splintered above the heads of the invaders. We are here 91 years later. Progress? Progress?