Bulldogs shift focus to Egg Bowl

Published 1:35 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

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STARKVILLE – The clock had barely struck zero on Saturday and the iconic voice of Jack Cristil reigned out across Davis Wade Stadium encouraging Mississippi State fans to “Wrap it in Maroon and White!”.

It signaled the end of a record-setting 55-10 win over Tennessee State but it didn’t take long for the Bulldogs’ focus to shift ahead to their next opponent. After all, the annual Battle for the Golden Egg against Ole Miss was a mere five days away.

“It’s obviously an extremely important game to everybody in that locker room,” said wide receiver Austin Williams. “We all look forward to it. It means a ton. There’s just more to it, it’s hard to describe until you’ve played in one or been around one. There’s always just something about it. We’re definitely motivated and can’t wait to get out there.”

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Some of that motivation stems from merely playing against their in-state rival. The rest of it comes from a top 25 matchup and a chance to finish second in the SEC West standings.

“It’s a huge game because it’s Ole Miss versus Mississippi State but it’s a huge game because of what’s at stake,” said quarterback Will Rogers.

MSU has won two of the last three meetings in the series but the Golden Egg Trophy is in possession of the Rebels following a 31-24 loss last year. A young and shorthanded Bulldogs squad rolled into Oxford and accounted for 479 yards – 440 of which came through the air by Rogers, who then a true freshman.

Rogers threw three touchdowns and no interceptions in that contest but his Hail Mary on the final play of the game fell incomplete.

“You have a pit in your stomach from last year, 364 days,” said linebacker Jett Johnson.

Since then, the Bulldogs have had their rematch with the Rebels circled on the calendar in an effort to reclaim the Golden Egg Trophy and reestablish bragging rights within the borders of the Magnolia State.

“It would mean everything,” Rogers said. “I’ve waited for this week for however many days it’s been since I threw a Hail Mary on the last play of the game last year. I’ve been waiting for this.”

Although Rogers was officially initiated into the Egg Bowl rivalry last year, the Brandon, Mississippi native has been around it his whole life and understands what this game means to the state. In fact, he and his family were rooting for the other side while he was growing up.

“It’s the biggest game of the year every year,” Rogers said. “I kind of grew up an Ole Miss fan with my dad and sister going there. But yeah, the tables have turned a little bit now.”

“When the football game kicks off and all that starts happening, all that stuff is out the door. Everything that happened before with me being recruited there and not going there, all that stuff is out the door when the game is kicked off.”