Mississippi State holds off Ole Miss after controversial call leads to trash on the field
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Mississippi State running back Jo'quavious Marks (7) gestures after scoring a touchdown against Mississippi Thursday in Oxford, Mississippi. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
It wouldn't be an Egg Bowl if things didn't get weird.
The football rivalry game between Mississippi and the state of Mississippi dates back more than 100 years and was filled with drama and resentment.
Thursday's Thanksgiving Day duel added another chapter to the state feud.
Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss 24-22 in Oxford after the Rebels' potential two-point attempt fell short in the final minutes.
That was just the icing on a bizarre final stretch of the game.
The controversy began at the 7:15 mark of the fourth quarter when MSU, leading 24-16, benefited from a reversed call that was ruled a fumble at Ole Miss's 30-yard line. The play was originally characterized as an incomplete backfield pass, but upon review was ruled a backward lateral and therefore live ball.
The problem, as Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin argued, was that the umpires blew the whistle as soon as the ball hit the ground. See for yourself.
Should a player assume the ball is live after the whistle is blown? It's difficult to say.
Home fans in Oxford expressed their feelings by hurling beer cans and other objects onto the field.
Fortunately, the fan revolt was relatively small and short-lived.
Play resumed when MSU quickly moved the ball to the 1-yard line and had a chance to effectively pocket it with a two-touchdown lead.
However, the madness continued. In rainy, slippery conditions, Bulldogs quarterback Will Rogers fumbled just short of the goal line and the Rebels recovered. 4:48 to play, 8 down, Ole Miss had one more shot.
Ole Miss QB Jaxson Dart led his team to an epic 15-play, 99-yard drive that was capped off by a 23-yard touchdown strike on Dayton Wade. Needing a two-point conversion to tie, Dart attempted a shovel pass that fell harmlessly onto the turf. And that capped a painful defeat for the Rebels, who went into November with an 8-1 record and an outside chance to win the SEC West.
Ole Miss finished the regular season with three straight losses, including Thursday's to his archrival, falling to 8-4. MSU also finishes the season 8-4.
Given the rumors surrounding Kiffin's future at Ole Miss, this would be a hell of a way to end his tenure at Oxford.
Ole Miss Rebels
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