Mississippi State should prepare for shootout versus Ole Miss
In the offseason, QB Dak Prescott said he returned to Mississippi State for many reasons — the biggest was to bring the Golden Egg Trophy back to Starkville.
His final chance to deliver that egg comes this Saturday. A victory would not only be a win over rival Ole Miss (8-3, 5-2 SEC), but it would also keep Mississippi State’s hopes alive for its first back-to-back 10-win seasons in school history.
Mississippi State (8-3, 4-3 SEC) is coming off a season-high 51 (44 in regulation time) points and 631 offensive yards against Arkansas. Prescott threw for five touchdowns and ran for two more.
The formula is much of the same this week versus Ole Miss — protect Prescott and ride his arms and legs to victory.
Ole Miss defensive front should pose more problems than Arkansas’ did. Junior DL Robert Nkemdiche eats up blockers, often allowing sophomore DE Marquis Haynes a free path to the quarterback. Haynes leads Ole Miss with 8.5 sacks.
But as a team, the Rebels only have 19 sacks, just four more than the Razorbacks. Arkansas sacked Prescott twice on Saturday. The prior week, Alabama brought down Prescott nine times.
If Mississippi State can consistently block Nkemdiche and Haynes, Prescott can have a big day.
The Bulldogs defense will have to regroup after allowing 50 (44 in regulation time) points and 479 yards last week versus Arkansas. The Mississippi State pass defense was particularly bad as Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen threw for 406 yards and seven TDs.
Ole Miss will likely attack Mississippi State through the air as well. Rebels QB. Chad Kelly has become one of the better signal callers in the conference. He is also hot, coming off a big game against LSU.
Last Saturday, Kelly passed for 280 yards and two TDs. He also led Ole Miss with 81 rushing yards and two rushing scores.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone if the Egg Bowl becomes a shootout.
OLE MISS REBELS CLOSER LOOK
Key Player, defense: Robert Nkemdiche, Jr., DL – Ranked the No. 1 defensive lineman in college football by many scouts, Nkemdiche is frequently compared to Ndamukong Suh. He has just 22 tackles and 1.5 sacks this season, but he is often double and triple teamed.
Key Player, offense: Laquon Treadwell, Jr., WR – The biggest Ole Miss offensive playmaker, Treadwell already has career-highs with 72 catches, 1,060 yards and eight TDs. Also a trick-play threat, Treadwell has completed his only two passing attempts for 89 yards and a TD.
Key Player, offense: Chad Kelly, Jr., QB – Last week, Kelly broke Eli Manning’s school record of most total TDs in a single season. He has accounted for 34 TDs — 25 passing and nine rushing. Kelly has completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 3,504 yards with 12 interceptions.