Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin gets his first crack at the Egg Bowl this week, something he said he used to watch on Thanksgiving, and then when his brother coached at Ole Miss.

At his Monday press conference, Kiffin said he knew it was always competitive and a big deal around the state.

“When it’s in-state, it’s a big deal,” Kiffin said. “People talk about it impacting recruiting, which it can. Two new coaches. This is a big game. So we need to play really well.”

Asked whether the Bulldogs are better than their 2-5 record, Kiffin believes Mississippi State could have won the Georgia game.

“I think it just depends on which game you watch,” Kiffin said. “Had (JT Daniels) not been eligible and medically cleared, they ran the ball for eight yards, so he made a big difference throwing for 400.”

What was different about the Georgia game from others for MSU?

“They were patient,” Kiffin said. “They checked the ball down a lot. Georgia copied everybody’s blueprint—drop eight and keep the ball in front of them. When you do that, they were thinking they’d screw it up or force the ball and have some turnovers, which they had at times this year. They played a really clean game with no turnovers.”

Since last year’s Egg Bowl is remembered for Elijah Moore’s dog peeing incident, Kiffin said it’s not something he pays attention to ahead of this game.

“That was a long time ago,” Kiffin said. “I talked to him about it when I first got here and learning and moving forward. I don’t think there was any need to. That was a long time ago. A lot of catches ago.”