Mississippi State broke through to end one ignominious streak last weekend, slipping past Arkansas 31-28 for its first victory over the Razorbacks in 10 years.
Now the Bulldogs have another one in mind.
A big one.
Mississippi State has not beaten Ole Miss in Oxford since 1998 either, and a victory in Saturday’s Egg Bowl would almost certainly ruin the Rebels’ Cotton Bowl plans while giving the Bulldogs an emotional lift heading into recruiting. State (4-7, 2-5 SEC) is a 13-point underdog, a big number for a rivalry game, but that is based largely on the Rebels’ play over the last month.
Ole Miss (7-4, 4-3) has won four straight, including Saturday’s 31-13 dismantling of LSU at Tiger Stadium.
“I’m not surprised (about the line). They’ve played extremely well lately,” MSU coach Sylvester Croom said. “We haven’t scored a lot of points this year. They’ve thrown the ball very well. But none of that makes any difference.
“We expected to be the underdogs.”
Like Ole Miss, the Bulldogs were on the practice field Sunday, getting a jump on a short work week. State is expected to rely on Anthony Dixon and the running game against the Rebels, whose defensive line has developed into one of the SEC’s best. Dixon rushed for a season-high 179 yards and three touchdowns against Arkansas.
“I thought (Dixon) had an outstanding performance,” Croom said. “If he maintains focus, he can still reach his full potential.”