Published on November 29th, 2014 | by Carver Rayburn0
Mullen: Our defense is pathetic; Freeze: We were the better team
Explosive plays, a strong will, and a few tricks.
Behind a 91-yard touchdown run and a 31-yard halfback pass for a score, No. 19 Ole Miss throttled No. 4 Mississippi State 31-17 Saturday night in Oxford. The Rebels finish the regular season with a 9-3 record and won their second Egg Bowl in three years under Head Coach Hugh Freeze.
“It’s a great feeling to reclaim the pride of our program and win the Egg Bowl,” Freeze said. “It’s a priority we have every year. To get that done tonight, with facing some adversity, I’m so proud of our young men.”
The Ole Miss defense held Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott to just 48 yards rushing and sacked the sophomore Heisman hopeful four times.
“Tonight, I was making sure everyone on the sideline knew if they were going to beat us, they were going to have to kill us,” defensive lineman C.J. Johnson said.
With wins over No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Mississippi State, Ole Miss has defeated two Top 5 programs in the same season for the first time since 1969.
It was the emergence of a running game, however, that led to the 31-17 victory over the Bulldogs. Leading 17-10 late in the third quarter, Jaylen Walton turned a minimal gain into a 91 yard scamper for a touchdown. Ole Miss finished with 205 yards on the ground.
Senior quarterback Bo Wallace, who was limited with a high ankle sprain relied on Evan Engram through the air. Engram hauled in five catches for 176 yards. Wallace finished with 296 yards passing and a rushing touchdown.
“There is plenty of blame to go around…I think we gave up over 20 yards per play,” Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen said. “That is pathetic. That is just an awful job by our defense.”