Colonel Reb is Cryin’

Update:  Ogeron gets canned. 

An improbable win, and I love it!

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State’s offense couldn’t get in synch for three-and-a-half quarters Friday afternoon, but the Bulldogs manufactured three scores in the final 7:51 to rally and post an improbable 17-14 comeback victory over arch-rival Mississippi in the 104th meeting between the teams in the Battle for the Golden Egg at Davis Wade Stadium.

With the victory, MSU improved to 7-5 overall, 4-4 in the Southeastern Conference, and virtually assured itself of its first postseason bowl bid since the 2000 season. With the loss, UM fell to 3-8 and ended the season winless (0-8) in league competition.

Adam Carlson’s 48-yard field goal with just 12 seconds to go proved to be the game-winner, but that was just the conclusion to a fairy-tale ending in the Bulldogs’ win.

The comeback of comebacks started with the Rebels leading 14-0 and gaining possession of the ball with 12:44 remaining in regulation. After the Bulldogs forced a fourth-and-1 at the UM 49-yard line, the Rebels questionably decided to go for the first down. But the Bulldog defense stuffed UM running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis for a loss of two and State took over possession.

Having mustered only four first downs in the entire game to that point, a seemingly different State offense took charge. The Bulldogs drove 46 yards on six plays, a march capped by a four-yard touchdown pass from Wesley Carroll to Anthony Dixon that trimmed the lead to 14-7 with 7:51 to go.

The Rebels, who would not manufacture another first down the rest of the game, were to forced to punt after three downs on their next possession. On the ensuing drive, the Bulldogs seemed primed to tie the score, moving the ball to the UM 12. But those hopes were dashed when a Carroll pass was intercepted at the 10 by Ashlee Palmer and returned 28 yards. Just under seven minutes remained at that point.

The MSU defense would come up strong again on the next drive, again stopping the Rebels on three downs. Then, the game-turning play would come on the resulting punt. Bulldog Derek Pegues, who UM had made an effort to kick away from all day, picked up a Rebel punt that was purposely kicked short to avoid him again, split a number of Rebel defenders, and returned the ball 75 yards for a touchdown. The incredible play, paired with Carlson’s extra point, knotted the score at 14-14 with 2:38 to go.

Then, the Bulldog stopper unit did its job once again, forcing another Mississippi punt after three downs. The ensuing punt gave State the ball on its own 35 with just 36 seconds left in the game.

Carroll then went to work, completing two passes for 23 yards and producing an 11-yard run of his own, to get the Bulldogs into field goal range. Carroll would hit Tony Burks for 17 yards to put the Bulldogs in field goal range at the UM 31. Carlson then came on to nail his 48-yard winner, which was the longest field goal connection of his career.

Up until the beginning of that scenario, the Rebels had dominated game from scrimmage, outgaining the Bulldogs 290 yards to just 144 in the first three quarters. UM had 20 first downs to State’s four in that time frame and the Bulldogs just looked completely out of synch on offense.

Despite the large discrepancy in ball movement in the first half, only one touchdown was mustered by either squad, and that came on Mississippi’s opening possession of the contest. The Rebels marched 75 yards on 12 plays on the drive and capped it with a 14-yard touchdown run by Green-Ellis.

The only other scoring threat of the half would come when UM ate up over eight minutes of the second quarter clock with a 13-play, 48-yard drive that stalled at the State 20-yard line. From there, Rebel place-kicker Joshua Shene’s 37-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright and fell to the ground.

After holding State on three downs to open the second half, Mississippi used a methodical march to gain their 14-0 lead in the contest. The Rebels went 49 yards on 12 plays and, facing a third-and-11 at the MSU 13-yard line, quarterback Brent Schafer found a wide open Shay Hodge in middle of the endzone for a touchdown pass.

The teams would then go scoreless until the midway point of the fourth quarter, when the Bulldogs finally got on the board to start their unbelievable rally for the victory. stats, quotes, and stuff

Yes, it’s true, Colonel Reb is Cryin’….

++++++++++

This looks like a good spot for the World Famous Friday Open Thread. State beats Ole Miss, A&M is shutting out UT, Arkansas is leading LSU(???), and Nebraska has forgotten how to play defense, and gave up over 60 points for the second or third time this year.

WFFOT: It’s rivalry weekend in college football. And, it don’t get better than this.

TIME NEVER DIES

Sercan Ondem

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