Annual Egg Bowl Touts Two Offensive Hard Hitters

Adam Brown
Sports Editor

The Ole Miss Rebels travel to Starkville on Thanksgiving to take the gridiron against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the 92nd Egg Bowl. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. on ESPN.

John Rhys Plumlee rushed for 989 yards this season. Photo by Joshua McCoy / Ole Miss Athletics
“We’re excited about Egg Bowl week. This is a big game for us, for our program,” head coach Matt Luke said.

Ole Miss (4-7, 2-5 SEC) comes into the game off a bye week. The Rebels rank third in total offense in the SEC as they average 450.8 yards per game. This season, 88.1 percent of the offense (4,367 of 4,959 yards) have come from freshmen, the most by any team in the country.

The Rebels have rushed for 200 or more yards in six of their last seven contests.

Freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee has rushed for 989 yards on the season, which is an Ole Miss program record by a freshman and third in the country by a signal-caller. The Hattiesburg native has 11 rushing TDs, ranking seventh in Ole Miss’ season record books. Plumlee is tabbed for the 2019 C Spire Conerly Trophy.

Mississippi State (5-6, 2-5 SEC) enters averaging just over 410 yards of total offense per game, with 228.5 yards coming on the ground – third in the SEC. Junior running back Kylin Hill leads the SEC and ranks 12th nationally with 1,215 yards rushing on the season. The Columbus, Mississippi, native is averaging 5.8 yards per carry and has tallied 10 TDs on the season.

“(Hill) is the leading rusher in the SEC and does a great job making people miss, breaking tackles, yards after contact, all of those things he is very good at,” Luke said.

Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens has started eight games at the quarterback position this season for the Bulldogs. Stevens is completing 59.3 percent of his passes and has nine passing touchdowns on the season. True freshman Garrett Shrader has also seen time under center. Shrader is the Bulldogs’ second-leading rusher, tallying 568 yards and four TDs on the ground.

“They both try to hurt people on the ground and have some play-action off of it, so just being prepared for both, but they are pretty similar that way,” Luke said.

Osirus Mitchell is MSU’s leading receiver, hauling in 27 catches for 383 yards and five touchdowns this year.

Defensively, the Bulldogs come in allowing 390 yards of total offense per game. Mississippi State is third in the SEC and No. 17 nationally with 20 turnovers forced.

This year’s game will be the 116th meeting between the two programs. It is one of the nation’s most-played rivalries. Ole Miss holds a 62-45-6 advantage over the Bulldogs.

Fans can watch all the action on ESPN or listen to the call on the Ole Miss Radio Network.

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