Ole Miss took a hard fall against rival Mississippi State 21-20 in the Egg Bowl Thursday, ending the 2019 season.
“Disappointing loss. Kids fought, we came up short and had too many turnovers … just did not get it done,” head coach Matt Luke said.
Ole Miss (4-8, 2-6 SEC) had an opportunity to tie the game at the end as redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Corral found wide receiver Elijah Moore for the touchdown. Moore was then penalized with an unsportsmanlike penalty that moved the extra point try back and Luke Logan pushed the kick wide right.
After scoring the touchdown, Moore hiked his leg up in celebration to imitate a dog peeing.
“That’s not who we are. We have been a disciplined team all year long,” Luke said. Just disappointed that happened. He got caught up in the moment.”
Corral entered the contest on the second to last drive in the fourth quarter and drove the Rebels down the field. The drive was stalled by an interception deep in the red zone. He finished the game going 6-of-12 for 124 yards and a touchdown.
“(Corral) gave us a spark, but he made a mistake in the red zone,” Luke said. “Credit him that he went back and led us on a touchdown drive.”
Mississippi State (6-6, 3-5 SEC) took the lead midway through the first quarter on a 27-yard scamper by Nick Gibson, and the Rebels had to play from behind the rest of the night.
“(The Bulldogs) capitalized on a couple of turnovers late that was the difference in the game,” Luke said.
Ole Miss’ starting quarterback John Rhys Plumlee became the sixth player to surpass the 1,000-yard rushing plateau on the first play from scrimmage with a 12-yard run for the red and blue. The Hattiesburg native finished the night 9-of-14 through the air for 121 yards and 34 yards on the ground with a touchdown.
Ole Miss rushed for 139 yards against Mississippi State and were led on the ground by freshman Jerrion Ealy on a career-high 15 touches for 82 yards and a touchdown.`
The Rebels had senior defensive back Myles Hartsfield go down early in the contest with cracked ribs. He was unable to return to action.
Moving forward, Luke told his team that they are going to get through this together and go on the road and recruit.
“I told them that this is not the end,” he said. “This is the beginning. We are going to go out there and fight and get through this thing together.”