Looking back at the Egg Bowl with thoughts and takeaways

It’s been three days since Mississippi State went on the road to Vaught Hemingway and defeated Ole Miss 24-22 to win the 2022 Egg Bowl. Three days have passed, and we still have questions and thoughts about what happened on Thursday night. For some, celebration and bragging rights for the entire year have commenced, and for Ole Miss, a lot of uncertainty and mistrust remain.

For Ole Miss, the excuse for the poor showing on Thursday night is about as plentiful as they come. It seemed like the Rebels were distracted and unmotivated to win the Egg Bowl. Rumors swirling around that Lane Kiffin would be leaving Ole Miss to take the Head Coaching job at Auburn. Understandably the Rebels did not care to be there. However, that’s no excuse for the poor play that Ole Miss showed on Thursday night. Sure, there were rumors, but it’s the Egg Bowl, one of college football’s greatest rivalry games. Thursday night was more about playing for the State of Mississippi as it was getting over bitter feelings about the thoughts of losing Lane Kiffin. Ole Miss was unprepared for the moment.

As the Ole Miss Rebels prepare for the future, Rebel Nation has to figure out how the program will learn how to trust Kiffin once again. Kiffin handled the Auburn job rumors in a completely wrong way. However, Kiffin will remain in Oxford as their Head Coach in 2023. Ole Miss fans will need to learn how to forgive and forget as Kiffin continue to build Ole Miss into a respected program.

For Mississippi State, the win over Ole Miss is a massive step in the right direction for Coach Mike Leach and his staff. Mississippi State came into the Egg Bowl with the perfect game plan to stop the Rebels in their tracks. That Mississippi State defense held the Rebels to 74 yards on the ground. A Feat so impressive that no other team this season has done. Mississippi State proved to the rest of the country that the future is bright under Coach Mike Leach.

As it stands, Mississippi State appears to be the more stable program out of the two. Coach Leach is happy in Starkville; he led the Bulldogs to an Egg Bowl win with an eight-win regular season and likely a bid to a New Year’s Day Bowl in Florida. Heading into the 2023 season, Mississippi State will have a lot of talent returning and will likely continue building Mississippi State Football into an SEC contender. There has been no off-field drama with the coaching staff, and the players have bought into the program that Leach is building in Starkville.

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