BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen has guided the Bulldogs over Ole Miss in five of the last six Egg Bowl games, including a thrilling 17-10 overtime win in Starkville last season.
Mississippi State remains in contention for the national playoffs and to get there the Bulldogs must get past Ole Miss beginning 2:30 Saturday in Oxford. Mississippi State has been tabbed a 10-point favorite to beat the home standing Rebels.
Mississippi State is taking aim on its first 11-win season in school history and will rely on quarterback Dak Prescott, who can do-it-all. He's a special player who at one time was one of the leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy.
On the other side of the football, Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace and his Ole Miss teammates have stumbled of late, having lost 3 straight SEC games. Ole Miss has fallen to 8 and 3 on the season, 4 and 3 in the SEC West Division standings.
The Bulldogs have posted a 6-1 SEC West Division record tied with Alabama, but the Crimson Tide defeated Mississippi State 25-20 to own the tiebreaker over the Bulldogs.
If Mississippi State can take care of business in Oxford on Saturday and if Auburn can upset top-ranked Alabama, the Bulldogs would leap into the SEC title game on December 6th in the Georgia Dome.
First things first...Ole Miss.
Dan Mullen said, "Rivalry games are so important. I've been fortunate enough I guess to be involved in some. I don't know of any of them are as big or as nasty as this. USC-Notre Dame is one. Of course, Florida-Florida State or Florida-Georgia, Utah-BYU, but they're not like this. I think this is bigger than all of those."
Mullen who never mentions Ole Miss by name, says they have a very good team and he knows Ole Miss will be eager to knockout the Bulldogs from their lofty perch among the nation's top-ranked teams.
A few weeks ago Ole Miss was ranked No. 3 in the nation, a prime-time contender for that four-team playoff format. Loses to LSU, Auburn and that 30-0 blowout defeat to Arkansas on Saturday dropped the Rebels to No. 19 in the latest College Football Playoff poll released Tuesday night.
When the Egg Bowl game kicks off, you can bet, Ole Miss will be gunning to shoot down the mighty Bulldogs and spoil Mississippi State's quest to be the best in college football.
Rebels coach Hugh Freeze said, "I want to beat them as bad as they want to beat us."
Freeze says he spoke to his players after the Arkansas loss and told them about being thankful, despite the terrible feeling of losing.
He said,"The first thing we talked about was being thankful for the opportunity to represent this great university in the Egg Bowl. And the importance of it to our fans and to our football program and to this entire university."
Ole Miss will pull out all stops in trying to win the Egg Bowl. The Rebels want that trophy back in Oxford, but the Bulldogs want to keep the trophy in Starkville.
It all adds up to what should be another exciting Egg Bowl clash.