OXFORD, MS (WLOX) -
The game looms big for the Bulldogs who are trying to crack the first-ever four team College Football Playoff for the National Championship and a possible SEC West Division title.
The Rebels would like nothing better than to dampen those high Bulldog expectations and bring the Egg Bowl trophy back to Oxford following a 17-10 overtime loss to the Bulldogs last season.
A few weeks ago Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3 SEC) was ranked No. 3 in the nation with the Rebels gunning for their first-ever trip to the SEC Championship game. The win over Alabama had Ole Miss on fire. The Rebels were unable to keep those flames burning suffering three consecutive SEC losses and those setbacks dropped Ole Miss out of the running for the SEC West Division title.
Ole Miss still has a goal of going to a good bowl game, but a win over Mississippi State would take away some of the sting of the Rebels late season collapse. That's the mission for Ole Miss in Saturday's Egg Bowl game, eliminate the Bulldogs from having any chance at winning the SEC West or throw a major blow in Mississippi State's quest to earn a playoff berth.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze also wants that Egg Bowl Trophy back in Oxford. Last season Mississippi State rallied under quarterback Dak Prescott to pull out a 17-10 overtime win in Starkville.
Freeze said, "We lost the most prized possession of this universities football program, regardless how it ended. That's the fact of it and that should be enough motivation."
Mississippi State (10-1, 6-1) propelled itself into the national spotlight with impressive wins over LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn before losing to top-ranked Alabama 25-20.
The Bulldogs need a win over Ole Miss to enhance its chances in cracking the College Football four-team playoff. According to Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen, the Egg Bowl is always a major game.
He has posted a 4-1 record in previous Egg Bowl games.
Mullen said, "This is my sixth time playing in this game and I view the other five equally as important as this one. This is the biggest game of the year, records, none of that stuff really matters in this game. It's all about winning the game and getting bragging rights in the state for a year."
Mississippi State has been tabbed a 10-point favorite over the Rebels in Saturday's Showdown.