BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Jordan Ta'amu filled-in nicely since taking over the Ole Miss Rebels starting quarterback duties following an injury to Shea Patterson against LSU. On Thanksgiving night Ta'amu passed for 247 yards and two touchdowns...a 77-yard strike to A.J. Brown and a 63 TD pass to D.K. Metcalf.
Brown had six receptions for 167 yards and running back Jordan Wilkins rushed for 110 yards and bagged the games first touchdown, a 22-yard gallop that gave Ole Miss a 7-0 lead, 39 seconds into the game.
Mississippi State suffered a severe blow offensively when dual-threat quarterback Nick Fitzgerald dislocated his ankle with just over 9 minutes remaining in the first quarter. He was carted off the field. He later returned to the sidelines on crutches.
Freshman Keytaon Thompson replaced Fitzgerald and struggled until the fourth quarter. He rallied Mississippi State as the Bulldogs closed the gap 31-28 with 1:05 remaining. Five turnovers proved too much for the Bulldogs to overcome.
The Rebels recovered an on-sides kick and interim head coach Matt Luke, a Gulfport native, celebrated a big win to close out the season with 6 victories and 6 defeats. He's expected to meet with Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork to discuss his future. Was the win over rival Mississippi State big enough for Luke to keep the Rebels head coaching job? Only time will tell... a decision that should come sooner then later since early signing day begins December 20.
Luke said, " I'm not going to worry about that right now. I'm going to enjoy this night and enjoy these players. I don't have any regrets. I'm grateful for the opportunity, it's a dream of mine and just thankful to have had the opportunity."
The Bulldogs dropped to 8 and 4 and questions surround Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen who has been rumored to be a coaching candidate at Florida and Tennessee.