Ole Miss Rebels (7-4 SU, 6-5 ATS) vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-6 SU, 6-5 ATS)
College Football Week 14
Date and Time: Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) November 28th, 2013. 7:30PM Eastern
Where: Davis Wade Stadium Starkville, M.S.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Miss OFF/Miss St. OFF
Over/Under Total: OFF
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College football’s Rivalry Week gets underway this Thursday night in Starkville
when the Mississippi State Bulldogs host the Ole
Miss Rebels inside Davis Wade Stadium. This annual meeting, known
as the Egg Bowl, between the Rebels and Bulldogs is the 10th longest uninterrupted
rivalry in college football. This Thursday’s date marks the 110th meeting
with the Rebels leading the series 61-42-6 all-time. Despite the fact Ole
Miss has not had much luck in Starkville in recent years, the Rebels will
still be favorites to extend their series lead when both teams meet this
The Bulldogs have won 6 of their last 7 games over their instate rivals when playing inside Davis Wade Stadium. Obviously the entire Ole Miss program is much better this season than in years past but the Bulldogs will still be a tough out nevertheless. In fact, Mississippi State must capture a win this Thursday to become bowl eligible which will add a little spice to the dramatics of this year’s meeting. Not to mention the Bulldogs could also very well be playing for coach Dan Mullen’s job. Mullen seemingly had the Mississippi State program on the rise just a few years ago but a loss this Thursday would tie the Bulldogs’ worse record of the Mullen era.
Still, the Bulldogs are going to have their hands full with a young and talented Rebels team. Ole Miss is 7-4 on the season but they have been extremely competitive in all games even against top ranked Alabama. Unfortunately the difference between being good and great is evident in the SEC more than any other conference. Out of the Rebels 4 losses, 3 of those teams are currently ranked inside the top 10 and the other (Texas A&M) just got knocked out of the top 10 last week. The Ole Miss program is definitely headed in the right direction under 2nd year coach Hugh Freeze which has been most obvious in recruiting. However, the Rebels still maybe a year or even two away from possibly taking that ‘next step’ as one of the best in the SEC.
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As far as the match-up this Thursday that will have the state of Mississippi’s upmost attention. The Rebels appear to be the better team on both sides of the ball, at least on paper. The biggest difference between both teams is that Ole Miss has been much more consistent offensively with quarterback Bo Wallace. The junior quarterback has thrown for just less than 3,000 yards with 17 touchdowns and 6 picks on the season while completing 65% of his passes. Wallace plays the biggest role for the offense both throwing and running the football. Rebels’ fans will tell you that the offense typically goes as far as Wallace takes them and his play will be vital this Thursday as Ole Miss looks for their first win in Starkville since 2003.
While most of the outside factors seem to point towards Ole Miss accomplishing that victory, I tend to believe the Bulldogs match-up well with the Rebels. Despite having a lackluster offense that has averaged just 27 points per game (77th in FBS), the Bulldogs are very talented on both the offensive and defensive lines. While the Bulldogs have been unable to throw the football consistently, quarterback Dak Prescott has come on strong during the 2nd half of the season especially as a runner. Prescott has rushed for 722 yards and 10 touchdowns. I would not be surprised to see Prescott play well in this game with the help of the Mississippi State offensive line. Additionally I believe the Bulldogs defensive front may be able to put some pressure on Bo Wallace which could possibly offset the talent differential on that side of the ball. Therefore I like the Bulldogs chances to pull off the upset.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: As I said above, I believe the Bulldogs will surprise many with their performance this Thursday and may even pull out the upset. I will take the points and take my chances. Take Mississippi State!
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