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Bulldogs Smash Rebels 31-3 To Retain Golden Egg


STARKVILLE, Miss. - Three straight. And counting.

It's been awhile since Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss three times in a row. Nearly 70 years.

But on a misty Saturday evening in front of an energized crowd from start to finish at Scott Field, the Bulldogs made up for lost time with a convincing 31-3 pounding against the overmatched Rebels. As a result, MSU has now outscored Ole Miss 103-53 the last three games.

More important, MSU picked up its sixth win of the year to become bowl eligible. And it did so without the game ever being in jeopardy.

"I'm proud of the direction the program is going," MSU coach Dan Mullen said.

Behind the running of senior quarterback Chris Relf to begin the game, Mississippi State (6-6, 2-6) scored on its opening possession and never looked back as the offense manufactured 317 total yards, with a whopping 247 coming on the ground. But this night didn't belong to just Relf, who also completed 8 of his 13 passes for 70 yards en route to finishing his career 3-0 as a starter in the Egg Bowl.

Running backs Vick Ballard and LaDarius Perkins proved to be difficult to tackle all night, as Ballard finished with a game-high 144 yards to put him over the 1,000-yard mark for the year. And it was Ballard that gave the Bulldogs their first points when he hauled in an 18-yard pass from Relf for the early 7-0 lead.

Then it was Perkins' turn to get in on the scoring. After breaking free for a 36-yard jaunt to put the Bulldogs up 14-0, he made it 21-0 with 6:51 left in the first half when he grabbed a 20-yard pass from Relf.

In the second half, MSU took advantage of an Ole Miss fumble on the first drive and converted the miscue into a 28-0 lead on a 25-yard run by Ballard.

After the Rebels finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter with a Bryson Rose 28-yard field goal, Derek DePasquale pushed the lead to 31-3 on his 35-yard field goal to conclude the night's scoring.

As consistent as the Bulldogs were offensively, they were just as impressive defensively.

Ole Miss (2-10, 0-8) mustered just 202 total yards on 64 plays, including 90 on the ground. Leading the assault defensively was Cam Lawrence, who was credited with 14 tackles, including one sack. Deontae Skinner had 9 stops, while Charles Mitchell and Wade Bonner each had 6.



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