Scott Westerfield hit a 44-yard field goal with four seconds left as No. 18 Mississippi State rallied for a 23-20 victory over No. 23 Mississippi tonight.
Mississippi State trailed throughout the game, but came back with 17 fourth-quarter points.
Quarterback Wayne Madkin took the Bulldogs 88 yards, hitting C.J. Sirmones with a 38-yard touchdown to tie it at 20 with 27 seconds left. Then Eugene Clinton intercepted Romaro Miller's pass and returned the ball 27 yards to set up Westerfield's kick.
"I never think about missing," Westerfield said. "I just go out there and try to relax and stay focused."
It's the third time in school history that Mississippi State (9-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) has won nine games, and the second straight year it has won six conference games.
Mississippi (7-4, 4-4) used a strong rushing game by Deuce McAllister, who gained 134 yards on 36 carries, to eat up the clock. The Rebels held the ball 36 minutes 37 seconds to Mississippi State's 23:23, but they could not hold off the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State entered the game ranked first in the nation in total defense and first in run defense, allowing 60.5 per game. But Ole Miss rushed for 63 yards in the first half.
Mississippi dominated the first quarter, running 23 plays for 116 yards while Mississippi State managed five plays for 13 yards.
But the Rebels got no closer to the end zone than the Bulldogs 26. Five penalties and two fumbles helped stall them.
For the game, Ole Miss had 13 penalties and lost two fumbles. Miller also was intercepted twice.
"We made more mistakes than we did in out last six football games put together," Mississippi Coach David Cutcliffe said. "Our focus and our concentration were not what they should be for a team that's playing in its 11th game."
After three quick plays by State in the second quarter, the Rebels needed just two plays, an offside penalty against the Bulldogs and 57 seconds to go up 7-0. Miller hit Maurice Flournoy with a 30-yard touchdown pass.
Less than four minuets later, Ole Miss went ahead 10-0 on Les Binkley's 32-yard field goal.
Mississippi State cut the lead to 10-6 when Dicenzo Miller ran 29 yards to score.