Mississippi State 12
Eli Manning hit Chris Collins with two touchdown passes to lead Mississippi to a 24-12 victory over Mississippi State tonight in the Egg Bowl.
Ole Miss (6-6, 3-5 Southeastern Conference) snapped a five-game losing streak and took back the Golden Egg trophy that's gone to the winner of the game for the last 75 years.
The Rebels also became bowl eligible. They are likely headed to the Independence Bowl or Music City Bowl.
The 99th meeting between the arch rivals was a dreary ending to the worst season in Coach Jackie Sherrill's 12-year tenure at Mississippi State (3-9, 0-8). The Bulldogs finished winless in the SEC for the first time since 1988 and lost their last five games. For Sherrill, it's the first nine-loss season of his 25-year career.
Manning was 16 of 29 for 207 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown run. Collins caught four passes for 130 yards.
Kevin Fant was 23 of 42 for 340 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions for Mississippi State. Brent Smith kicked two field goals.
Ray Ray Bivines had a career-high six catches for 115 yards and his 22-yard touchdown grab with 12 minutes 54 seconds left cut Mississippi's lead to 17-12. The Bulldogs failed on the two-point conversion.
But Mississippi State, the most turnover-prone team in the SEC, helped set up Mississippi's game-sealing touchdown with its 37th giveaway of the season.
Travis Johnson, beaten by Bivines on the touchdown, intercepted Fant at the Bulldogs 26 and returned it to the 4 with about six minutes left.
Manning sneaked in from the 1 three plays later to make it 24-12.