In front of the 4th largest crowd in MSU history, the Bulldogs stormed over the Ole Miss Rebels, to the tune of 41-27. After a tight first half, which ended in a 13-10 edge for Ole Miss, the Bulldogs exploded for a 31 point second half, that left Rebel fans wondering how they had won 8 games previously. MSU fans have witnessed QB Chris Relf take over games in spurts, and provide much needed sparks to the Bulldog offense at times this season, but were yet to see him take over a game. After the 7 minute mark, in the 2nd quarter, Relf was brought in and would stay in for almost every snap that remained. How big of an impact did he have? Relf racked up 131 yards and a TD on the ground, and added 2 more TD’s through the air. But, Relf’s presence and threat as a runner, also opened things up for RB Anthony Dixon, who eclipsed the 100 yd mark once again, with 133 yds and a TD. In short, Relf and Dixon combined for %64 of State’s offensive output. Ole Miss continually loaded the line of scrimmage, but simply had no answer. The Rebel D, which leads the SEC in getting off the field in 3rd down situations, failed on 9 of 13 tries.
Ole Miss QB Jevan Snead, was picked off 3 times, twice by MSU’s Charles Mitchell, and once on a 64 yd pick 6, by Freshman Corey Broomfield. Snead finished with 3 TD’s, but only one was the result of a great throw, which was a 48 yarder to Markeith Summers. The others were thanks to Dexter McCluster’s feet, and a pass deflection by MSU’s Marcus Washington. Speaking of McCluster, MSU held the Rebel speedster to 82 yds rushing, bringing his streak of 4 straight 100 yd rushing games to a hault.
For the Bulldog faithful, who’d sat through 5 straight home losses to Top 25 teams this season, and the toughest schedule in the country, this one was sweet. As hard fought as the game was on the grass of Scott Field, the maroon and white clad in the seats-did their part as well. An atmosphere that has visited Davis Wade Stadium at times in the late 90’s, has appeared to have been resurrected by Dan Mullen, in his first year as MSU’s head coach. Let’s just hope it stays for 2010, and for years to come.
Major Props: (1) WR Chad Bumphis, what a day. A 34 yd TD reception, with a great run after the catch, which was a complete momentum changer. 3 catches for 52 yds, a couple of good rushes, and a great return to set us up at midfield. (2) QB Tyson Lee, even though I’ve picked on you all year, and even though you made about 3 mistakes on Saturday…after you were pretty much pulled for the game, you came in on 3rd and 11, and completed a first down pass to Dixon, to keep a scoring drive alive. Also, nice run in the first to set up the field goal. (3) PK Derek DePasquale, who hit a 48 yd field goal, to help us match OM blow-for-blow early on. (4) CB Corey Broomfield- Your pick, was your 6th of the year, and the 6th pick 6 for State in 2009…Nat’l leaders in that category. (5) CB Damien Anderson- lost your starting position earlier in the year, but rebounded Saturday for 2 pass break ups, one in the endzone, the other on a deep ball.
The Truth: To start the 2009 season-(1) Snead was a Heisman candidate, (2) Ole Miss was picked to win the SEC West, (3) maybe the SEC as a whole, and (4) there was some Nat’l Title talk wasn’t there? Anyway, none of that came true, and Houston Nutt is what I said he was, and that is “better as the Hunter, rather than the Hunted.” They thought they were gonna waltz into Starkville, walk out with the Egg, and rub a big-time bowl in our faces…and, none of that happened either. Too bad, sooo sad. Got an issue, grab a tissue.
Take a Bow: Mr. Anthony Dixon, what a season, what a career, what heart, and what leadership you have shown us. AD leaves as the leader in the followingstatistical categories: Rushing yards, Rushing yards in a season, 100 yard games, TD’s, Scoring, and Rushing attempts. I have to hand you you the crown, as the BEST Running Back in MSU history my friend. You will be missed.