Mississippi State is going bowling for the fourth straight season, a feat never achieved in program history until now. They could not have done in with much more dramatic flair, coming from behind against Ole Miss with a late field goal and an overtime victory, 17-10. A fumble by Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace was recovered by Mississippi State to cap a wild win in the Egg Bowl.
Mississippi State capped a 13-play drive with a 36-yard field goal by Evan Sobiesk with 2:21 to play. The kick tied the game at 10-10 and gave the home team the momentum they needed to capture what seemed like an improbable Egg Bowl victory against Ole Miss (7-5, 3-5 SEC). After forcing the Rebels to go three-and-put on the ensuing possession, Mississippi State had a chance to take the lead with another late field goal, but Sobiesk’s attempt sailed wide right this time, which led to the game going in to overtime.
A fourth down gamble close to the end zone paid off for Mississippi State on the first overtime possession. After a timeout, Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott ran right up the middle on fourth down and two yards to go inside the five-yard line for a touchdown to put the pressure on Ole Miss. Just when it looked as though Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace was going to run in to the end zone, the ball was knocked loose and Mississippi State recovered the football in the end zone to clinch the win in crazy fashion.
The win for Mississippi State (6-6, 3-5 SEC) makes the Bulldogs eligible for postseason play. Mississippi State is now the 10th team from the SEC to be eligible for the postseason, although the Bulldogs will likely be at the bottom of the SEC bowl pecking order when it comes time for bowls to choose their participants. The SEC is likely to get two teams in to the BCS bowls, but Mississippi State will still probably e in a position to wait and see what other bowls are in need of teams once the SEC bowls get through their selections.
Regardless of where they are heading, getting to a postseason game still feels like an accomplishment for Mississippi State after losing three straight to put them in a must-win situation in their final two games of the year just to get to a bowl game. An overtime victory over Arkansas kept the goal alive and an Egg Bowl victory made it a reality.
It appears the Jalen Hurts Transfer Protection Plan™ is close to being implemented.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Alabama had an interest in Gardner Minshew, the quarterback who announced late last month that he had withdrawn from East Carolina to tend to a personal matter in his home state of Mississippi. That interest has ramped up since as al.com is reporting that Minshew will be visiting the Crimson Tide’s campus this weekend.
As a graduate transfer, Minshew would be eligible to play immediately this season at UA, or any other FBS program for that matter.
Alabama’s interest in a grad transfer at the position will do nothing to quell the rumors that Hurts, the starter for each of the last 29 games over the past two seasons, is a potential candidate for a transfer. Hurts was benched in favor of Tua Tagovailoa in the national championship game, with the true freshman’s comeback heroics signaling a likely changing of the guard under center.
As for Minshew, he started five games for the Pirates last season, throwing for 2,140 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions in completing just over 57 percent of his 304 pass attempts. Prior to his departure from ECU, he was penciled in as the Pirates’ 2018 starting quarterback.
Unlike how his 2017 season ended, Greg Dortch‘s 2018 offseason is trending much more positively.
In Wake Forest’s late-October win over Louisville, Dortch went down with what turned out to be a season-ending abdominal injury. Four months after sustaining the injury, and with spring practice right around the corner, the wide receiver has been medically cleared to fully participate in practice.
Despite missing the last month of the regular season as well as the postseason, Dortch still led the Demon Deacons in receiving yards with 722. His 53 receptions and nine receiving touchdowns were tied for tops on the team as well.
In the game in which he was injured, he set the school record with four touchdown catches.
When it came to filling out his Purdue coaching staff, Jeff Brohm didn’t have to look very far.
Kevin Wolthausen, the football program confirmed in a release, has been hired as the 10th of Brohm’s allotted 10 Boilermakers assistant coaches. Per the school, Wolthausen will be working with the team’s special teams and defense.
This marks a positional homecoming of sorts for Wolthausen as he spent the 2012 season as the defensive line coach at Purdue. Last season, Wolthausen served as a quality control coach for both special teams and defense for the Boilermakers.
In between his two stints in West Lafayette, Wolthausen was the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at UConn in 2016; the two years prior, he was the Huskies’ defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.
In 2013, Wolthausen was the special teams coordinator at Florida International. The 60-year-old long-time college football assistant has also spent time on staffs at Louisville, Arizona, USC, Arizona State and Oklahoma.
For the most recent addition to his Troy coaching staff, Neal Brown has dipped into the Football Championship Series.
The Sun Belt Conference program confirmed Tuesday that Brandon Hall has been hired by Brown as his new linebackers coach. Hall had spent the past four seasons as the co-defensive coordinator at FCS Jacksonville State.
“Brandon is an outstanding defensive coach and has experience coaching at a lot of different levels,” a statement from Brown. “He is relentless on the recruiting trail and already has developed strong relationships in the areas that we believe are key. Looking at his track record, it comes as no surprise that Brandon helped build one of the top defenses in the FCS at Jacksonville State over the last four years.”
Prior to JSU, Hall had spent time at Arkansas State, Auburn and Oklahoma.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to join this program and coaching staff,” Hall said in his statement. “You can’t help but get excited as a coach when you look at what Coach Brown and the rest of this staff has done over the past three years with the Troy program. My family and I are looking forward to becoming part of the Trojan Family and continuing the strong tradition of Troy football.”