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.
There was not a whole lot of movement in the top portion of the Amway Coaches Poll this week, as most of the top teams maintained their positioning within the top 10. Alabama remains on top of the coaches poll, without much debate, ahead of Ohio State, Clemson and Louisville.
The Miami Hurricanes had the biggest rise in the coaches poll this week, jumping up five spots to No. 14 with a 3-0 record. The Hurricanes trail No. 13 Baylor, the highest-ranked team in the Big 12 in this week’s coaches poll.
No. 8 Wisconsin is one of three Big Ten teams in the top 10, joining Ohio State and No. 5 Michigan. No. 15 Nebraska moved ahead of No. 16 Michigan State this week.
Here is the full coaches top 25 for this week, with first-place votes noted;
- Alabama (61)
- Ohio State (2)
- Clemson (1)
- Texas A&M
- Florida State
- Michigan State
- Ole Miss
- North Carolina
- San Diego State
With a lead in a tight game against Oklahoma State on Saturday night in Waco, Baylor head coach Jim Grobe appeared to make one of the most ridiculous coaching decisions witnessed in a while when Baylor lined up to go for a first down on fourth and one from its own 24-yard line in the third quarter. After the game, Grobe said he was calling for a punt but a headset malfunction meant nobody heard his call.
That’s because Grobe accidentally turned off his headset.
“All season it seems like when our defense has our backs against the wall we play better, so I figured I’ll just spot them on the 20,” Grobe said in a laughing manner after the game. He was fortunate to be able to laugh it off, because that could have been a game-changing play.
The communications issue did not harm Baylor — the defense stuffed Oklahoma State on a fourth down play at the one-yard line and the offense moved 99 yards for a touchdown — but that is simply something that can never happen, and a head coach needs to find a way to step in and make sure his team is not going for it on a textbook punting situation. Oklahoma State could have settled for taking three free points with a short field goal kick, which would have trimmed the Baylor lead down to just one point at the time, but Mike Gundy went for the lead and a touchdown.
In Gundy’s defense, knowing how potent Baylor is on offense, going for the touchdown made sense in that situation. It is the obvious case of hindsight being 20/20, although it was just the third quarter, and not the fourth.
One of the bright spots for Arizona in the first month of the season had been freshman running back JJ Taylor. Unfortunately for he and Arizona, he will be missing some serious playing time after suffering a broken ankle Saturday night against Washington.
Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez announced after an overtime loss against Washington that Taylor broke his left ankle. Before having to leave the game with an injury, Taylor had rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries against Washington. It is expected Taylor could miss the next six to eight weeks of action, which could effectively end his season.
Ironically, Taylor was showing off his ability to break ankles earlier in the game…
Auburn fans celebrated a wild victory against SEC West rival LSU last night the way they always do, by rolling the oaks at Toomer’s Corner with toilet paper. It is a tradition that goes back decades, which makes the oaks a target for some. On Saturday night, one of the trees at Toomer’s Corner went up in flames after somebody lit the dangling toilet paper on fire.
It would appear there is some video footage that captures the arsonist in action, although it is difficult to tell exactly who is the one doing the crime.
Fortunately, it seems the one responsible for lighting the tree on fire may have been apprehended and spent the night in jail.