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.
Gus Malzahn’s quest to find a new offensive coordinator has zigged and zagged in the past few days since the surprising departure of Rhett Lashlee to UConn. One place it will not be going however, is to a fellow SEC West school.
Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle reports that despite some interest in Texas A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, the Aggies’ coach is staying put in College Station.
Mazzone arrived at A&M prior to this past season from UCLA and found early success with the Aggies and transfer quarterback Trevor Knight before a late slide in 2016. Travis Haney of 247Sports reported earlier Thursday that he could be considered the leader in the search to replace Lashlee, but it appears that will not be the case.
The longtime coaching veteran’s name being linked to Auburn isn’t too surprising considering he was the OC there from 1999-2001 but Mazzone’s hefty salary and likely high buyout figure provided some big obstacles if he wanted to reunite with the school.
Instead, it’s on to the next one for Malzahn and company.
National Signing Day is just around the corner and that means a flurry of in-home visits by coaches across the country trying to lock up the next class of impact players for their program.
We’ve seen plenty of unique attempts by coaches to impress prospects over the years as a result, from often used cookie cakes to sleepovers and limo rides. When it comes to this subject though, few have been as creative as Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. This week, he certainly cemented that reputation.
According to the Detroit News, Harbaugh and several Wolverines coaches took an in-home visit with five-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon out of Leesburg, Georgia and went bowling with the recruit’s family before finally racing go-karts together.
And even better, there’s video via ESPN:
Solomon is also strongly considering Alabama and Georgia in addition to Michigan, but something says neither Nick Saban or Kirby Smart will be heading to the race track with the big defensive tackle on their visit. You have to love recruiting either way.
Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio will be out of action this spring in Gainesville, the school announced on Thursday. Del Rio will instead be taking time to recover from shoulder surgery.
Del Rio underwent surgery on his non-throwing surgery on Wednesday. The surgery was on his non-throwing shoulder, but it will still take some time to rehab following the procedure.
While Del Rio is expected to be available for the fall, his absence in the spring could open the door for Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask to make a potential run for the starting job. Both were expected to be ready to compete for the starting job for the Gators this season anyway, and now each will be able to get a few more reps in the spring to work on their case to win the starting job for the 2017 season.
Del Rio was 5-1 as Florida’s starting quarterback last season before going down with a knee injury. Austin Appleby took over as Florida’s starting quarterback and led the team to a blowout victory over Iowa in the Outback Bowl at the end of the season. Del Rio passed for 1,358 yards and eight touchdowns with eight interceptions.
Coming off a second straight 11-3 season, San Diego State has rewarded head football coach Rocky Long with a contract extension. The school announced a new contract that tacks on five additional seasons to the existing contract. Long is now under contract through the end of the 2021 season.
Long was under contract through the end of the upcoming 2017 season, so the contract extension provides a little more job security for Long and enables to him to show some stability for the future of the program.
Long replaced former San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke as the head coach of the Aztecs at the end of the 2010 season after Hoke was hired by Michigan. Under Long, San Diego State has gone 54-26 with six straight winning seasons. During that run, San Diego State has won back-to-back Mountain West Conference championships the past two seasons and gone 3-3 in bowl games. Long also coached San Diego State to a conference crown in his first season on the job, in 2011. San Diego State has ended each of the past two seasons with bowl victories against a team from the American Athletic Conference (Cincinnati in the 2015 Hawaii Bowl and Houston in the 2016 Las Vegas Bowl).