You knew this was coming. It was only a matter of time.
Trailing rival Mississippi State 21-14 late, Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral connected with Elijah Moore on a two-yard touchdown pass with just four seconds left in the fourth that, with a successful point-after, would’ve knotted the score at 21-all and likely sent the game into overtime for the first time since 2013. However, following his touchdown, Moore dropped down on all fours, hiked one leg and pretended to urinate like a dog. (MSU’s nickname is the Bulldogs, get it?)
The faux urination celebration drew a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct that pushed the extra-point attempt back 15 yards. Instead of a 20-yard try, Luke Logan’s kick came from 35 yards out; thanks in part to the added distance, Logan’s attempt sailed wide right — his third PAT miss of the season and fourth of his career in 89 tries — handing Mississippi State its second straight win in the rivalry and third in the last four.
Following the game, head coach Matt Luke expressed his disappointment in Moore’s game-altering penalty, even as the player wasn’t made available to the media after the loss. Friday afternoon, though, a statement attributed to the Rebels’ leading receiver was sent out by the football program.
I apologize to my teammates, coaches and Rebel Nation for my actions at the end of the game. It was an emotional moment, and I deeply regret it. It does not represent who I am or who we are as a team, and I will grow stronger from this mistake.
An official statement from Luke and Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter was included as well.
We want to apologize formally as a program to the Ole Miss family for the disappointing and unacceptable action that occurred at the end of Thursday’s game. Elijah is a fine young man who lost control of his emotions in the moment. This incident does not reflect in any way the type of student-athletes on our football team or the culture of respect that permeates our locker room. Discipline is a staple of our program as evidenced by being the least penalized team in our league, and we will continue to uphold an uncompromising standard of behavior on and off the field. In maintaining our team’s high level of accountability, we will address the matter, and disciplinary action will be handled internally.