Mississippi State Battle
After pulling an upset last week, the Rebels have a similar opportunity to secure a berth in a high-profile bowl.
Another Egg Bowl victory against the Bulldogs would secure second place in the SEC West Division for the 20th-ranked Rebels, who look to remain undefeated in November under coach Houston Nutt on Saturday.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made Ole Miss -7 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on Ole Miss -7 (View College Football bet percentages).
If the Rebels can improve to 8-0 in November under Nutt, they will likely be headed to the Capital One Bowl as the conference's No. 3 team.
In the most recent matchup with Mississippi State (4-7, 2-5), Jevan Snead threw four touchdown passes and Mississippi set a school record with 11 sacks to win 45-0 last Nov. 28. Ole Miss clinched second place in the West and went on to beat Texas Tech 47-34 in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2.
Though the Bulldogs have lost two straight and are out of bowl contention, Nutt told his team not to lose its focus at Scott Field. The Rebels lead the series 60-39-6, but have lost two straight and four of the last five road matchups.
"I know what kind of environment we're going to have," Nutt said.
Nutt has done an outstanding job of keeping Ole Miss motivated following a 16-10 upset by
"What was difficult is when that bubble burst in
Ole Miss was expected to challenge for the SEC title, but lost two of its first five games. The Rebels have since won three straight and five of six.
Ole Miss is led by its rushing offense, which ranks second in the conference with 219.5 yards per game and features Dexter McCluster. The senior has 903 yards and six scores on the ground and also has 34 receptions for 412 yards and two TDs.
Against LSU, McCluster ran for 148 yards and completed the first pass of his career for a 27-yard score to give the Rebels a 22-17 lead 29 seconds into the final quarter.
"Dexter makes everyone better, and our linemen don't have to hold their blocks as long," Nutt said.
The Bulldogs are averaging 148.8 passing yards with seven TDs and 16 interceptions on the season. That has been tough for
Posted: 11/24/09 7:40PM ET