November 29, 2016
Mississippi State University completely dominated the University of Mississippi in the 2016 Egg Bowl. The http://www.espn.com/college-football/game?gameId=400869072">Bulldogs’ players ran around and over the Rebels in a 55-20 road win.
MSU quarterback Nick Fitzgerald http://www.espn.com/college-football/recap?gameId=400869072">set a school record for most rushing yards in a game at any position with 258 rushing yards. The quarterback also broke Dak Prescott’s school record for most rushing yards in a season by a quarterback with 1,243 yards.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 27-10 lead in the first half before the Rebels mounted a comeback. UM cut MSU’s lead to only seven points at the break, but the second half belonged to the Bulldogs, who outscored their main rival 28-0 over the final 30 minutes.
It was a disappointing end to the season for the Rebels. Entering the game, the team could have reached six wins to reach bowl eligibility but instead looked completely outmatched on offense and defense most of the afternoon.
MSU racked up http://www.espn.com/college-football/matchup?gameId=400869072">566 total yards with 457 of those yards coming on the ground. The Bulldogs only threw for 106 yards in the game.
The http://www.espn.com/college-football/matchup?gameId=400869072">Rebels had 528 total yards but couldn’t keep pace with MSU on the scoreboard. All the rushing attempts wore out the UM defense and kept the Bulldogs’ defense fresh for the second half to finish off the Rebels.
MSU’s victory gave head coach Dan Mullen five wins in the eight Egg Bowls that he has coached. That is something he can hit the recruiting trail with to sell athletes on coming to play for the Bulldogs.
The Egg Bowl win not only denied the Rebels a bowl game, but it also set the Bulldogs up for a bowl. MSU got plenty of help on the final weekend of the regular season.
There are 80 slots for bowl teams with the first priority going to those with 6-6 records. That means the University of Southern Mississippi will get first shot at a bowl before other teams.
Next is the United States Military Academy and the University of Hawaii. Army currently has a 6-5 record but two wins over FCS teams—only one counts toward bowl eligibility—with a final game against the United State Naval Academy on Dec. 10.
If the Army Black Knights best the Navy Midshipmen, they are bowl eligible with seven wins, but in reality, with its current record, Army is already going bowling because there won’t be enough 6-6 teams. No matter how the Army-Navy game turns out, both teams are going to make a bowl game.
Hawaii is 6-7 and will play in the Hawaii Bowl because the Rainbow Warriors get to play 13 games. This is because it is hard to get teams to travel to Hawaii so they get an extra game.
Either way, Hawaii is bowl eligible, but that still leaves two teams that can get six wins this weekend, which are the University of South Alabama and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
Currently there are 76 bowl teams, counting Army and Hawaii, with 80 spots. That means 5-7 teams are going to have to fill out the other two to four bowl spots.
One team guaranteed a spot is Mississippi State because the http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2016/11/27/bowl-eligibility-picture-college-football/94510318/">Bulldogs’ 971 Academic Progress Rate score.
The University of North Texas is also guaranteed a spot with a 984 APR. MSU had help this weekend when Vanderbilt University won, and Duke University, the University of Notre Dame, Syracuse University, and the University of California Los Angeles all lost.
MSU is tied with the University of Texas in APR score, but the Bulldogs own a tiebreaker over the Longhorns. If South Alabama or Louisiana-Lafayette fail to win this weekend, Texas would be next in line for a bowl game.
If both South Alabama and Louisiana-Lafayette lose, Northern Illinois University would be the next team in line. Teams that are 5-7 can also decline going to a bowl, which would open up a slot for another team.
As it stands, MSU is going to go bowling, and beating the Rebels made it possible.