Mississippi State hosts Ole Miss after a controversial call leads to trash on the field

Mississippi State running back Jo'quavious Marks (7) moves after scoring a touchdown against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi State running back Jo’quavious Marks (7) gestures after scoring a touchdown against Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

It wouldn’t be an egg dish without things getting weird.

The Mississippi-Mississippi State football rivalry goes back more than 100 years and has been filled with drama and anger.

Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day duel just added another chapter to the state feud.

Mississippi State beat Ole Miss 24-22 in Oxford after the Rebels’ potential two-point attempt failed in the final minutes.

It was just the cherry on top of a bizarre final part of the game.

The controversy began at the 7:15 mark of the fourth quarter when MSU, leading 24-16, benefited from an overturned call that was ruled a fumble at the Ole Miss 30-yard line. The play was initially called an incomplete pass in the backfield, but was ruled a backward lateral, and therefore a live ball, upon review.

The problem, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin argued, was that the referees blew their whistles as soon as the ball hit the ground. See for yourself.

Should a player assume the ball is live after the whistle? It’s hard to say.

The home fans in Oxford expressed their feelings by hurling beer cans and other objects onto the pitch.

Fortunately, the fan uprising was relatively small and short-lived.

The game resumed with MSU quickly moving the ball down to the 1-yard line with a chance to effectively put it away with a two-touchdown lead.

However, the strangeness continued. In rainy, slippery conditions, Bulldogs quarterback Will Rogers fumbled short of the goal line and the Rebels recovered. Trailing by 8 with 4:48 left, Ole Miss still had a shot.

Ole Miss QB Jaxson Dart led his team on an epic 15-play, 99-yard drive with a 23-yard touchdown strike to Dayton Wade. Needing a two-point conversion to tie the game, Dart attempted a shovel pass that ended up falling harmlessly to the turf. And it capped a painful loss for the Rebels, who entered November with an 8-1 record and an outside shot at winning the SEC West.

Ole Miss finished the regular season with three straight losses, including Thursday’s to its archrival, to fall to 8-4. MSU also ends the season 8-4.

With rumors swirling about Kiffin’s future at Ole Miss, it would be one hell of a fight for his tenure to end in Oxford.

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