Dan Mullen: Identifying His Top 10 Wins at Mississippi State

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Nov 29, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; A Mississippi State Bulldogs helmet rest on the sidelines against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Rebels won 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Number 8: 2009 Egg Bowl

We’ve already discussed how Dan Mullen put a renewed emphasis on the Egg Bowl upon his arrival. He spent much of the 2009 finding ways to jab, poke, and prod Ole Miss fans as the 2009 Egg Bowl approached.

The setup
Mississippi State had their bowl hopes dashed the previous week with a loss to Arkansas in Little Rock. The Bulldogs entered the Egg Bowl in 2009 with only bragging rights on the line and the hopes of entering the 2010 season with some positive momentum.

Ole Miss entered the Egg Bowl in 2009 with a slightly disappointing season. The Rebels had climbed as high as number four in the polls before  suffering three losses to bring their season to a somewhat disappointing conclusion. The Egg Bowl could have erased many of those memories. Ole Miss had won the previous week over LSU and a win in the Egg Bowl would have likely sent the Rebels to the Capital One Bowl, which has recently been renamed back to the Citrus Bowl.

The Rebels and their fans had begun to hate Dan Mullen up until this point as well. They had grown tired of the endless talking and perceived disrespect Mullen was showing to their team and school. They viewed this as an opportunity to shut the braggadocios coach up once and for all.

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The result
Neither team was able to seize control of the game during the first half of the game. A touchdown pass from Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead to Wide Receiver Shay Hodge right before the end of the first half would send the Rebels to the locker room with a slight 13-10 lead.

It was in the second half of the game where the tide turned. Mississippi State Starting Quarterback Tyson Lee was mostly ineffective in the game, so Dan Mullen would make the switch to Backup Quarterback Chris Relf. Relf was not much of a passer, but in the second half of the game, he wouldn’t need to be.

Relf completed 3 of 5 passes for 43 yards and two touchdowns, but he and Running Back Anthony Dixon carved up the Ole Miss defense on the ground. Dixon ran the football 29 times for 133 yards and a touchdown, but Relf stole the show.

Relf ran 15 times for 131 yards and a touchdown. Every time he had the ball in his hands, the Ole Miss defense looked confused as how to stop him from picking up first downs at will.

The Bulldogs would go on to win 41-27 and it was the first of three consecutive wins for Mississippi State over Ole Miss, something the Bulldogs had not done since the 1940s.

Next: Chomping the Gators in the Swamp