Mississippi State Football: 3 Keys for an Egg Bowl Victory for the Bulldogs
The Mississippi State Football team will travel seventy-five miles North to take on The Red and Blue in the 93rd Egg Bowl. The Bulldogs have defeated the Red and Blue the last two years during the Joe Moorhead era. Mike Leach gets to experience the fiercest rival in the SEC first hand.
Mike Leach and Lane Kiffin are good friends, but the Egg Bowl is not about friendship. The Egg Bowl splits families, friends, and spouses into crazed fans of either team. For 365 days, fans of both teams have awaited this day. Here are three keys for an Egg Bowl Victory for Mississippi State.
Keep Matt Corral’s Egg Bowl Career a Footnote
I can admit it; the Red and Blue offense scares me. The Flood can score points on the ground and definitely through the air. If Mississippi State is to secure its third straight Egg Bowl victory, Zach Arnett has to develop a plan to limit the Red and Blue’s offensive explosiveness and its triggerman, Matt Corral.
Matt Corral almost led the Red and Blue to victory last year in the Egg Bowl. He marched his team down the field for the score. Every Bulldog fan has reviled in what happened next: the hindleg raise, the penalty, and the missed extra point to seal the Bulldogs’ victory.
Corral was involved in a brawl with Jamal Peters in 2018 as a freshman. Mississippi State ran through Ole Miss 35-3 in that game. So far, Corral’s Egg Bowl career has not been a great one, and I prefer it stays that way.
Matt Corral has flourished in Lane Kiffin’s offense this year. He has thrown 22 touchdowns, and if Mississippi State is to win this game, the Bulldog defense will need to pressure him into mistakes, hit him often, and of course, sack him a lot. The Bulldog defense needs to keep Corral from making history and keep him a footnote in the Egg Bowl Rivalry.
We have Wallacing about former QB Bo Wallace’s fumble at the goal line, and I want Corraling added to the list for his Egg Bowl play.
Contain Elijah Moore and not Let Him Redeem Himself for his Hindleg Raise
Elijah Moore has been a nightmare for SEC defenses this year. He has roasted every SEC secondary he has faced except for Auburn. Moore has been on a season-long redemption tour since his hindleg gaffe gifted the Egg Bowl to Mississippi State last year.
Moore has three 200 yard receiving games to his credit this year. Mississippi State must find a way to do what only one team has done in the SEC this year, contain Elijah Moore. That job will likely fall to Martin Emerson.
I am sure Moore has learned from the infamous hindleg raise that caused his fanbase to turn on him. Mississippi State needs to find a way to contain Moore and not allow him to redeem himself and become the hero of the 2020 Egg Bowl. Even if he isn’t foolish enough to perform any other penalty drawing celebration, I want Moore to have the worst game a wide receiver can have in a football game.
The Offense Needs to Do What it Did at Georgia Times 3
Whatever formula Mike Leach mixed up for the offense to execute against Georgia, I want him to triple it. The Mississippi State Bulldogs almost upset the now #9 ranked Georgia Bulldogs. As much as the Bulldogs offense has struggled this season, the performance last week was needed.
I said that in my Battle of the Bulldogs prediction that the Mississippi State offense needed to show some signs of life to give me hope in the Egg Bowl. The defense the Bulldogs will face this week is bad. As a matter of fact, the Red and Blue defense is ranked dead last in the SEC.
If this was a week the Bulldogs needed to run the football about 30% of the time, this is the week to do it. The Red and Blue are dead last in run defense, but their pass defense is not far behind.
I know I won’t get an early Christmas gift in my Bulldogs running the ball today, but it would be nice to see as a way to keep that dangerous Red and Blue offense on the sidelines. I expect there will be plenty of passing yards in one of the highest-scoring Egg Bowls in history.
I know so far this seems like a love letter to the Red and Blue, but trust me, it is not. I am simply pointing out the two players who have contributed to Bulldogs fans laughing at the Red and Blue’s expense could be the very two players to break our hearts this year. I want nothing more than for every Red and Blue heart to be broken tonight.
I want our Bulldogs to return home with the Egg Bowl Trophy for the third year in a row. For that to happen, Corral and Moore cannot have great games. If for some reason, they do, then their Bulldog counterparts, Will Rogers, and whoever steps up at receiver for us has to have a greater game.
Also, while I did not mention it as one of my keys, the Red and Blue’s running game has the ability to be a game-changing threat. Stopping the run happens to be the main strength of the Bulldog defense.
This year Maroon Lightning will strike twice in the Egg Bowl. The Red and Blue will miss another extra point to lose another Egg Bowl.
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