BREAKING THE HUDDLE: EGG BOWL EDITION

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It’s that time of year where records and stats can be thrown out the window and other factors like home field and grudges suddenly become much bigger players. The question is, Which teams are capable of rising to the occasion for the upset and which are strong enough to overcome the underdog? This is the case with the always entertaining Egg Bowl match between Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Let’s look at some of the factors and make a guess at who comes out on top.

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Prescott will be ready for the Egg Bowl!

Post Season On The Line

Back in week eight it was believed that the winner of this game would be the SEC West Champion. While that is no longer the case, there are still some major post season decisions riding on this game. Of course for the Rebels, it’s a matter of getting into a better bowl but Rebel fans would like nothing more than to knock State out of the playoff picture also. For Mississippi State, being involved in the very first College Football Playoff is on the line. While most would agree that the Bulldogs could use some help, if they lose it won’t matter either way. I am of the opinion that if State goes into Oxford and wins handily that they shouldn’t need much help. They will officially have more wins over ranked opponents, a tougher schedule,  and only one loss to the #1 team in the nation. If the committee continues to rank teams based heavily on these three factors, there is no reason to think they would let another team jump State. That is, unless they are trying to avoid more than one SEC team in the playoff. One other factor in the post season is the remaining opportunity for Mississippi State to play in the SEC Championship. Alabama will have to have a melt down of epic proportion but that is kinda how this season has gone in the SEC. Once you think you finally got it figured out, somebody makes a move that was totally unexpected. We shall see if Auburn is capable of making such a move this weekend.

Related Coverage: Mississippi State Playoff Scenarios

Game Factors

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No Doubt, the Ole Miss Crowd will be pumped!

While Ole Miss has loss 3 of the last 4, including a 30-0 route at the hands of Arkansas, they are still a very dangerous team with the ability of putting a ton of points on the board and shutting down the opponents offense. The Rebels defense didn’t play a terrible game at the beginning against Arkansas but the offense put them in some bad positions. They will come out angry and ready to redeem themselves. The same can be said for Wallace and the Ole Miss offense. They will come in a little beat up but with a point to prove. The Rebel crowd will be rowdy and emotions will be high, but if Ole Miss is not careful that could be just as damaging as it can be helpful.

On the other hand, Mississippi State is coming off a dominant win against Vanderbilt and seems to have the momentum back that they lost against Alabama. The Bulldogs have also managed to get some much-needed rest to key players. Josh Robinson played one-quarter in the Vandy game and DeRunnya Wilson didn’t even step foot on the field as coach Mullen allowed him to heal and rest. Also, Jameon Lewis finally seems to be back to his usual self just in time for a post season run. As for Prescott, many criticized Mullen for keeping him in the game through the third quarter against Vanderbilt but I think it was needed. Dak got in a groove and built up some much-needed confidence going into the Egg Bowl. Expect him to take that confidence into Oxford this weekend, and the team to feed off of it.

Prediction Time

While the Rebels are capable of making the plays and knocking State out of contention, they are also capable of letting their emotions get the best of them. At the same time, Prescott will need to be at his best to keep the Rebels out of the game. I expect he will be and while Ole Miss will come out hyped, they will eventually give in to mistakes. At the same time, the Senior leadership on this Bulldog team will play a huge role in keeping the Bulldog heads right. I see the Bulldogs leaving Oxford as winners but it will be close until the end. My Pick: Mississippi State 31 Ole Miss 20

Follow Stu On Twitter: @stushoemake

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