2022 Egg Bowl: Who Has the Lead Between Mississippi State, Ole Miss?

Mississippi State (7-4, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) visits No. 20 Ole Miss (8-3, 4-3 SEC) in the 119th Battle for the Golden Egg rivalry game at 6 p.m. Thursday in Oxford.

Here’s who has the advantage in each position between the Bulldogs and the Rebels in the Egg Bowl 2022.

Quarterback

Will Rogers dominated East Tennessee State on Saturday, completing 30 of 37 passes, including five touchdowns. Rogers has 32 touchdowns and five picks on the season and has a 68.1 completion percentage. For Ole Miss, USC transfer Jaxson Dart has been inconsistent with 16 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a 60.4 percent scoring. Dart has also run 552 yards for the Rebels, while Rogers poses no rushing threat.

Side: Mississippi state

Run back

Dillon Johnson did not play against ETSU on Saturday but should be available for the Egg Bowl. Johnson now trails Jo’quavious Marks in rushing yards with 415 to Marks’ 456. Ole Miss has two dynamic running backs in Quinshon Judkins and Zach Evans. Judkins, a true freshman, has run for 1,385 yards this season, while Evans returned from a concussion suffered against Alabama to play a big game in Arkansas. Evans has run for 899 yards this season at nearly seven yards per carry.

Side: Ole Miss

Wide receiver/tight end

Malik Heath, a transfer from Mississippi State, has emerged as a legitimate receiving threat for Ole Miss, with 754 yards and four touchdowns this season. Both marks are just behind Jonathan Mingo—Rogers’ high school teammate at Brandon—who has 768 yards and five scores for the Rebels. For MSU, Rara Thomas is the leading receiver at 599 yards; Caleb Ducking (400 yards) is the biggest threat in the red zone with eight touchdowns this season.

Side: Even

Attacking line

Ole Miss has allowed just 12 sacks in 10 games, tied for 15th in FBS. The state of Mississippi, meanwhile, has reported 22 bags this year. The Rebels run for 5.75 yards per carry — fourth in the nation — while MSU averages just 3.69 yards per attempt. MSU’s O-line has struggled with better opponents late in the season.

Side: Ole Miss

Defense line

The return of Jaden Crumedy against Auburn strengthened Mississippi State’s defensive line, which kept ETSU to just 9 feet per carry and also did a good job against Georgia. Ole Miss allowed 335 rushing yards against Arkansas and has been prone to the run all season, with the No. 90 rushing defense in the nation. MSU’s defensive line ranks 69th.

Side: Mississippi state

Linebacker

Troy Brown is Ole Miss’s leading tackler with 77, while Nathaniel Watson has 98 for the Bulldogs and Jett Johnson has 93. Tackles are far from everything, but Watson and Tyrus Wheat are MSU’s two top sack players. Khari Coleman has 32 tackles and 3.5 sacks for Ole Miss, but the Rebels’ struggle to stop the run is well documented.

Side: Mississippi state

Subordinate

Mississippi State has one of the better pass defenses in the country, with just 6.4 yards per pass attempt this season. Cornerback Emmanuel Forbes is tied for the national lead in interceptions with six, marking his sixth career pick-six against ETSU. Ole Miss allows 6.8 yards per pass, but the Rebels have only six interceptions – as many as Forbes alone – while the Bulldogs have 14.

Side: Mississippi state

Special teams

Mississippi State is just 10 of 14 field goals this season after a long-range miss by Massimo Biscardi on Saturday, though Biscardi has been improving lately. The Bulldogs’ punting also failed with a blocked punt against ETSU. MSU was dynamic in the return game, one of four teams with punt returns and kickoff return touchdowns this year. Ole Miss’s Jonathan Cruz is 12 of 14 on field goals and 6 of 7 from beyond 40 yards. Ole Miss is average in both return areas.

Side: Even

Appetizer

Mississippi state

Insult

QB 2 Will Rogers Jr.

RB 7 Jo’quavious Marks Jr.

-or 23 Dillon Johnson Jr.

-or 22 Simeon Price Fr.

WR 0 Rara Thomas So.

WR 85 Austin Williams Gr.

WR 82 Rufus Harvey So.

WR 4 Caleb Ducking Sr.

LT 66 Kwatrivous Johnson Sr.

LG 64 Nick Jones Jr.

C 63 LaQuinston Sharp Gr.

RG 57 Cole Smith Sr.

RT 58 Kameron Jones Jr.

-or 76 Albert Reese IV Fr.

Defense

DE6 Jordan Davis Gr.

NT 93 Cameron Young Sr.

DT 94 Jaden Crumedy Gr.

SLB 2 Tire Wheat Sr.

MLB 14 Nathaniel Watson Sr.

WLB 44 Jett Johnson Gr.

CB 13 Emmanuel Forbes Jr.

S8 Jackie Matthews Gr.

S 19 Collin Duncan Sr.

S 0 Jalen Green Sr.

CB 3 Decamerion Richardson Jr.

Special teams

K 29 Massimo Biscardi Gr.

P 56 Archer Trafford Sr.

-or 88 George Georgopoulos Gr.

Ole Miss

Insult

QB 2 Jaxson Dart So.

RB6 Zach Evans Jr.

WR 1 Jonathan Mingo Sr.

WR 8 Malik Heath Sr.

WR 9 Jaylon Robinson Sr.

-or 11 Jordan Watkins Jr.

TE 81 Casey Kelly Jr.

LT 71 Jayden Williams Fr.

LG 64 Nick Broeker Sr.

C54 Caleb Warren Jr.

RG 78 Jeremy James Jr.

RT 57 Micah Pettus Fr.

Defense

DE2 Cedric Johnson Jr.

DT 89JJ Pegues Jr.

NT 38KD Hill Sr.

DE 95 Tavius ​​Robinson Sr.

LB 11 Austin Keys So.

-or 23 Khari Coleman Jr.

LB8 Troy Brown Sr.

DB 3 Otis Reese Sr.

CB 7 Deantre Prince Sr.

SS 1Isheem Young Jr.

FS 21 AJ Finley Sr.

DB 0 Tysheem Johnson So.

-or 13 Ladarius Tennison So.

CB 20 Davison Igbinosun Fr.

-or 6 Miles Battle Sr.

Special teams

K 14 Jonathan Cruz Sr.

P 12 Fraser Masin Jr.

Theo DeRosa reports on sports in the state of Mississippi for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @Theo_DeRosa.

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