The Egg Bowl Remembered

Well ladies and gentlemen, Egg Bowl week is upon us. During the course of this week I will be sharing some highlights of the Egg Bowl series with Ole Miss and speaking with some former Egg Bowl heroes. Tonight's installment of Egg Bowl memories will feature the 1999 Egg Bowl and some thoughts on that historic win from former MSU kicker and Egg Bowl hero Scott Westerfield.

Scott, the 1999 Egg Bowl was certainly one for the ages. That game has been replayed in the minds of Bulldog fans for the past several years. Most of us remember nearly every play, but what's something about the game that the average fan wouldn't know?
"I tell you one thing is that we lost our regular field goal snapper Paul Mooney on the first extra point. Michael Bender, our regular deep snapper, had to snap on field goals the rest of the game. Paul hurt his hand and I believe we missed that extra point. That game was the first time Michael had snapped on field goals the entire season. He and Rob (Morgan) did a great job."

Now take us back a bit. You guys had some miraculous comebacks that season. What was going through your mind as the unbelievable course of events involving that comeback began to unfold?
"To be honest, not a lot. Since I was younger, I had always been told that as a kicker you can't be a cheerleader on the sidelines. I watched most of our games on the jumbotron, so I rarely ever saw the big plays or big hits live. I saw all of that on the jumbotron. Doing things that way allowed me to just keep an even keel."

Were you surprised that they threw it deep and Clinton made the pick?
"After the other comebacks we had, especially after the Auburn game, we always felt we could come back. We never felt out of any ballgames after that. There was no panic on our sidelines."

Even after we fumbled the punt?
"(Laughs) Yes, that was pretty deep and there were only a few minutes left, but our defense didn't give up much and we got it back. Earlier in the year I believe Ole Miss had another overtime game with Vanderbilt that they lost. They had a chance to do something in regulation, but they sat on the ball and some of their fans got on them about it. Coaches say they don't listen to fans, but I think that played a factor in them deciding to throw it."

Okay, Eugene Clinton makes the incredible pick and runs it down to around their 30-yard line. We call a timeout and trot you out there to win it, what thoughts were going through you mind?
"Not much. I just tried to focus on making solid contact. I knew that if I just hit it solid that my mechanics would take care of themselves."

Judging from your reaction you knew you hit it well and you knew it was good.
"Oh yeah, I hit it well I was just waiting for that ball to get there. I couldn't wait to see that ref's arms go up."

Okay, now we kick off and they start the laterals and we shove Duece McAllister out of bounds.
"Yes, they do a couple of pitches and run a reverse and I was thinking, 'Man, they are fixing to do to us what we just did to them.' We get him out of bounds and it was an incredible feeling. We had some big comebacks with Auburn and Kentucky, but this was our biggest because it was our rival. It meant everything to see those goal posts come down."

Now one thing different about this particular comeback is that Wayne Madkin took the snaps the whole game.
"Yes, earlier in the season Wayne had been pulled at the half or before the 4th quarter in some games. I think this game really gave Wayne a lot of confidence. He came out the next season and had a really good year. I think this game was a big rallying point for him."

There is a belief among some in our fanbase that the Egg Bowl means more to the fans. Do you agree with that?
"No, I am sure the freshmen don't quite understand, but everyone else does. That game means a lot. They are our rivals and you have to beat them. You just have to. You get tired of reading their press clippings. No matter if they are doing good or bad you don't want to read about them or hear about them. You get tired of it. They get as much media coverage as you do and you don't like it. It's not a hatred, but you just don't want to hear anything about them."

So what happened to you after you left MSU?
"Well, I hung around for a while. I worked out for some NFL teams. I thought I had a good shot at that, but it didn't work out. I stayed as a graduate assistant for a couple of seasons. Now I design bridges."

As a former player do you still follow the program closely and how do you feel about the direction of the program?
"Oh, yeah I follow it very closely. I believe Coach Croom is headed in the right direction. He has an excellent vision for the program. I know right now a lot of people can't see it, but the things he is doing like instilling more discipline are going to pay off. Coach Croom doesn't sugarcoat things and I think some people aren't used to that yet. He will get there."

So will you be at the Egg Bowl?
"Oh yeah, I'll be there."

Scott, thanks for your time and being a great Bulldog.
"No problem, thanks."

The 1999 Egg Bowl: The day the comeback kids broke the Rebels hearts with a 17-point comeback in the final minutes. Look for more great Egg Bowl memories as we count down the days to the 2005 Egg Bowl in...The Egg Bowl Remembered!

Steve Robertson writes The Robertson Report for the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website. Steve's email address is

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