Totally Dominated

A Mississippi State team that ended its season with a losing record completely decimated an Ole Miss team headed to a bowl game somewhere.

Capitalizing on its vaunted rushing attack, the Bulldogs trailed at halftime 13-10 but rolled to blowout proportions in the second half, taking the Golden Egg back 41-27.

State threw five passes in the second half and let its ground game and defense do the rest. The Bulldogs outrushed Ole Miss 317 yards to 90. Total offense numbers were 412 yards for State and 385 for the Rebs.

Dexter McCluster rushed for 82 yards, leaving him 15 yards short of 1,000 for the season.

Jevan Snead was 17-of-29 with three touchdowns but three interceptions.

Anthony Dixon rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown for MSU, while Chris Relf rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown.

Ole Miss finished its season 8-4 overall and 4-4 in Southeastern Conference play, a far cry from preseason projections for the Rebels. MSU improved to 5-7 overall and 3-5 in SEC action, an improvement on its preseason predictions.

"It's a sick feeling right here. It's not the way we planned. We wanted to go out the right way, but you have to give them credit," Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt said. "They did a good job today."

"What a great game and a great day for our program," said MSU first-year hed coach Dan Mullen. "They came out today and I couldn't be prouder for our seniors who get to walk off this field as champions."

In the third quarter the Bulldogs put 17 points on the scoreboard and held the Rebels scoreless to lead 27-13.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Rebels got back in it on a touchdown reception by Markeith Summers from Snead that covered 48 yards, a drive that took just 40 seconds and covered 76 yards in three plays. Joshua Shene's extra point pulled Ole Miss to within 27-20.

But the Bulldogs answered as State started in Ole Miss territory after a kickoff return by Chad Bumphis. From the Rebel 46, MSU moved the distance in eight plays with Chris Relf scoring from 10 yards out to lead 34-20.

State added a touchdown later to go up 41-20 with 5:17 left and basically put this one out of reach.

The Rebels did add a quick score after that, a 52-yard pass from Snead to NcCluster that would prove to be the final margin.

Ole Miss got the game's only score of the first quarter with a 26-yard field goal by Shene. The game's opening drive had covered 60 yards in 13 plays and took 7:06 off the game clock.

State answered with a field goal of its own, a near-identical 13-play drive of 69 yards that took 7:50 off the clock. On the first play of the second quarter, MSU's Derek DePasquale was good on a 28-yard field goal to tie it.

Ole Miss got three more points on a Shene field goal after Patrick Trahan intercepted a Tyson Lee pass that was tipped by Jonathan Cornell, setting things up at the MSU 38. But the drive stalled at the 10, and Shene was good again, this time from 28 with 11:08 to go in the second quarter.

MSU went ahead 10-6 on an impressive nine-play, 81-yard that took 3:58 and was capped on a Dixon touchdown run of two yards. DePasquale was good and the home team led for the first time with 3:22 to go before halftime.

Ole Miss moved back out in front before halftime. A six-play drive covered 73 yards with Snead hitting Shay Hodge in the end zone on a beautiful, well-covered diving catch with 1:01 to go before halftime. Shene's kick made it 13-10 and that's the say things stood at the break.

But the second half belonged to the home team, and the Rebels headed back to Oxford to regroup for a bowl game.

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