November 21, 2011

Rivalry week begins for the Bulldogs

It's Egg Bowl week.

Which means it is probably Dan Mullen's favorite time of the year. Since his arrival in Starkville nearly three years ago Mullen has embraced Mississippi State's instate rivalry with Ole Miss and is 2-0 so far against the Rebels.

"Obviously it's the biggest week of the season for us as it is every weekend when you get into rivalry weekend," Mullen said. "As a program we look forward to this game every single year. With it being senior day, it makes it a special day for our seniors getting to play their last game at home."

There is plenty more on the line for the Bulldogs in this year's Egg Bowl edition than just bragging rights. MSU is 5-6 on the year and needs a win over the Rebels to become bowl eligible for a second straight season.

"There is no more emphasis on (becoming bowl eligible)," Mullen said. "This game, our guys know how important it is to me. Even in our first year we went in and found a way to win and it didn't mean bowl eligibility. Last year we were bowl eligible and found a way to win and knew how important it was. This year it might mean that but that's fine. That has no affect on this game. This is the game that leaves a good or bad taste in your mouth for the next nine months. It can make a good season great or a bad season good. It's that type of game and sticks with you for a long time walking around the state of Mississippi."

Ole Miss has had a dreadful 2011 campaign with just a 2-9 record and are winless in Southeastern Conference action. The Rebels have lost six straight games by an average of 25.7 points which brought on the termination of head coach Houston Nutt effective following this Saturday's game.

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