Ole Miss spoiled rival Mississippi State's season, and its hopes of qualifying for the College Football Playoff, with a 31-17 home win in the annual Egg Bowl Saturday. The result also clinched an SEC Championship Game appearance for Alabama just 20 minutes before the Crimson Tide kicked off against Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
And nobody played a bigger role than Evan Engram.
The sophomore tight end caught five passes for a game-high 176 yards on what was an off-night for Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace while throwing to just about anyone else (13 of 30, 296 yards, INT). Engram is among the top players in a vastly talented sophomore class at Ole Miss that includes defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, left tackle Laremy Tunsil, safety Tony Conner and injured wide receiver Laquon Treadwell.
Ole Miss running back Jaylen Walton paced a rushing attack that had been stagnant in recent games for the Rebels with 148 yards and a touchdown on only 14 carries. Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott completed 22 of 37 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown, but was largely held in check on the ground. Ole Miss' run defense limited the junior to 48 yards on 24 carries.
MSU receiver De'Runnya Wilson, a 6-foot-5 matchup problem for cornerbacks, caught eight passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Alabama will face SEC East winner Missouri next Saturday in Atlanta for the SEC title.