The history of the annual meeting on the gridiron between Ole Miss and MSU is a long, storied one.
Compiled by Leslie Criss | Photographed by Ole Miss Athletics
Here in Mississippi, Thanksgiving weekend often means more than turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. It’s the time avid fans of the Ole Miss Rebels and the Mississippi State Bulldogs gather at Ole Miss, in Starkville or at home in front of a television to cheer on their chosen team in the annual rivalry between two state schools. No matter which team has your allegiance, here are some fun facts about the longtime quest for the “Golden Egg.”
• The first meeting of the two teams — then the Mississippi A&M Aggies and the Ole Miss Red & Blue — was Oct. 28, 1901. The Aggies bested the Red & Blue 17-0.
• Ole Miss became the Rebels in 1936; MSU became the Bulldogs in 1961.
• The game has been played on Thanksgiving Day 23 times.
• The first time the game was played in Jackson and on Thanksgiving Day was in 1905. The game was played at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds.
• The rivalry game was played annually from 1901 to 1911, then took a three-year hiatus before resuming in 1915. In 1943, neither school had a football team because of World War II, but play resumed in 1944.
• From 1973 to 1990, the game was played at Mississippi Veteran Memorial Stadium in Jackson.
• In 1926, Ole Miss defeated State in Starkville after a 13-game losing streak and fans went crazy. They stormed the field and tried their best to take down the goalposts. The next year, a new trophy was presented — and continued as the prize each year — to keep fans from trying to take home parts of the stadium!
• The trophy, the Golden Egg, was proposed by members of Iota Sigma, an Ole Miss honorary activities fraternity. The design was a regulation-size brass football mounted on a wooden base. Footballs in the 1920s were more ovoid or egg-shaped, hence the name the Golden Egg.
• The cost of the trophy, first given in 1927, was $250 and the expense was shared by Ole Miss and State.
• The annual meeting of the two teams became known as the Egg Bowl after Tom Patterson, a sportswriter for the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, gave it that nickname in 1979.
• In 1907, Ole Miss and State played a scoreless first half in thick mud. During the second half, Ole Miss Head Coach Frank A. Mason brought out an urn of whiskey-laced coffee to warm his players. Ole Miss lost to State 15-0. It was Mason’s final game as head coach.
• In 1915, after three years off, the teams played in Tupelo, and State bested Ole Miss 65-0.
• The 100th meeting of the two teams was in 2003.
• The Egg Bowl’s first overtime game was in 2013, when State won 17-10.
• Ole Miss leads the all-time Egg Bowl series 64-46-6.
• The 2023 Egg Bowl will be played Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23) at 6:30 p.m. CST at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville and broadcast on ESPN.