Ole Miss scored 24 straight points in the second half to beat No. 25 Mississippi State, 41-24, on Saturday in the Egg Bowl.
Bo Wallace was 15-for-22 passing for 294 yards and a career-high five touchdown passes and Donte Moncrief had seven catches for 173 yards and three touchdowns for the Rebels (6-6, 3-5 SEC), who are bowl eligible for the first time since 2009.
"I cannot be more proud of this group of young men and coaches. I'm first and foremost happy and thrilled for them, and then secondly for our fans, administration and the people of the Rebel Nation who had to go through losing the momentum in this series. I understand that was difficult," Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said. "I've lived it, I've been through it, and I know how important it is to this state and to our University, and our kids were very aware of that tonight."
Tyler Russell completed 18-of-33 passes for 268 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and Chad Bumphis caught six passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns for the Bulldogs (8-4, 4-4), who have dropped four of their last five after opening the season with seven consecutive wins.
"Give them credit, their kids played hard, made a lot of plays when they needed to make big plays. We had a lot of critical errors, especially in the red zone, three opportunities in the reverse first half made it to three points," Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen said. "Those are things that you obviously cannot make those mistakes on the road in the SEC by coming away with points."
Bryson Rose broke a 17-17 tie early in the third quarter with a 41-yard field, and the Rebels followed with three straight touchdowns to take a 41-17 lead.
On the ensuing possession Russell's pass was picked off by Denzel Nkemdiche and returned eight yards to the 50-yard line. Four plays later Wallace found Moncrief for a 21-yard touchdown.
"Bo put it in the right spot, and I knew I had to make a play, and I got the catch," Moncrief said.
Ole Miss then forced a three-and-out before Wallace went back to Moncrief for a 16-yard touchdown completion.
The Rebels used an 11-play, 87-yard drive that bridged the third and fourth quarters for their final touchdown. Wallace found Vince Sanders for a 16-yard score and a 41-17 lead.
Dak Prescott's 8-yard touchdown pass to Bumphis with seven seconds left accounted for the final margin.
Ole Miss scored on the game's opening possession when Wallace found Jamal Mosley for a 25-yard touchdown. Wallace faked the handoff to the running back and took a few steps to his left before finding Mosley along the sideline and the wide receiver waltzed across the goal line for the score.
Mississippi State wasted no time answering back as Jameon Lewis returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a score. Rose fielded the kick at the goal line, cut back to the middle of the field and burst through a wall of blockers before taking off for the end zone seemingly untouched.
The Rebels got the ball down to the Bulldogs' 3-yard line, but on 3rd-and- goal, Wallace was picked off in the end zone by Cameron Lawrence.
The Bulldogs defense came up with another big play on the next drive, batting down Wallace's pass on 3rd-and-6 and the Rebels were forced to punt. Four plays later Russell found Bumphis for a 42-yard catch-and-run touchdown to go up 14-7.
Rose drilled a 43-yarder to pull within 14-10, and Wallace's 77-yard touchdown pass to Moncrief gave the Rebels a 17-14 edge.
Devon Bell's 23-yard field goal knotted the game at 17 with 3:21 left in the half.
Ole Miss leads the all-time series 61-42-6 ... The Rebels last bowl appearance was a 21-7 win over Oklahoma State in the 2009 Cotton Bowl ... Mississippi State was just 1-for-13 on third down.