Lambert: MSU dominates ETSU ahead of the all-important Egg Bowl

It was a chilly morning at Davis Wade Stadium, but the cold weather did not halt Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense as the Mississippi State University Bulldogs dominated the East Tennessee State University Buccaneers 56-7.

The biggest play of the game came from cornerback Emmanuel Forbes Jr., who returned a pick 76 yards for a touchdown. This play was labeled the play of the game and was also Forbes' sixth career pick, which broke the SEC and FBS career record for picks returned for a touchdown. 

After the dominating performance against ETSU, coach Leach said Forbes also earned the game ball.

“It was good, and it's very impressive. As a matter of fact, we gave him the game ball, and he’s an explosive, inspiring guy, and he keeps up the good work,” Leach said. 

MSU had a lot of great plays by many of the players. The fans that stuck it out throughout the whole game kept the energy alive and cheered on the Bulldogs all the way to the end. Now, MSU has one mission left for the 2022-2023 season, and that is beating the University of Mississippi and taking back the Golden Egg.

Coach Leach spoke to the media postgame on game-planning ahead of big-time matchups.

“Every time I’ve tried to do it specifically, and plan ahead, it’s been an unmitigated disaster. The best way I think is (to) go out there and play the game, play the best you can,” Leach said.

Hopefully, the Bulldogs will take coach Leach’s advice, come out next week and play to the best of their ability. MSU will need an all-around consistent outing to defeat the Rebels, who have arguably one of the best running backs in the country, Quinshon Judkins. The Bulldogs have lost the past two Egg Bowls and you can imagine the Bulldog faithful will not take lightly to losing three in a row.

When quarterback Will Rogers was asked about the upcoming battle between Ole Miss, he said it is a big game, but at the end of the day, it is just a game.

“I mean, it’s huge. I think it’s one of the biggest games of the year, but you know, I was telling the guys earlier I think when emotions go up, clarity goes down. So, I think it’s good to play with emotions, but, you know, don’t play emotion. At the end of the day, it’s just a football game,” Rogers said.

MSU needs to limit their mistakes on both sides of the ball going into the Egg Bowl. Stopping the run and scoring early and often will be huge deciding factors of the 2022 Egg Bowl. It will all come down to which team plays the best and has as little mistakes as possible. One thing is certain, this year’s Battle for the Golden Egg is going to be competitive, and the winner will have to earn it.

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