November 26, 2009

Nutt talking Mississippi State

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt got his first taste of the Egg Bowl rivalry last year.

His Rebels brought the Golden Egg back to Oxford with a 45-0 win over Mississippi State. The Arkansas native saw firsthand the emotion leading up to the game and the effect that a win has for the 365 days following.

"This week is always emotional," Nutt said. "It's a rivalry. There's aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters that have all been talking about this game. The state is divided between Mississippi State and Ole Miss alums so it's a very big game."

Nutt was familiar with MSU from his decade with the Razorbacks. But he did not realize the impact the Egg Bowl has on the Magnolia State until he walked the sidelines last season at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

"Last year was my first year so I didn't know what to expect except that we felt like it was going to be very competitive," Nutt said. "Most instate rivalry games are. That's the way we approached it last year and that's the way we have approached it this year. (Dan Mullen) has played a lot of people close and has brought in some changes on offense that has really helped them. We expect it to be a very competitive game like most rivalries are."

Nutt has seen improvement from the Bulldogs in their first year under Mullen especially on the offensive side of the ball. Mississippi State is averaging 119 more yards rushing and nine points more per game than in 2008.

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