Eli Manning Recalls His Favorite Egg Bowl Win Over Mississippi State

Manning played in three Egg Bowls during his tenure at Ole Miss.

Eli Manning Ole Miss

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With the Egg Bowl just days away, former Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning reflected on his memories from playing in the legendary SEC rivalry game

The Thanksgiving series between Ole Miss and Mississippi State, also known as “Battle for the Golden Egg,” dates back to 1901. Manning played in three Egg Bowls during his tenure at Ole Miss, and took home the Golden Egg twice: during his junior (2002) and senior (2003) years. 

In an appearance on the Always College Football with Greg McElroy podcast Tuesday, Manning recalled his fondest memory from competing in the bowl. It wasn’t 2003, when he led his team to a knock-out 31–0 victory over the Bulldogs, but 2002, when they nabbed a 24-12 victory at Vaught Hemingway Stadium.

“My junior year. I was kind of banged up, I had hurt my elbow the week before, it’s always cold,”  the Louisiana native recalled. “Hit Chris Collins on a slant, he took it about 80 yards and afterwards you had my parents and family there, go back to their little spot and eat Thanksgiving dinner with now my wife, my mom, my parents, I’m sure Coop(er Manning) was there so that was a good Thanksgiving to get a win, throw a touchdown, eat some turkey and be with family.”

Manning went on to win the Maxwell and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Awards and was selected first overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. In 2008—six years after that memorable Thanksgiving dinner—he married his college sweetheart, Abby McGrew. Considered one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, Manning won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants before retiring in 2019.  

Ole Miss leads the series over Mississippi State, 64-54-1 all-time. This year’s Egg Bowl kicks off on Thanksgiving at 7 p.m. EST on ESPN. 

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