Ole Miss miss out on Golden Egg after hit and miss celebration backfires
Wide receiver Elijah Moore’s touchdown celebration proves costly in big college derby clash
Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
University of Mississippi wide receiver Elijah Moore cost his team a chance to claim bragging rights over Mississippi State on Thursday night, after he celebrated a key touchdown with four seconds left by pretending to pee like a dog.
The effort to leave his mark on Mississippi State territory was penalised as unsportsmanlike conduct, meaning the extra point attempt was moved back 15 yards. The penalty prevented Ole Miss from going for a winning two-point conversion but they could still have taken the game to overtime.
In the event, Rebels kicker Luke Logan missed the 35-yard shot and Mississippi State escaped with a 21-20 victory in the 116th Egg Bowl. A Golden Egg is the trophy awarded to the winners of the keenly fought rivalry game.
“That’s not who we are,” coach Matt Luke told reporters after the game, skirting the fact that it is only two years since an Ole Miss player was penalised for precisely the same thing.
In 2017, receiver DK Metcalf celebrated a touchdown by mimicking a micturating mutt and was penalised the same way, losing 15 yards. Ole Miss hung on to win that game, 31-28, thereby taking the Golden Egg back to Oxford.
Metcalf was apparently copying NFL star Odell Beckham Jr, who also incurred a 15-yard penalty during a game for the New York Giants against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Beckham explained himself thus: “I’m in the end zone. I’m a dog. So I acted like a dog.” He was fined a little over $12,000.
On Thursday night, Luke said: “We’ve been a disciplined team all year, and so just disappointed that happened. That’s not who he is. Elijah is a good kid, and he just got caught up in the moment.”
Luke said he knew that as emotions flared showboating would need to be avoided.
“We talked about it,” he said. “We had five penalties. We just wanted to play a clean game. Nothing after the whistles or before the whistles was going to help us win the ballgame.”
Ole Miss quarterback John Rhys Plumlee told the Oxford Eagle: “When you’re excited and you make a big play, you celebrate a little bit. That call just didn’t go our way . . . It’s an emotional game and that’s part of it sometimes.” – Guardian