With 4 seconds left in the Egg Bowl, Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore caught a 2-yard touchdown pass that brought the Rebels to within one point of heated rival Mississippi State. The ensuing extra point would have tied the game. Unfortunately, Moore committed a celebration penalty that will go down in the lore of this rivalry game for a long time.
The sophomore, who leads the Rebels in receiving this season, lifted his leg like a dog and pretended to urinate after his score that made it 21-20. In doing so, he earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for excessive celebration. That type of excess celebration normally wouldn't do much more than anger the coach, but in this case, the penalty proved costly.
Mississippi State is bowl eligible because Ole Miss pretended to be a peeing dog pic.twitter.com/mZ0f13Z4Nd— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 29, 2019
Since the penalty was enforced on the extra point and not the kickoff, kicker Luke Logan attempted a kick that more closely resembled a field goal. The attempt sailed wide right, and the Bulldogs prevailed while securing bowl eligibility.
THE KICK IS NO GOOD!— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 29, 2019
MISSISSIPPI STATE WINS THE EGG BOWL! pic.twitter.com/Cf6JA3bAJg
For anyone who's watched their fair share of Egg Bowls, Moore's celebration was another take on the D.K. Metcalf urination celebration against Mississippi State in 2017. The Rebels won that game, but Moore's celebration had dire consequences. On Friday, Moore and Ole Miss coach Matt Luke released statements of regret for the penalty.
"I apologize to my teammates, coaches and Rebel Nation for my actions at the end of the game," Moore said. "It was an emotional moment, and I deeply regret it. It does not represent who I am or who we are as a team, and I will grow stronger from this mistake."
"We want to apologize formally as a program to the Ole Miss family for the disappointing and unacceptable action that occurred at the end of Thursday's game. Elijah is a fine young man who lost control of his emotions in the moment," Luke said. "This incident does not reflect in any way the type of student-athletes on our football team or the culture of respect that permeates our locker room. Discipline is a staple of our program as evidenced by being the least-penalized team in our league, and we will continue to uphold an uncompromising standard of behavior on and off the field. In maintaining our team's high level of accountability, we will address the matter, and disciplinary action will be handled internally."
Ole Miss had gone 82 yards in 12 plays -- including a wild 57-yard pass on fourth-and-24 -- on the drive to set up the touchdown. It seemed as though all the momentum was with the Rebels to the point where going for two and the win wouldn't have been out of the question.
Until Moore pissed it away, that is.