STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Adam Carlson hit a 48-yard field goal with 18 seconds left and Mississippi State likely clinched its first bowl appearance since 2000 with a stunning 17-14 win over Mississippi on Saturday in the Egg Bowl.
The Bulldogs looked as if their season would end on a downbeat after falling behind their fiercest rival 14-0 with a lackluster effort through three quarters. But Derek Pegues returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown to tie the score and Wes Carroll completed nine passes for 102 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Carroll set up Carlson's career-long kick with a key 11-yard run and a 17-yard completion in the final minute.
Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom capped the win by taking a victory lap around the field carrying a 10-foot school flag.
The win means a likely appearance in the Liberty or Independence bowls for the Bulldogs (7-5, 4-4), who clinched bowl eligibility two weeks ago. They needed another win because 10 Southeastern Conference teams have six or more victories and the conference doesn't have 10 guaranteed postseason slots.
The loss kept the Rebels (3-9, 0-8) winless in conference play for the first time since 1982.