Quarterback Matt Corral of Ole Miss and Mac Jones of Alabama are the NCAA’s best this week in Total QBR
As I predicted during the Ole Miss-Kentucky game (you’ll have to take my word for it), Rebels quarterback Matt Corral is No. 1 this week in the Holy Grail of quarterback ratings — ESPN’s Total QBR.
Even more impressive, Corral is also No. 1 for the season, ahead of the likes of names such as Mac Jones, Kyle Trask (Florida), and Trevor Lawrence (Clemson).
And that’s not just No. 1 in the SEC; it’s first in the entire country for both the week and the overall season.
Yes, there’s Corral sitting at No. 1 for the week with a 95.8 Total QBR. Take it from this former QB, that’s outstanding.
QB Battle Extraordinnaire coming up at the Vaught
As I also predicted, the top two QBR’s in college football will be on display this Saturday as the week’s No. 2 quarterback, Mac Jones, squares off against Corral in a matchup for the ages.
Seriously, if you’re any kind of a quarterback-play connoisseur, this is must-see TV.
Jones’ Crimson Tide steamrolled a Top-15 Aggie football team, 52-24, while Corral’s Rebels were slugging it out with the touchdown favorites from Kentucky in Lexington.
While Corral was hitting on all cylinders, the Rebel defense was finding its footing. The combination worked long enough for Ole Miss to pull off a rather improbable, and frankly, uncharacteristic as of late, victory. Corral finished 24-29 for 320 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also added 51 yards on the ground.
After the game, head coach Lane Kiffin commented on Corral’s play. “I thought he played better today than last week. Last week, guys were open. He had to make a lot of plays (today) against a rush and we weren’t protecting him as well,” Kiffin explained.
Saying Corral played better than last week is a compliment, as the quarterback’s stat line against the Gators was excellent: 22-31 for 395 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, and another 50 yards on the ground. (Here’s a look at his performance against the Gators in our QB Film Room article.)
Matt Corral had himself a ball game 👀
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) October 3, 2020
As I watched the overtime action, I called the final play, saying: “We’ve got to get No. 8 the ball out in the flat.” Honest to God, I said it. And that’s exactly what the Rebels did, for the winner.
I only saw the highlights of the Alabama-A&M game, but I’ve watched Jones play and he has every bit of the talent of Tua Tagovailoa. He’ll sit back there and pick a defense apart with the receivers he has.
Mac Jones has three career pass TDs of 85+ yards.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 3, 2020
It is definitely worth adding that Ole Miss is “Wide Receiver U” for a reason, and those guys are a huge part of a quarterback’s QBR success and winning record.
I was in the Vaught in 2014 when the Rebels tore down the goal post after beating Alabama — and so was Lane Kiffin. He knows he’s got the firepower–if only his manpower can hold up defensively, as it fortunately did for a long stretch in the Kentucky game.
It’s not a pipe dream, beating Alabama. We’ve all seen it unfold before, both in Oxford and in Tuscaloosa in 2015. But unlike those outstanding, unbelievable games, this game features literally the Top QBs in America.
This coming weekend, Nick Saban will be looking to beat yet another former assistant in Lane Kiffin, and both coaches will bring two of the nation’s best quarterbacks with them to the battle.