Luke says Corral ‘day-to-day’ with bruised ribs; hopes Tide must prepare for Corral and Plumlee
OXFORD, Miss. — At his weekly Ole Miss football press conference, head coach Matt Luke addressed the injury to quarterback Matt Corral, the role of backup quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, and how his team will prepare at the QB position this week as the Rebels get ready to face No. 2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa this Saturday.
Coach Luke reported redshirt freshman Corral has bruised ribs and will be monitored as the week progresses.
“Matt Corral, after further evaluation, he’s going to be day-to-day. He had bruised ribs. He was out there (at practice) yesterday. He didn’t do a whole bunch. He’ll be out there tomorrow and I’ll know more at practice tomorrow, but he’ll be day-to-day moving forward.”
Coach Matt Luke on quarterback Matt Corral’s health
True freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee entered the game when Corral was injured and went 7-for-7 passing for 82 yards and also rushed three times for 53 yards.
Coach Luke was asked at Monday’s presser who would be the starter for the Rebels if Corral were completely healthy. “You can’t make that decision right now,” Luke began.
“You have to see how he (Corral) progresses and how confident he is in the injury and if he can do everything. Can he pull it and run it? You’re going to go with the guy you think can help you win the football game. I don’t think you can make that call until you see him go out and practice.”
When queried about Plumlee’s skill-set and how it might be used, Luke answered: “One of the positives of having an experienced coordinator like Rich (Rodriguez) is he’s had throwing quarterbacks, he’s had running quarterbacks and the offense is very flexible in how we can utilize him (Plumlee),” noted Luke.
“There’s a lot of things that are built into the offense that we can go to with John Rhys where he can showcase his talents and ability to run the ball. Obviously you saw that in the game on the quarterback draw and the zone-read stuff. He can give some guys problems.”
Coach Luke on Plumlee
QB reps this week
Before leaving the game against Cal, Matt Corral had amassed 266 yards through the air (22-of-41) against an outstanding Cal secondary and had added another 56 yards on 16 rushing attempts.
Coach Luke says he and the staff will evaluate Corral’s health as the week progresses. “You just go through a normal practice and see how he’s feeling,” he said.
“He was pretty sore yesterday. Feeling a little bit better today. By tomorrow or Wednesday you’ll know a little bit more.”
Coach Luke on Matt Corral
How the team practices at QB this week will be based on Corral’s recovery from his bruised ribs, but Luke says the best option for the Rebels would be if Alabama were forced to prepare to face more than one Ole Miss QB.
“If Matt can’t go, John Rhys (Plumlee) and Grant (Tisdale) will be working in there,” Coach Luke explained. “If Matt can go, that will obviously affect it. I think John Rhys showed he can go out there and handle himself. I thought he brought spark to the stadium and to the sideline. I think moving forward what he can bring with his legs, especially against a very, very good defense, I think that addition gives them something extra to prepare for,” Luke continued.
“Matt and John Rhys are so different, they (Alabama) have to go into the game preparing for both. You hope that Matt is healthy and they have to prepare for both of them. That’s the goal, is to get him healthy and have them both available.”
About that last series…
Coach Luke was asked about the third down play at the end of the game that was not reviewed by Pac-12 officials. His answer says all you need to know about what he thinks about the play — but it also indicates it is time to move forward.
“It’s time for us to move on to Alabama. Everybody knows it should have been buzzed and reviewed. That’s obvious, and I think everybody understands that. I think he scored, but again, it’s time for us to move on and get ready for Alabama.”
Ole Miss and Alabama will kick off at 2:30 p.m. (CT) at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The game will be televised on CBS.
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.