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First and 10: Ten interesting facts as the Rebels prepare to face Tulane

First and 10: Ten interesting facts as the Rebels prepare to face Tulane

OXFORD, Miss. — As you’re waiting for today’s Ole Miss kickoff against Tulane, here are 10 interesting facts you might not know about the Rebels.

1) Series with Tulane

This is Ole Miss’ 72nd meeting with Tulane, a former member of the Southeastern Conference. The Rebels lead the series 70-15-2 all-time (after vacated wins) and have won 11 straight meetings on the field dating back to 1989.

Ole Miss is 12-2 against Tulane in games played in Oxford.

2) Ole Miss in the statistical rankings

The Rebels rank top 10 in the country in five separate categories:

  • total offense (599.5 ypg),
  • scoring offense (48.5)
  • first downs offense (8)
  • defensive touchdowns (1)
  • turnovers lost (1)

Ground game: Additionally, Ole Miss is one of only three teams in the FBS to have four players average more than 40 yards rushing per game. As we head into the game against Tulane, here are the top four rushers and their per-game-average:

Henry Parrish Jr., – 55 ypg avg.
Matt Corral – 45 ypg avg.
Jerrion Ealy – 42. 5 ypg avg.
Snoop Conner – 41.5 ypg avg.

3) Matt Corral among the nation’s very best

The rest of the nation seems to be discovering what Rebel fans already knew — Ole Miss’ Matt Corral is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He leads the SEC and currently ranks No. 4 in the FBS in total offense (376.0 ypg). (Check out our QB1 Film Room articles to see highlights.)

Corral was named FBS National Offensive Player of the Week last week after he notched some amazing number in the Rebels’ first two games of the season — which came in a five-day span. After the first two games of 2021, Corral has completed 43-of-65 passes for 662 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions.

He has moved up to No. 2 in the Heisman rankings via most of the sports books in Vegas.

Corral has thrown a touchdown pass in 14 straight games, the third-longest streak in school history, trailing only Chad Kelly (22) and Eli Manning (16).

With 5,600 career passing yards, Corral has moved into a tie for No. 6 in Ole Miss’ career record books with Jordan Ta’amu.

The Ventura, California native also sits at 43 career touchdown passes, which is tied at No. 5 on the all-time list. Corral is the only Power 5 quarterback who is averaging more than 10 yards per pass attempt (min. 25 passes per game) and has yet to throw an interception.

4) Dontario Drummond

Dating back to last season, Dontario Drummond has tallied seven straight games in which he’s recorded a touchdown reception. He currently ranks No. 3 in the FBS with three TD catches this season.

In the season opener vs. Louisville, the Laurel, Mississippi native earned a receiving grade of 92.8 from Pro Football Focus, the highest Week 1 grade by a Power 5 wide receiver since 2014.

5 ) Fourth-down conversions

Ole Miss leads the nation through two games with seven fourth-down conversions. No other SEC team has converted more than three fourth downs.

6) Rebels with degrees

Fifteen Ole Miss players have already earned their degrees. These smart Rebels are:

Ben Brown, OL – Exercise Science
Mac Brown, P – Integrated Marketing Communications
Chance Campbell, LB – Finance
Peyton Cox, OL – Sport & Recreation Administration
Jaylon Jones, DB – Multi-Disciplinary Studies
Hal Northern, DL – Criminal Justice
Jahcour Pearson, WR – Sport & Recreation Administration
Tyrrell Pigrome, QB – Family Science
Jordan Rhodes, OL – Criminal Justice
Chase Rogers, TE – Multi-Disciplinary Studies
MoMo Sanogo, LB – Managerial Finance
Tariqious Tisdale, DL – Multi-Disciplinary Studies
Orlando Umana, OL – Sociology
Terrell Vassel, OL – Multi-Disciplinary Studies
Sam Williams, DL – Multi-Disciplinary Studies

7) Ole Miss and Tulane connections

Six Rebel football players have connections with members of the Green Wave team.

  • OL Jayden Williams was teammates with Tulane’s WR Bryce Bohanon at Conway HS in Conway, Arkansas.
  • WR Joshua Pfeifer and the Green Wave’s Parker Peterson were teammates at Father Ryan HS just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Transfer defensive lineman Isaiah Iton and Tulane OL Sincere Haynesworth both attended Pearland HS in Texas.
  • Jamar Richardson played at Jones College with Tulane’s Nick Anderson in 2018.
  • DL Sincere David and the Green Wave’s Parker Peterson both attended Sandalwood HS in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • OL Peyton Cox attended Jesuit HS outside of New Orleans with four members of the Tulane football team: Connor Prouet, Charles Schibler, Luke Besh and Corey Dublin.

8) Explosive Plays – Rebs among the nation’s best

In 2020, the Rebels were one of the best teams in the country when it came to explosive plays. Thus far in 2021, Matt Corral and company have picked right back up where they left off.

Here’s a 40-yard TD pass from Corral to Jonathan Mingo against Austin Peay.

Ole Miss has tallied 49 total plays of 10 or more yards over the first two games of the 2021 season. Only Fresno State (55) and UCF (50) have had more such plays to open this year, with Fresno State’s total coming over the course of three games.

Last year, the Rebels went for greater than 10 yards 202 times and were the only team in the FBS with 200-plus such plays in 10 or fewer games.

9) Kicker Caden Costa hitting the mark

Caden Costa, a true freshman kicker from Mandeville, Louisiana, has only played in two collegiate games, but he has looked like a wily veteran.

Costa is a perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, including a 47-yard field goal on his first attempt as a Rebel. The 47-yard field goal marked the longest by a Rebel kicker since 2017. He is the first Rebel to make his first four collegiate field goal attempts since Bryson Rose accomplished that feat in 2010.

10) Sam Williams making his presence known

Defensive lineman Sam Williams is making his presence known in 2021. Against Austin Peay, he returned a fumble for a touchdown, forced two fumbles, notched two sacks and tallied five tackles.

Williams is tied for the NCAA lead in forced fumbles and is third in the SEC and 10th in the nation in sacks. Last year, the Montgomery, Alabama native led the Rebels in sacks (4.0) and tackles for loss (8.0). He’s on this year’s Butkus Award Watch List and the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl Watch List.

Next Up: 

Ole Miss and Tulane kick off at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN 2 tonight. Hotty Toddy and Go Rebs!

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics)

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

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--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.

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