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Gamer: Matt Corral and the Ole Miss offense dominate in 61-21 win over Tulane

by | Sep 18, 2021 | Football | 0 comments

OXFORD, Miss. — Since Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, the Tulane football team has faced many challenges. The Green Wave was forced to relocate to Birmingham, played “home” games in Norman, Oklahoma and at Legion Field — all while attending classes via zoom. 

The last thing these guys needed was to deal with bad weather before they could take the field against Ole Miss Saturday night and then have to face one of the highest-scoring teams in the country. 

But after Mother Nature threw a tirade that delayed kickoff for an hour and 45 minutes, the Rebels rode a perfect storm of events to race out to 40 points in the first half en route to a 61-21 win over Tulane at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. 

Click here for box score.

First half action

In the first half, Ole Miss totaled 448 yards with 27 first downs while converting 7-of-11 third downs and all three fourth-down attempts. 

The Ole Miss offense wasted little time after the long wait for kickoff. The Rebels marched 75 yards in 11 plays with Henry Parrish, Jr., sprinting through a hole on the right side and racing 19 yards for a touchdown. Freshman Caden Costa came on for the conversion and Ole Miss had an early 7-0 lead. 

On their next drive, the Rebels were even more impressive. This time, Corral capped a 12-play, 82-yard drive with a 9-yard scoring run on a quarterback draw. Costa missed a conversion for the first time in his young career, but the Rebels held a 13-0 lead  with 6:41 left in the opening quarter. 

Ole Miss finally made a miscue on its next possession when Parrish lost control of the ball and Tulane grabbed it and took over at the Rebels’ 29. Six plays later, Cameron Carroll powered into the end zone from the 1, and after Merek Glover’s kick, Ole Miss had a 13-7 edge. 

The Rebels closed out the first quarter with Corral scoring again on a quarterback draw, this one from 15-yards out. A two-point conversion attempt failed with the clock expired and Ole Miss had a 19-7 lead. 

In the opening period, Ole Miss outgained the Green Wave 218-38 and the Rebels earned 15 first downs. Ole Miss also held the ball for nearly 11 minutes and converted a pair of fourth downs. 

Second quarter

Tulane applied the pressure on its first drive of the second quarter. Michael Pratt hit Duece Watts with a 40-yard strike to put the Wave inside the Ole Miss 10, but a penalty and a pair of incompletions forced Tulane into a 27-yard field goal, but Glover missed the kick and the score remained 19-7. 

On the ensuing drive, Ole Miss used a 36-yard pitch and catch from Corral to Jonathan Mingo to put the Rebels in business at the Green Wave 17. Two plays later, Corral found Dontario Drummond in the flat and the senior sprinted into the end zone. It marked the eighth straight game Drummond has caught a touchdown pass and Ole Miss held a 26-17 lead. 

Pratt cut into the Rebels’ lead just six plays into the next drive. Pratt found Shae Watts who was able to run through the secondary on a 39-yard touchdown and the conversion saw the Green Wave trailing just 26-14. 

Tulane decided to try an onside kick to catch the Rebels napping but Miles Battle recovered at midfield to give Ole Miss a short field. That 50 yards was covered on the next play when Corral found Mingo at the Green Wave 2 and he pranced into the end zone. Costa’s kick split the uprights and Ole Miss led 33-14. 

Ole Miss added another touchdown before the half. After driving deep into Tulane territory, Corral handed to Drummond on a sweep and after he crossed the goalline and Costa added another conversion, the Rebels led 40-14. 

Tulane closed the first-half scoring with less than a minute left. The Green Wave drove 74 yards in six plays to a 22-yard scoring pass from Pratt to Tyrick James. The kick made the halftime score 40-21. 

Second half action

On the Rebels’ first possession of the second half, Ole Miss’ offense was back at it, driving 51 yards in just five plays as Corral scored his third rushing touchdown of the night, a 15-yard scamper around the right side. After the Costa kick, Ole Miss led 47-21. 

Tulane fumbled the ensuing kick and Ole Miss took over in Green Wave territory. Corral ran for his fourth touchdown two plays later. The 12-yarder, along with Costa’s kick, gave the Rebels a 54-21 advantage. 

The next Ole Miss drive finished with a touchdown again. This time Corral connected with a wide-open Braylon Sanders from 45 yards for Corral’s third touchdown pass of the night. The Costa kick put the Rebels ahead 61-21 and that score held until the end of the period. 

The end of the quarter also signaled the end of Corral’s night. He has not played in the fourth quarter of the past two games. Saturday, he tied a school record by being responsible for seven touchdowns (three passing, four rushing). The junior completed 23-of-31 passes for 335 yards and he ran for another 68 yards.

Fourth quarter

Ole Miss took the foot off the gas in the fourth quarter as neither team scored. The Rebels did set a school record with 41 first downs. Ole Miss gained 707 yards, 372 of them on the ground. 

Jerrion Ealy led all rushers with 103 yards while Mingo caught six passes for 136 yards. 

Next Up:

Ole Miss (3-0) takes next week off before heading to Alabama to start SEC play. 

Steve Barnes
Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for, and as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.

He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.

A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.

Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.

He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.

Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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