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Neither Mother Nature’s antics nor the Green Wave a match for Matt Corral and the Rebels

Neither Mother Nature’s antics nor the Green Wave a match for Matt Corral and the Rebels

Ole Miss powers to a 61-21 win over Tulane in spite of delays from inclement weather 

OXFORD, Miss. — After the Rebels shellacked Tulane, 61-21, Saturday at Vaught-Hemingway, Ole Miss moves to 3-0 for the first time since 2015. The Rebs were held in their cage for an hour and forty-five minutes after inclement weather delayed the original 7 o’clock kickoff time, but when they finally emerged they did so with a vengeance.

Sit and wait

With lightning postponing the start of the game, Mother Nature was as much of an opponent as the Green Wave. But head coach Lane Kiffin and staff were prepared for anything, including the delay.  

“With experience, you go through things,” Coach Kiffin said after the game.  

“If you learn from them, they help you, it’s like being a veteran player. Being different places like FAU really helped us on that. This was for (Strengh Coach) Wilson (Love) and I something that happened all the time with lighting delays down there (in Florida),” Kiffin said.

(Tonight) we had extra food ready for them, we changed uniforms at half with so much rain. We didn’t over warm-up in case we got stalled again. We used the indoor (practice facility) in a non-SEC game.

Kiffin on the actions he and the staff took due to weather

Setting the Tone Early

In the first quarter, Matt Corral and the offense put up 19 points, including a total of 223 yards and 15 first downs. All three touchdowns in the quarter were on the ground, one from Henry Parrish Jr. and two from Corral. 

The Rebs’ offense often gets noticed for its big plays passing the ball, but make no mistake this team can run the ball with the best of them. 

Defensively, in the first period, the Landsharks limited Tulane to just 42 total yards. The first quarter would set the tone for the rest of the game.

Run, Rebels, Run

Against Tulane, the Ole Miss offense racked up 707 total yards, with 335 coming through the air and 372 on the ground. 

The leading rusher for the Red and Blue was Jerrion Ealy who finished with 105 yards on 15 carries. 

“I thought he played really well.” Kiffin said. “You know, (he had) a lot of yards after contact,” Kiffin said of his running back Ealy.

Corral found the end zone four times and finished the game with 13 carries for 68 yards. The Ventura, Calif. native met with media after the game and was asked, among other things, about his night running the ball and the opportunities the Green Wave defense gave him to succeed on the ground.

The safety was in the box and he wasn’t even looking at me and that guy was responsible for me. I know that because of the film I’ve been watching. I see him and his eyes aren’t watching for me, there’s nobody for me so, I pulled it.

Corral on one specific time he pulled and kept the ball

Kiffin also spoke on the night Corral had running the ball. “I didn’t realize it was four (rushing TDs) but 7 total touchdowns — four on the ground. Those things aren’t designed. We’re not trying to run the guy that much. When they close, he pulls it.” 

The offense had 15 run plays that went for ten yards or more, and five of those were for touchdowns.

Score From Far

As we’ve come to expect, the offense also did damage through the air. Corral finished the game 23-for-31 for 335 yards and three touchdowns — and zero interceptions.

“I’ve kind of been pretty positive, as you know, about him (Corral), trying to keep him from all the rat poison,” Kiffin said. 

I kind of expected he would play like this just because he is off-the-charts talented, like I’ve said before, top-10 (NFL Draft) pick. Now he’s got the work ethic he’s putting in and the preparation.

Kiffin on Corral’s night vs. Tulane

The talented wide receiver trio of Jonathan Mingo, Dontario Drummond and Braylon Sanders finished with a combined total of 265 yards on 15 catches, tallying three touchdowns in the process. 

Mingo and Sanders’ touchdowns went for 50 and 45 yards, respectively, reinforcing the Rebels’ “Score From Far” mantra. 

On this particular night, Mingo was the leading receiver, notching 6 catches for 136 yards, including his 50-yard TD reception. 

It was pretty big. That’s something we’ve been trying to work on all off-season, me and him (Matt Corral), working on our deep ball. So it was good to finally get one of those to connect.

Jonathan Mingo on his performance against the Green Wave

The offense had 8 pass plays that went for 15 yards or more.

D-Fence

On a rainy Saturday night, the defense did indeed put up a fence — particularly on third down. Tulane’s offense was 1-for-11 on third down and had an average of 8.6 yards to go on those third downs. 

Really proud of our defense. They’ve (Tulane) got good players and they’re really well schematically coached on offense. I was worried about that, because they give you a lot of conflict plays. 

Coach Kiffin on the job the Ole Miss defense did

Chance Campbell led the team in total tackles with eight, and also notched one sack and one tackle for loss. Other notables include Keidron Smith (6 total tackles), Lakia Henry, Otis Reese, Tysheem Johnson and A.J. Finley who recorded 5 total tackles apiece.

One Ole Miss defender thought his unit could have done better. “I’m honestly not pleased,” Finley said.

They shouldn’t have had 21 points in my opinion. We had a few plays where we could’ve prevented the stuff that happened. I’m not happy with the way we played on defense.

DB A.J. Finley

One for the record books

Corral becomes the first player in SEC history with three passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns in a single game and one of only two in FBS history to accomplish the feat. 

The Rebels’ signal-caller also tied the school record for TDs responsible for (7), joining Showboat Boykin who also tallied seven TDs vs. Mississippi State in 1951. 

The offense’s 41 first downs set a school record and ties the SEC record. 

“Those are really deserved stats,” Coach Kiffin said. “When we have that many first downs, you’re playing really well, with a lot of people for an extended amount of time,” he commented. 

The 707 total yards are the fourth-most ever by an Ole Miss team. 

“You’re going to win a ton of games if you run 94 plays and have 707 yards of offense.

Coach Lane Kiffin

(Feature images credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss; Graphic: Nick Flilipich, Rebel Walk)

About The Author

Nick Filipich

Nick Filipich was born and raised in Biloxi, MS. He is an Ole Miss senior majoring in Sports and Recreation Administration. A sports junkie with a great passion for all things Ole Miss, Nick played baseball and football in high school — which is where he discovered his love for sports. He is an avid Braves and Saints fan, and in his free time enjoys spending time with family, friends and his black lab, Dixie.

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