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Balanced Ole Miss Offense Embodies the ‘Next Man Up’ Mentality, Continues to ‘Score from Far’

by | Oct 12, 2021 | Football | 0 comments

OXFORD, Miss. — The Ole Miss offense is currently ranked No. 2 in the country, averaging 561.6 total yards per game, and the Rebs sit at No. 5 in the country in rushing offense with an average of 259.6 yards per game.

With Matt Corral at QB and the three-headed monster of Henry Parrish, Jr., Jerrion Ealy, and Snoop Conner at running back, it’s no wonder Ole Miss is having so much success. 

Big plays

So far this season, the Rebels’ offense has been a well-oiled machine when it comes to making big plays. Corral and company have accumulated 485 yards and 6 touchdowns on 12 plays that go for 20 yards or more through the air.

On the ground, the Rebels have stacked up 471 yards on 21 designed runs that have gone for 15 yards or more.

The motto is score from far. We make big plays and just got to make it go. We just have to keep working and keep pushing forward.

Henry Parrish Jr. on playing in an offense that can score points so quickly

Parrish was asked in the weekly press conference if he knew fellow RB Snoop Conner had the breakaway ability he showed in the 52-51 win over Arkansas. “Yeah, that’s all coach (Kevin) Smith harps on, chewing up grass,” Parrish said. “We just got to hit our creases and get what we can get.”

Next man up

With Jerrion Ealy out of last week’s game as a result of being in concussion protocol, the Ole Miss offense was down its starting running back. But the unit embodied the ‘next man up’ moniker as the rest of the running backs picked up the slack with Snoop Conner and Henry Parrish Jr. combining for 221 rushing yards versus Arkansas.

The offense was also down starting offensive lineman Caleb Warren and starting receiver, for the second week, Jonathan Mingo, both due to injuries. Transfer Jordan Rhodes stepped in and filled Warren’s absence nicely against the Hogs.

“Credit to the offensive players that stepped up to score 50 points against what I consider a really good defense with good players, good scheme….three starters out was big.” Lane Kiffin said Monday. 

I won’t say it was a different plan, but just the next guy stepping up. Just making plays and making it go.

Parrish Jr. on game plan going into the Arkansas game without Ealy

It’s all about balance

It’s often easy to jump to conclusions when an offense has a big-arm quarterback who puts up the passing yards like Matt Corral does, and that’s exactly what happens when folks assume the Ole Miss offense is a pass-first offense.

Not so fast.

This season the Rebels have run the ball a total of 228 times for 1,298 yards, while they have thrown the ball 154 times for a total of 1,510 yards.

Parrish Jr., who was recruited by Lane Kiffin and running backs coach Kevin Smith during their time at FAU, talked about coming to Ole Miss and what he knew about the opportunity to run the ball in Kiffin’s offense. 

I was coming here no matter what because just Coach Kiffin and Coach Smith and all those guys, they do a good job. It’s a good offense to play in and everybody know who Lane Kiffin is, what he is and what he’s got going on so that’s a good opportunity for me. That was plan from the get-go (running the ball).

Henry Parrish, Jr. on the Rebels’ offense

Go-getter mentality

This season the Rebels’ rushing attack has also featured Corral as a key component. The Rebel signal caller is currently tied for the SEC lead in rushing touchdowns.

We tried to have a theme of throwing yourself into every play with everything that you got in the game last week in all three phases. There’s not a better example of that than the quarterback (Matt Corral). He’s running people over, getting kicked in the face and just keeps on going at 208 pounds, it’s crazy.

Coach Kiffin on Matt Corral

Tennessee defense

The Volunteer defense will pose a big challenge for the Ole Miss offense as they schematically run something very different from what the Rebels are used to seeing. 

“(Tennessee has) very multiple, fast players, different scheme than what we’re used to seeing in practice. Presents a lot of challenges because we haven’t played much of it and haven’t played it in practice so this is very challenging for us because of the way they play the front and all the single high they play.”

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Lane Kiffin was asked what he sees that Tennessee does on offense and how similar it is to what the Rebels’ own offense does.

“The tempo aspect of it and how that’s managed and practiced. How receivers play positions and get the ball, all of that stuff is the same.” Kiffin said.

We moved a little bit from where they’re at with different plays just like they have with us, but the base system, not necessarily the routes, but the base system of how it’s practiced, run and efficient during a game is the same, which is the same as what we just played last week.

Coach Kiffin on the Tennessee offense

Next Up: 

Ole Miss and Tennessee kick off at 6:30 p.m. (CT) Saturday in Knoxville. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Nick Filipich
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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