Instant Reaction: Ole Miss defeats Tennessee, 31-26, in a wild one in Knoxville
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In a crazy game in Knoxville, Ole Miss defeated the Vols, 31-26, in Neyland Stadium. Here’s our instant reaction on the win that moves Ole Miss to 5-1 on the season, 2-1 in Southeastern Conference play.
Positive: Ole Miss Defense
The Rebel defense made a significant improvement this week. While the stat sheet may not quite look as if that was the case, it certainty was. The Rebels only allowed 24 points — two points came on a safety — against a Tennessee offense that came into this game playing very well.
Negative: Braylon Sanders injury
Yet another starting wide receiver went down Saturday. Sanders did not return to the field in the second half of the game as he was on the sideline without pads on.
Offensive Player of the Game: Matt Corral
Corral led the Ole Miss rushing attack with a total of 195 yards rushing on 30 attempts. He also was 21-for-38 for 231 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception. Corral was without starting WR Jonathan Mingo, Sanders after he left the game in the first half, and starting tight end Chase Rogers, along with starting left guard Caleb Warren, yet the Ole Miss QB put the team on his back and carried them to victory.
Defensive Player of the Game: Mark Robinson
Robinson led the Rebels’ defense with 14 total tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. Robinson proved to be a difference maker for the defense.
Play of the Game: Matt Corral’s 32-yard run
In the fourth quarter with the ball on the Ole Miss 47-yard line, Corral took it upon himself to make the game changing play. He ran for 32 yards to the Tennessee 21-yard-line that would lead to a 16-yard passing touchdown to Dontario Drummond two plays later that put the Rebels up, 31-19.
(Feature image credit: Dan Anderson, The Rebel Walk)
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.