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QB1 Film Room: Corral Puts the Rebs on his Back in 31-26 win over the Vols

QB1 Film Room: Corral Puts the Rebs on his Back in 31-26 win over the Vols

EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to our “QB1 Film Room,” where former A&M four-year starting quarterback and two-year team captain David Walker takes a look at the performance of the Rebels’ offense in the team’s most recent game. In this edition, David looks back at the win over the Vols.

OXFORD, Miss. — So what in the world got into the Tennessee fans last Saturday night against Ole Miss? Here’s a rundown of a number of things that may have entered into their collective meltdown.

Tennessee is now 6-12 at home against SEC competition over the past four and a half seasons, and one of those home losses was to cross-state rival Vanderbilt. The Vols had not lost a conference game at Neyland Stadium that was this close since losing to South Carolina 15-9 in 2017, and losing that one to Will Muschamp didn’t set them off anything like losing to their former head coach, Lane Kiffin.

The combination of tough luck, a bad run, referee calls with which they didn’t agree, the belief that their new coaching regime had finally gotten them over the hump, and their starting QB going down on their most important possession of the season, well, it’s enough to send some folks over the edge.

When my college career ended at A&M and I was able to get back into my SEC football full time, my favorite games to watch were televised from Neyland Stadium. Growing up in Cajun Country, I’d always felt Tiger Stadium to be the best venue for attending a college football game. The Kyle Field that I played in sat less than 50,000 and TV games were rare then, so Neyland Stadium looked outstanding to me on a TV screen. What a great college football atmosphere!

And into this renewed and boisterous atmosphere of checkered Orange and White came the Ole Miss Rebels — with the Little Engine That Could leading the way for the Lane Train.

And LEAD, No. 2 did. Let’s look at some tape.


Video 1

We’re on the opening drive here with a three-receiver set inside the left hashmarks. The best quarterback in the country now has the wide side of the field to work with WR Braylon Sanders on the slant pattern, and it’s a perfect strike good for 17 yards.


Video 2

As I stated last week, nobody goes for it on 4th down or has converted more of them than the military academies — other than Ole Miss. Listen to the announcers as they go down the list as Matt makes the decision from the pocket to tuck it and run. First Down, Ole Miss!


Video 3

Here we have a 3rd and 13 situation deep in Rebel territory, a situation that calls for… a quarterback draw?

Exactly. With wide splits by the wide receivers, a 4-man rush and only a single “spy” linebacker in the tackle box, Tennessee is a man short. There’s an adage in football that if you play hard and don’t line up beat, you’ve got a chance. Here, Tennessee has no chance.


Video 4

Down 9-7 at this point in the game, Matt finds Jahcour Pearson with a beautiful throw on a deep crossing pattern for a 20-yard gain.


Video 5

Here on the same drive, it’s 3rd and 9 and once again Tennessee elects to rush four with a spy, and once again the QB Draw is the play call. As quick as Matt is going North and South and his “Damn the Torpedoes” running style, it’s like having a “Wildcat” offense without the substitution. 18 yards later it’s a new set of downs inside the Red Zone for the Rebel offense.


Video 6

It’s 4th and 3 just inside Tennessee territory and “the” Chart says “Go!”

The Rebels motion across and Matt reads the dive back’s handoff key (nothing there), then looks to hit his motion man in the flat (nothing there), then notices he has a linebacker in his face, so he yanks the ball down and jets forward low and hard for the first down.

And he does all this quicker than most folks can reach for a napkin at the dinner table.


Video 7

Here on 1st down at the Tennessee 33 with the ball in the middle of the field, Ole Miss goes to a 3-receiver set to the left, leaving Dannis Jackson as the lone receiver to the right.

I’m as befuddled by the pass coverage on Jackson as the Vols’ defenders appear to be. Their safety steps up to pick off the slant route while their cornerback mysteriously becomes a spectator. Either way, the “Slant and Go” is good for a quick six!


Video 8

Here we see the backfield action draw both linebackers to their left and Dontario Drummond finds the open area down the seam for a huge 52-yard catch and run. This is an outstanding job by the QB of throwing off-schedule (notice the pump action) and still making the perfect throw.


Video 9

These flare screens out to a guy like Snoop Conner are just so effective, particularly when you’re in the Red Zone.

All. Day. Long.


Video 10

We’re in the second half now and again in Trips formation wide to the left. Tennessee is back in their 4-2-5 defense since the 4-spy was giving up huge chunks of Matt Corral. The 4-2-5 isn’t any different when you rush your linebacker and the Spy runs himself out of the play. Matt once again is off to the races.


Video 11

We don’t see many trap plays these days but this one is so well-executed. Setting it up is the fake of the jet sweep and backfield motion to the left, which is outstanding. The center blocks backside and the right guard pulls left and kicks out the linebacker filling the gap. Left tackle Nick Broeker checks the inside Backer and then it’s on to the safety for him.

The big men love it when they’re going after a skinny little safety, knowing their QB is right on their heels.


Video 12

What great timing by the announcer as he talks about Matt’s performance in association with the Heisman Trophy. Tennessee is in their 4-2 front and as both linebackers key on the RB, Drummond slips behind them on the post pattern for an easy throw and catch — easy for these guys, anyway.


Video 13

The Vols are once again in their 4-Spy defense but lose their Spy when the Rebels RB goes quick motion to the left. Tennessee ‘s left defensive end tries to replace him but is easily blocked, and the “Wildcat” QB is out the gate.


Video 14

It’s 2nd and 9 and the Vols’ 4-Spy is about to get attacked again with what amounts to an isolation (Iso) block by the running back leading the quarterback. It’s another big gainer for Matt Corral.


Video 15

It’s a 5-point game with 5 minutes to play, and 3rd and 8. What do you say we drop a flare screen out to RB Snoop Conner and see what he can do with it?


Video 16

The play that had everyone holding their breath…as did the ensuing Tennessee drive.


Rebels ready to face the Tigers: Offensive Notes

Meanwhile, back in Oxford, the Rebels prepare for the only team that’s beaten them in their last 11 games that’s not named Alabama. That lone blemish was a 5-point loss at LSU in a game that saw 101 points scored.

Ole Miss still leads the country in 4th-down attempts (27) and conversions (20), narrowly ahead of the impregnable bastion of the 1970’s triple option — our three American military academies. Among Power 5 teams, Baylor is a distant second in this category with 13 conversions in 18 attempts.

The Rebels rank third in the country in total offense per game (553.0 — 10 yards per game behind leader Ohio State) and are fifth overall in scoring per game (43.7). Ole Miss leads the country in offensive plays per game with 80.5.

The Rebels have kicked the 3rd-fewest field goals in the FBS from inside the Red Zone (4) through 6 games.

Among the Top 5 scoring teams in the country, Ole Miss has the highest ratio of Red Zone touchdowns to longer-range scores (25-10 .714).

The Rebels’ three RUSHING touchdowns per game from inside the Red Zone also lead the country.

Heisman favorite Matt Corral stands third in individual total offense (363.0) and is a close second among Power 5 players, a title he won last year while playing an all-SEC schedule plus a bowl game victory (384.3 yards per game). He currently leads the SEC in QBR and is 4th nationally with an 87.7 rating.

2021 Total QBR Season Leaders


2021 SEC Total QBR

Next Up

Ole Miss and LSU kick off at 2:30 pm (CT) Saturday. Hotty Toddy!

David Walker
David Walker

David is the consummate true-freshman quarterback, first pioneering the position only a year after college freshmen were given varsity eligibility by the NCAA in 1972. In 1973, the left-handed all-state gunslinger from Sulphur, Louisiana started for the Texas A&M Aggies and earned the All-Southwest Conference Freshman of the Year award as selected by the league’s coaches. David is the first college quarterback ever awarded Freshman of the Year in the NCAA. He was only 17, and still holds the NCAA record as the youngest starting quarterback in college football history. He wore No. 8 at A&M in honor of one of his football heroes, Archie Manning.

In becoming the winningest quarterback ever at A&M, David was converted from a dual-threat QB to a triple option trailblazer. The two-time team captain led three record-breaking offenses that changed the direction of football at A&M forever, establishing once and for all the winning tradition that the Aggies had so-long desired.

As a high school head coach in Houston in the late ‘80s, David stationed his quarterback in the shotgun formation, having him reading defenses and throwing hot routes at a time when such offensive schemes were frowned upon by traditional fans and coaches. One of his quarterbacks tossed 57 passes in a single game, which stood as the all-time Greater Houston Area record for many years. 

As you can tell from his bona fides, David is extremely qualified as our expert on all things Quarterback at Ole Miss. Enjoy his exclusive analysis only here at The Rebel Walk!

About The Author

David Walker

David is the consummate true-freshman quarterback, first pioneering the position only a year after college freshmen were given varsity eligibility by the NCAA in 1972. In 1973, the left-handed all-state gunslinger from Sulphur, Louisiana started for the Texas A&M Aggies and earned the All-Southwest Conference Freshman of the Year award as selected by the league’s coaches. David is the first college quarterback ever awarded Freshman of the Year in the NCAA. He was only 17, and still holds the NCAA record as the youngest starting quarterback in college football history. He wore No. 8 at A&M in honor of one of his football heroes, Archie Manning. In becoming the winningest quarterback ever at A&M, David was converted from a dual-threat QB to a triple option trailblazer. The two-time team captain led three record-breaking offenses that changed the direction of football at A&M forever, establishing once and for all the winning tradition that the Aggies had so-long desired. As a high school head coach in Houston in the late ‘80s, David stationed his quarterback in the shotgun formation, having him reading defenses and throwing hot routes at a time when such offensive schemes were frowned upon by traditional fans and coaches. One of his quarterbacks tossed 57 passes in a single game, which stood as the all-time Greater Houston Area record for many years.  As you can tell from his bona fides, David is extremely qualified as our expert on all things Quarterback at Ole Miss. Enjoy his exclusive analysis only here at The Rebel Walk!

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