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Corral and Rebels Back to Work, Ready for One Last Ride

Corral and Rebels Back to Work, Ready for One Last Ride

OXFORD, Miss. — On Monday, the Ole Miss football team got back on the practice field for the first time since the 31-21 Egg Bowl victory over Mississippi State in Starkville on Thanksgiving night.

After enjoying two weeks off, the Rebels’ energy at practice was good, and players are healthy and looking forward to the season finale in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s night.

Quarterback — and recent winner of the Heisman fan vote — Matt Corral spoke after practice about what it is like to return after so much time off.

“The juice was good, the energy was great.” Corral said.

Everyone is excited to see each other and be back in this whole structure, having a regimen and being around the guys. I definitely missed it, I know a lot of the guys did too. It was good to be back.

Ole Miss QB Matt Corral

Injury updates

There’s good news on the injury front. With the exception of right guard Ben Brown and tight end Chase Rogers — who both had season-ending injuries — all those who had been hobbling throughout the season participated in practice Monday.

Corral, from what we saw today, looks to be very close to 100% healthy, and unlike during most of the season, he will have all his weapons at his disposal when Ole Miss takes on Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. Wide receivers Dontario Drummond, Jonathan Mingo and Braylon Sanders, who all missed time this season, participated in Monday’s practice.

Corral spoke Monday about the benefits of getting rest during the break.  

Not only for me, but everybody. Everyone was feeling fresh today. We (the offense) had a problem today… No. 7 (Sam Williams) has fresh legs. It was great for everyone. It feels like day one again.”

Corral on healthy Rebels

No opting out

In recent years it has not been out of the ordinary to see a player with a high draft profile, like Matt Corral, opt-out of a bowl game to focus on staying healthy for an upcoming NFL career.

But for Corral, there was never a thought about opting out.

“It never crossed my mind. Two weeks before Thanksgiving I had a couple of people, leadership here, ask me,” Corral said. “It was kind of a curveball because I never even put any thought into it, and I didn’t think I was not going to play. When they asked me, I was like ‘A lot of people probably think I’m not going to play on the team,’” Corral explained.

But that’s not who this quarterback is. Opting out isn’t in his DNA.

I definitely would not be in this position if it wasn’t for them (teammates), I’m not just going to leave just because. Yeah, I know what is on the other side and what’s ahead (NFL). God’s got me, and I’m not worried about a negative part. If that does happen (injury), shoot… it wasn’t meant to be. That’s just how I live my life and go about it. I’m going to give these guys everything I’ve got until it’s over.

Matt Corral on playing with his team in the Sugar Bowl

The Rebels’ quarterback will be playing his last game in an Ole Miss uniform in the upcoming Sugar Bowl, but that might not have hit him just yet. 

I have a full month with these guys left, and I know it is going to go by like that (snapping fingers). It’ll probably hit me at the end of the game, truthfully. I haven’t put any thought into it — probably because I don’t want to think about it. It’s going to hit me like a brick for sure.

Matt Corral 

Sugar Bowl

Ole Miss (10-2) and Big XII Champion Baylor (11-2) will kick off on New Year’s Night at 7:45 p.m. (CT) in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)

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.

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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