Sep 18, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Matt Corral (2) scores against Tulane Green Wave at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Corral (7 TDs) leads No. 17 Ole Miss in rout

Matt Corral tied an Ole Miss record by producing seven touchdowns — four rushing, three passing — as the No. 17 Rebels throttled Tulane 61-21 in a weather-delayed contest Saturday night in Oxford, Miss.

Corral — 23-of-31 for 335 yards and no interceptions — tossed a scoring pass for his 15th straight game and added 68 yards rushing on 13 carries. He did all of his scoring in three quarters.

The Rebels (3-0) received two touchdowns from Dontario Drummond (rushing, receiving), and a scoring reception from Jonathan Mingo (six catches, career-high 136 yards) and Braylon Sanders. Henry Parrish Jr. rushed for one. Jerrion Ealy rushed 15 times for a game-high 105 yards.

Drummond scored via the air for the eighth consecutive contest — the longest active streak in the FBS.

Ole Miss won for the 12th straight time in the series, moved to 13-2 against Tulane in Oxford, and started a season with three wins for the first time since 2015.

Cameron Carroll, Shae Wyatt and Tyrick James scored for the New Orleans-based Green Wave (1-2), who have been training in Tuscaloosa, Ala., at the Crimson Tide’s facility in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Michael Pratt played three quarters and finished 10-for-18 for 166 yards with two TDs and no picks.

In a matchup featuring two of the top FBS offenses, Ole Miss notched 707 total yards to Tulane’s 305.

Kickoff between the former SEC foes was delayed nearly two hours because of day-long rain and lightning, but Ole Miss showed the soaked home fans that the wait was worth it.

In an explosive first half, Parrish dashed 19 yards for the first score. Corral called his own number on a 9-yard draw and again later on a 15-yard run.

After Carroll put Tulane on the board with a plunge, Corral rushed for one and threw for another to give the Rebels a 26-7 lead.

Pratt’s 39-yard strike to Wyatt with 7:21 left before halftime gave the second-year freshman quarterback a passing TD in all 13 games of his career.

But Corral hit Mingo for 50 yards and Drummond scampered in as the Rebels led 40-21 at the half.

In the second half, Corral ran for two more scores and the Rebels were never threatened in the nonconference victory.

–Field Level Media

Sep 6, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Matt Corral (2) passes the ball against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Corral’s 381-yard passing performance leads Rebels over Cardinals

Matt Corral passed for 381 yards and a touchdown and added a rushing touchdown as Ole Miss rolled past Louisville 43-24 in the season opener for both teams Monday night in Atlanta.

Corral completed 22 of 32 passes and threw his touchdown to Dontario Drummond, who finished with 9 catches for 177 yards.

Snoop Conner rushed for two touchdowns and Jerrion Early rushed for one for Ole Miss. The Rebels played without head coach Lane Kiffin, who did not attend the game after announcing Saturday that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Cardinals didn’t score until James Turner kicked a 38-yard field goal early in the third quarter, but Caden Costa answered with a 38-yarder of his own that gave the Rebels a 29-3 lead.

Malik Cunningham threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Braden Smith on fourth and 3 to get Louisville within 29-10 at the end of the third quarter.

Conner’s 11-yard touchdown run increased the lead to 36-10 less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

Cunningham, the Cardinals’ leading rusher with 79 yards, ran a yard for a touchdown on fourth and goal midway through the period. He completed 22 of 37 passes for 191 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Corral and Drummond teamed on a 6-yard touchdown pass and Cunningham scored on a 9-yard run to complete the scoring.

The Rebels received the opening kickoff and drove 94 yards in 11 plays. Early rushed 1 yard for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead.

Costa added a 47-yard field goal that increased the lead to 9-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Ole Miss had another long drive in the second quarter as Corral’s 6-yard touchdown run completed a 9-play, 93-yard march that produced a 16-0 lead.

Deantre Prince intercepted Cunningham, leading to Conner’s 1-yard run and 23-0 lead.

Costa’s 22-yard field goal gave the Rebels a 26-0 halftime lead.

Dec 19, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA;  Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Dontario Drummond (11) is tackled by LSU Tigers linebacker Josh White (10) at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

LSU forces 6 turnovers, rallies to defeat Ole Miss

Max Johnson passed for 435 yards and three touchdowns to Kayshon Boutte, who had an SEC-record 308 receiving yards, as LSU defeated Ole Miss, 53-48, in an SEC game Saturday in Baton Rouge, La.

Johnson and Boutte connected on a 45-yard game-winner with 1:34 left and the Tigers held on when JaCoby Stevens recovered Matt Corral’s fumble at the LSU 27 with 40 seconds left.

It was the sixth turnover for Corral, who passed for 251 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown. However, he threw five interceptions before the fumble.

LSU finished 5-5 a year after winning the CFP Championship with a 15-0 record. The Tigers have self-imposed a postseason ban amid an NCAA investigation into the program.

The Rebels fell to 4-5, but still are likely to receive a bowl bid.

Ole Miss overcame a 16-point third-quarter deficit and led 48-40 before Johnson started the LSU comeback by running one yard for a touchdown, though his two-point pass attempt fell incomplete.

LSU led 34-21 at halftime and on the first possession of the third quarter, Corral threw his fifth interception, Jay Ward grabbed his second, leading to Cade York’s 23-yard field goal.

Henry Parrish Jr.’s 10-yard touchdown run and Corral’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Dontario Drummond pulled the Rebels within 37-34.

York kicked a 50-yard field goal before Corral threw a 25-yard touchdown to Braylon Sanders to give the Rebels a 41-40 lead at the seven seconds into the fourth quarter.

Corral threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Sanders on the first possession of the game.

The Tigers drove to York’s 34-yard field goal and Ward intercepted Corral and returned 31 yards for a touchdown that gave them a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Johnson’s 1-yard touchdown run increased the Tigers’ lead to 17-7, but Jerrion Ealy returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

LSU answered with Johnson’s 32-yard touchdown pass before Parrish ran one yard for a touchdown that pulled Ole Miss within 24-21.

Johnson connected with Boutte for an 18-yard touchdown pass that gave the Tigers a 31-21 lead. York’s 34-yard field goal increased LSU’s lead to 34-21 at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Nov 28, 2020; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels running back Jerrion Ealy (9) runs the ball during the second half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss vying for bowl game in season finale at LSU

Ole Miss has a good chance to go to a bowl game. LSU can only play spoiler.

The two longtime SEC rivals meet in their regular-season finale Saturday afternoon at Baton Rouge, La.

The Rebels are 4-4 in coach Lane Kiffin’s first season, and they’re eager to play after last week’s game against Texas A&M was canceled because of COVID-19 issues in the Ole Miss program.

“I hope it’s not if it happens; I’m assuming it’s when it happens,” Kiffin said of a potential bowl bid. “We’re excited about that. It helps for development of all your players.”

Ole Miss hasn’t played since beating Mississippi State 31-24 in the Egg Bowl on Nov. 28, a three-week break between games.

“I don’t think it’s ideal,” Kiffin said of the layoff. “We’re definitely going to have fresh legs. That part is good. It has taken a little time getting back into it. Obviously, we wanted to keep playing.”

Kiffin spoke to his players about the significance of playing their second-biggest rival, albeit a much weaker team than last season’s national championship winner.

“You’re going to remember the rest of your life if you go into Tiger Stadium and beat LSU,” Kiffin told the team. “Nobody’s going to remember if it’s COVID or opt-outs or any of that stuff.

“This is a huge game and really important too, besides beating LSU. I think all of you (reporters) would’ve said that this was a successful season, after seeing the all-SEC schedule rollout, that you’re going to have a winning record.”

LSU (4-5) can’t have a winning record and is bowl ineligible after self-imposing a postseason ban amid an NCAA investigation into the program. But the Tigers are coming off their best performance of the season, a 37-34 upset victory at then-No. 6 Florida last Saturday.

The Tigers were coming off a 55-17 loss to No. 1 Alabama and barely had 50 scholarship players available because of COVID-19 issues.

“I think we’re all going to learn from having a week like we had last week where some teams or some men would have crumbled,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “And we decided to get stronger and fight.

“The players dug in. They were not happy. Nobody was. We wanted to represent LSU in the right way. We know what everybody is saying about us out there and all that. It’s not true. We gotta show everybody. The only way you’re going to do it is to show them.”

LSU hopes to get a few more players back this week, but it will still be short-handed.

“I think we have 54 guys available or something like that,” Orgeron said. “If we can do it (at Florida), we can do it at home.”

Freshman quarterback Max Johnson made his first college start against Florida and passed for 239 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions

“I think that we’re very impressed with Max’s leadership, his toughness, his ability to run the football, his ability to make decisions under pressure,” Orgeron said. “And the biggest thing is no turnovers.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2020; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Ole Miss Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin prior to the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss pausing activities through Wednesday

Ole Miss will not resume football activities until Dec. 9 at the earliest due to a “few new positive COVID-19 cases being identified each day,” the school announced Friday.

The Rebels have been on pause since Wednesday.

“This seven-day suspension is in the best interest of student-athlete and staff safety and came after consulting with the MSDH (Mississippi State Department of Health),” read the school statement. “Testing will continue during this period, and the appropriate health measures will be taken for those student-athletes and staff members affected by the virus.”

First-year head coach Lane Kiffin’s squad is 4-4 following Saturday’s 31-24 Egg Bowl win against Mississippi State.

Ole Miss originally was scheduled to play LSU this weekend, but the Tigers instead are facing No. 1 Alabama in a makeup game for a Nov. 14 contest that was postponed.

The Rebels still are expected to make up that game and a game against Texas A&M, though neither contest has been rescheduled yet.

“Department leadership will remain in talks with the Southeastern Conference on the effects of this suspension on the scheduling of upcoming games,” the school said in Friday’s statement.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin wears a mask with the word vote printed on the front during the first half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss pauses activities due to COVID-19

Ole Miss canceled football activities Wednesday due to COVID-19 concerns.

“Out of abundance of caution, Ole Miss Football has canceled Wednesday’s team activities to conduct contact tracing surrounding a small number of positive COVID-19 tests among players and staff,” read a statement from the program. “Practice is scheduled to resume Thursday, pending the outcome of additional tests. The student-athletes and staff affected are taking appropriate safety measures in accordance with university protocol.”

First-year head coach Lane Kiffin’s Rebels are 4-4 following Saturday’s 31-24 Egg Bowl win against Mississippi State.

Ole Miss was scheduled to play LSU this weekend, but the Tigers are instead facing No. 1 Alabama in a make-up game for a Nov. 14 contest that was postponed.

The Rebels are still expected to make up that game and a game against Texas A&M, though neither have been rescheduled yet.

–Field Level Media

Nov 14, 2020; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin looks on during the first half against the South Carolina Gamecocks  at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Rebels’ Kiffin, Bulldogs’ Leach set for first Egg Bowl

Both Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin and Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach will finally get to experience what so many have told them about the entire offseason.

Kiffin and Leach both were hired to lead their respective programs over the offseason, and the first-year coaches will now step into their first Egg Bowl, the annual rivalry tussle between Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

The only difference this year is that instead of on Thanksgiving, it will take place Saturday afternoon at Ole Miss.

Since being hired pre-pandemic, both coaches have heard from their supporters about the significance of the Egg Bowl.

“I’ve known about it from watching it,” said Kiffin, who was hired as head coach at Ole Miss last December. “It used to be on Thanksgiving a lot. With my brother here for a number of years, I knew it was always competitive and a big deal around here.”

A month after Kiffin was hired at Ole Miss, Leach was tabbed as the head coach for Mississippi State, and he also has come to understand the intensity of the rivalry from afar.

“Even as I was a kid, I know it was always an incredibly intense game,” Leach said. “I know it’s very meaningful to people and I know that it’s in conversation all year ’round. There’s not a day I don’t hear somebody mention the Egg Bowl. I know it’s a very meaningful game and I also know that there have been plenty of them that have been exciting to watch long before I was even in the state of Mississippi. It’s exciting to be a part of it.”

After a 44-34 win in the season opener at LSU, Mississippi State lost five of its next six games and enters this weekend 2-5 overall and in SEC play.

The Bulldogs are coming off a close loss at Georgia (31-24), and Leach feels that defeat was another sign his younger team is starting to mature a bit heading into the stretch run of the season.

“We just have to keep working hard,” Leach said. “I don’t think we’ve hit our potential yet. I think we are proof that we are young enough to where we are going to change for the positive. That’s where the biggest strides come. The younger they are, the more they are developing. We’re right there.”

On the other side, Ole Miss enters 3-4 and on a two-game winning streak following a 54-21 win over Vanderbilt and a 59-42 win over South Carolina.

The Rebels were slated to play at Texas A&M last week, but the game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues.

Kiffin obviously didn’t want to see the stoppage last week with the rhythm his team had established in the two games prior, but he hopes the bye week will be an advantage.

“It is what it is,” Kiffin said. “Hopefully we used it to get better at some things.”

Ole Miss did receive some good news in that Otis Reese, a former safety at Georgia who transferred to Ole Miss in January, was cleared to play by the NCAA and will make his debut with the Rebels against Mississippi State.

–Field Level Media

Nov 14, 2020; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Shi Smith (13) catches a pass against Mississippi Rebels defensive back Keidron Smith (20) during the first half at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Rebels ride record-setting offense past South Carolina

The Ole Miss Rebels totaled season-highs for points and total yards on Saturday as they outdueled the visiting South Carolina Gamecocks Saturday night in a 59-42 victory.

The Rebels (3-4, 3-4 SEC), who entered the game averaging 38 points and 541 total yards per game, finished with 708 yards led by sophomore quarterback Matt Corral, who threw for a single-game, school-record 513 passing yards.

Corral followed up his six-touchdown performance against Vanderbilt a week ago by throwing for four touchdowns and hit 28-of-32 passes,including a pair of scores to junior wide receiver Elijah Moore, the SEC’s leader in yards and receptions.

Moore finished with 13 catches for 225 yards and caught a 91-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that was the longest play in Ole Miss school history.

Corral, who added 20 yards rushing, came up seven yards short of tying Archie Manning’s school record for total offense in a single game (540).

The outburst was enough to overcome a career-rushing game for South Carolina sophomore Kevin Harris, who led the Gamecocks (2-5, 2-5) with 243 yards on 25 carries and scored a school-record five rushing touchdowns.

South Carolina lost its third consecutive game, but totaled 318 rushing yards and 548 total yards a week after a dismal 150-yard output against Texas A&M.

The Rebels defense, which entered the contest allowing 533.5 total yards and 40.7 points per game, came up with a key stop when Ryder Anderson and Lakia Henry sacked quarterback Colin Hill with just under 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter forcing a South Carolina punt.

The Rebels put the game out of reach on the ensuing possession when running back Jerrion Ealy (17 carries for 84 yards) scored his second rushing touchdown with 6:09 remaining.

Although South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said the job was open this week, he stuck with grad transfer Collin Hill as his starting quarterback. Hill passed for 230 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 17 of 28 attempts. Shi Smith caught 10 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Collin Hill (15) throws during warm ups prior to kickoff against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss looks to keep momentum rolling vs. South Carolina

Despite their matching records, the host Ole Miss Rebels and visiting South Carolina Gamecocks enter their matchup Saturday night trending in opposite directions.

The Rebels (2-4, 2-4 SEC) are coming off a 54-21 road win at Vanderbilt on Oct. 31, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Ole Miss totaled more than 600 yards for the third time this season and sophomore quarterback Matt Corral earned both Davey O’Brien National Quarterback of the Week and Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week honors after completing 31 of 34 passes and throwing six touchdown passes without an interception.

Meanwhile at South Carolina (2-4, 2-4), coach Will Muschamp is on an even hotter seat than he was coming off a 4-8 season. And he’s looking for a starting quarterback after back-to-back losses to LSU and Texas A&M in which his team gave up 100 combined points.

Muschamp announced late Sunday night that grad transfer Collin Hill, former starter Ryan Hilinski and freshman Luke Doty would compete for the job in practice this week.

“We need a spark — that’s the bottom line — and that position is so critical,” Muschamp told reporters. “We need to change some things up and look at what we carry into each game. That’s a position we certainly could change some things up and we’ll see how (our practices) go.”

Hill has thrown for 1,142 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions on 104 of 177 attempts, but was held to only 66 yards on 8-of-21 passing and threw two interceptions in last week’s 48-3 loss to Texas A&M. The Aggies outgained the Gamecocks 530-150.

Hilinski started 11 games in 2019 and passed for 2,357 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Doty, an Elite 11 prospect, has played in three games this season but attempted only one pass.

“We are just going to have to prepare and whoever plays, plays,” first-year Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said this week.

While South Carolina tries to settle its quarterback situation, its running game will be led by sophomore Kevin Harris, who is averaging 112.2 yards from scrimmage per game and has scored eight touchdowns.

“We need to take care of us and what we need to do to be successful, and that’s, No. 1, finding the best guy at that position that can help us — or the best two guys at that position that can help us or, shoot, the best three guys at that position that can help us,” Muschamp said.

Corral ranks 12th in the nation in passer rating (176.7) and has thrown for 1,846 yards, 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

His top target is junior wide receiver Elijah Moore, who leads the nation in receptions (61) and is third in receiving yards (829) and fourth in yards per game (138.2).

“This is a first-round slot,” Kiffin said. “I didn’t coach him, but he kind of reminds me of (former NFL receiver) Steve Smith. Just the stop-and-start ability is so explosive and a great route runner.”

Ole Miss is ranked fifth nationally in total offense (541.0 yards per game) and is averaging 38.0 points per game. However, the Rebels are ranked 104th in red-zone scoring percentage and 88th in turnover margin (-3).

The Rebels are allowing 40.7 points per game (ranked 116th out of 123 FBS teams) as well as 533.5 total yards per game (ranked 120th).

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores running back Keyon Henry-Brooks (21) fights for extra yards as he is tackled by Mississippi Rebels defensive back Keidron Smith (20) during the first half at Vanderbilt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Corral (6 TDs) leads Ole Miss to rout of Vanderbilt

Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral and wide receiver Elijah Moore shattered school records as the Rebels obliterated Vanderbilt in a 54-21 win at Nashville’s Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Corral was 31 of 34 passing for 412 yards and tied Eli Manning’s single-game record with six touchdowns. Manning’s came in overtime, while Corral was done midway through the third quarter.

Moore set a single-game school record with 238 receiving yards, and tied school records for touchdown catches (three) and receptions (14) in a game.

Vandy (0-4) had three full weeks without a game to prepare, but it didn’t look that way. Ole Miss (2-4) scored touchdowns on eight of its first nine possessions, with the only blemish being a 23-second drive to end the first half. The Rebels led 33-14 and had 413 yards at half.

Moore got open deep for scores of 28 and 36 yards in the first half and took a shovel pass from Corral on an end-around from the 1 for the other.

Both quarterbacks came out on fire. Corral completed his first 19 passes and Vandy’s Ken Seals, his first 10. Neither team threw an incompletion until Seals lofted one out of bounds with 6:09 left in the second quarter.

The Rebels helped themselves with defensive tackle Ryder Anderson’s sack that took Vandy out of field goal range early; that set up a punt that led to a 93-yard scoring drive.

Soon after, Vanderbilt punter Jared Wheatley shanked a 4-yard punt into the stands, with Moore getting that 36-yard score on the next snap with 49 seconds left in the first quarter.

Seals found tight end Ben Bresnahan and wide receiver Chris Pierce with second-quarter scoring strikes.

The Rebels picked up where they left off at half, with Corral hitting wide receiver Dontario Drummond with a 14-yard touchdown pass to the right back corner of the end zone. Corral then scored on a 2-point play.

After Vandy wide receiver Jayden Harrison fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Rebels linebacker Zikerrion Baker fell on it at the VU 21, Corral hit Kenny Yeboah for a nine-yard score and a 48-14 lead with 7:06 left in the third quarter.

With Corral’s day done, backup quarterback John Rhys Plumlee hit wide receiver Braylon Sanders with a 37-yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds left in the third quarter.

Seals finished 31-for-40 and set a VU freshman record for passing yards (319).

–Field Level Media