The Lane Train has left the station for the first time this season! The Ole Miss Rebels traveled to Lexington to take on the Kentucky Wildcats in a COVID created matchup. In what was expected to be a high scoring affair, the Rebels pulled out a close win, 42-41 in overtime.
The Rebels got off to an early lead, scoring after just eight plays from kickoff. Matt Corral started the game and started cooking on the first drive, hitting Jonathan Mingo for a 31 yard completion. Jerrion Ealy would finish the drive with a one yard touchdown run.
The momentum began swinging Kentucky’s way quickly. On their first offensive play, Asim Rose dashed for a 72 yard run, flashing a peace sign on his way to the endzone, but getting pulled down with only three yards to go. Kentucky went to Rose twice to punch it in, but he got stuffed both times, surrendering the ball the second time.
The Rebels went three and out from their own two yard line, giving Kentucky great field position. They went on to score two unanswered touchdowns to take the lead. The Rebels would tie it up in the second quarter, only to lose that lead going into halftime.
The Wildcats extended their lead on their first drive in the second half. But the Rebels would not be denied for much longer. It took them just four plays to reach the endzone again, cutting the lead to just one possession.
On their next possession, Kentucky drove down the field only to miss the field goal. Both Ole Miss and Kentucky would waste possessions before the Rebels roared back with two straight touchdowns. They took the lead 35-28 with eight minutes remaining in the game.
Kentucky’s offense went back to work; this time adding the passing element to the drive. The Wildcats covered the distance to the endzone with two minutes remaining. With the score tied at 35, the Rebels went three and out with only 30 seconds remaining, and UK ran out the clock.
The Ole Miss Rebels won the coin toss for overtime and decided to take the second possession of the ball. Kentucky ran the ball three straight snaps… and still scored. However their kicker, who was inconsistent all day, missed the extra point attempt, giving the Rebs a clear path to victory.
The Rebels got the ball for their overtime possession and led with a run by Corral. He went for five yards, and John Rhys Plumlee got the first down. Corral came back in and went for the endzone to Dontario Drummond who drew a pass interference call.
The defensive pass interference set up the Rebels with a first and goal opportunity from the two yard line. Snoop Conner was stuffed on the attempt to punch it in for the potential winner. The play after saw Elijah Moore roll to the right side of the field following some pre-snap movement. Corral hit him in the endzone, and Luke Logan drilled the PAT. Ole Miss Rebels win 42-41.
Ole Miss Rebels’ Five Takeaways
1. The Ole Miss Rebels’ Defense is WEAK.
Now I know that I should probably pick out something positive from this win, but one of the main things that stuck out to me was how abysmal the Rebels’ defense was. Did they get stops when they needed to? Yes. But did they also get shredded time and time again? Also yes.
Kentucky had three different players rush for over 100 yards. That included quarterback Terry Wilson, who scampered for 129 yards and 3 scores. Even when Kentucky was forced into moving the ball through the air, Wilson had no problem making completions. The double-threat QB went 14/18 for 151 yards, no scores, no picks.
After allowing 41 or more points and over 500 yards in two straight games, the Rebels’ defense is obviously the team’s weakest point. They will have a huge task ahead of them next week, with Alabama.
2. Matt Corral has total control of the Ole Miss Rebel offense.
Matt Corral started last game, and the season, off with a bang. He continued his strong play under center against Kentucky.
Corral only have five incompletions all game, as he went 24/29 for 320 yards. He threw four touchdowns and zero interceptions.
To go along with that, Corral ended up as the team’s leading rusher. He had 13 carries for a total of 51 yards through a combination of scrambles and designed runs. From here on out, Matt Corral should, and likely will, be the starting quarterback going forward.
3. Jonathan Mingo is a BAD BAD MAN!
After a slow start to the year against Florida, sophomore Jonathan Mingo had himself a DAY against Kentucky. The big physical receiver caught 8 passes for 128 yards and two scores.
The highlights of his day came on the scoring drive that ended at the start of the fourth quarter. After catching a pass along the sideline, Mingo would not be denied his yards after catch. He lowered his shoulder into a defensive back’s chest and drove him beyond the first down line.
This game should be a huge confidence booster for Mingo leading into a difficult matchup against a huge opponent. Mingo is the perfect complement to the Rebels’ primary target Elijah Moore. That combo will be called upon a ton this season, and they are up to the task.
4. The Ole Miss Rebels’ Kicking Crew is Performing.
Coming into the season, I was more than skeptical of Luke Logan’s leg. He was inconsistent last season, and just happened to be a major part in one of the most disappointing losses in recent history.
That said, Logan has proven me wrong for the most part this year. He has only had one field goal attempt, a missed 42 yarder against Florida. However, he hasn’t missed a PAT yet, which we all have seen be the downfall of teams.
The Rebels’ punter, Mac Brown, on the other hand, has been exceptional to start the year. He has averaged 49 yards per punt in each of the first two games. He also pinned the Wildcats within their own 20 yard line twice.
5. The Ole Miss Rebels need to work on discipline.
All of college football is struggling with penalties right now. However, that doesn’t mean the Rebels are exempt from criticism.
In both games, the Rebs committed costly penalties that either extended opponent’s drives or ended their own. Discipline is something that can be taught, and the Rebels’ coaching staff needs to work on it.
Next weekend, the Ole Miss Rebels welcome Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide to Oxford! It’ll be the Rebs’ toughest challenge thus far, look out for a full preview during the week. Hotty Toddy!
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