One of the preseason questions in the Southeastern Conference involved the choice that Lane Kiffin was going to make for his quarterback as he took over the Ole Miss football team. Would it be John Rhys Plumlee, who finished as the SEC’s leading rusher in his freshman season, but couldn’t make the top 10 in any passing statistic or would it be Matt Corral, who had started the 2019 season at quarterback, but was lost to injury?
It’s Corral, a 6-1, 205-pound third-year sophomore. So, you think, Kiffin went with passing. In fact, not only is Corral the superior passer – one of the best in the nation a couple of games in – but in last week’s 42-41 overtime victory over Kentucky in Lexington, he was also the Rebels’ top rusher.
Corral ranks second in the SEC in total offense with 816 yards. He is also second in yards passing per game with 357.6 ypg. He is second to Jones in pass efficiency, third in passing yards per completion, and second in passing yards per attempt 11.9. Jones is first in both, 18 per completion, 13.4 per attempt. Corral leads the conference in completion percentage, 46-60, 76.7 percent, with 1 interception and 7 TDs.
And Corral is on the mind of Bryan Ray, Bama’s 6-5, 295-pound fourth-year junior defensive end who will be charged along with his teammates for getting the job done against Corral.
One of the key statistics for Saban is third-down efficiency. Ole Miss is third in the league, converting 15 of 26 opportunities. And Alabama on defense? Not so hot. In two games Bama has allowed 18 of 33, which is 54.5 percent and 11th in the SEC. Alabama and Ole Miss are scheduled to play at 5 p.m. CDT Saturday in Oxford with ESPN televising the game.