Kneauxing the Enemy 2021 Old Miss
Record 5-1, 2-1 in SEC
by Bryan Follins
The Old Miss Rebels are the latest team in the way of the Purple and Gold having a winning season.
The Rebels have some gaudy team offensive figures. They are fifth in the country in scoring offense, averaging 43.7 points per game. They are fourth in the land in rushing offense, gaining 262.8 yards per contest.
Junior quarterback Matt Corral leads the Rebels in running with 450 yards rushing, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. Corral has thrown 14 touchdowns this season with only one interception. According to Rebel head coach Lane Kiffin, Corral took such a physical beating during the Tennessee game last Saturday, he may not play this Saturday. It is a good bet if Corral can walk, he will play. The Rebels have no other players with significant playing time at quarterback this season. They do have John Rhys Plumlee, a junior, who started, and did a good job as quarterback as a freshman. Plumlee has played as a receiver in the Rebel offense this season.
There are other capable players in the Old Miss offense, like sophomore running back Henry Parrish, Jr. and junior runners Snoop Conner and Jerrion Ely. Parrish has rushed for 375 yards this year, Conner has run for 271, and Ealy 223 yards. Each player averages at least 4.7 yards per carry. Parrish ran for 82 yards against the Tigers last year. Ealy is not fully healthy. The Old Miss offense is content to rely on Corral for the bulk of the rushing.
The Rebels also have two good receivers. They are seniors Dontario Drummond and Braylon Smith. Drummond is the fourth leading receiver in the SEC, with 576 yards in catches. He averages 18.8 yards per catch. Sanders has 309 yards in receptions, averaging 23.8 yards per catch. Drummond and Sanders are injured, however, so their statuses for Saturday is in doubt. Another top Old Miss receiver, Jonathan Mingo, is still recovering from a broken foot.
The offensive line starters are a question mark. The Rebel depth chart for the LSU game lists the starters, but some players on the top of the depth chart are obviously questionable, or are not going to play. Kiffin started playing games in the media earlier this week casting doubts on the availability of Corral.
The Rebels are not good on defense. They have not shown the capability of stopping a solid offense. They scored 52 points in their victory over Arkansas, but they gave up 51 points. In their only loss of the season, they gave up 42 points to Alabama. They do have two solid edge rushers at defensive end in sophomore Cedric Johnson and senior Sam Williams.
In their 42-21 loss to Alabama, they gave up 451 yards of total offense. In their 52-51 win against Arkansas, they yielded 676 yards of total offense. In the 31-26 win at Tennessee last week , the Rebels relinquished 467 yards of total offense. They missed class the day the teacher lectured on defense. They gave up a minimum of 200 yards rushing in each of the three games.
Of course, who knows what will happen Saturday? A 3-0 game? A win by the Purple and Gold would put them right back in the thick of the SEC West title chase.