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Ole Miss surf the Green Wave to a 61-21 victory

Matt Corral cemented himself as an early season Heisman frontrunner as the Rebels rout Tulane

NCAA Football: Tulane at Mississippi Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

It was a dreary, lightning-filled hour-and-a-half delay at Vaught-Hemingway, but once the game started, the Ole Miss offense proceeded to light up the sky as well. Matt Corral shined brightly in the stormy skies of Oxford as the Rebels blew out Tulane 61-21.

This was never even close. Ole Miss marched down the field on the first drive of the game, running the ball all over the Green Wave and set the tone of things to come. Matt Corral attempted just three passes on the Rebels’ 10 play, 75 yard drive that was capped off by a 19 yard touchdown run by Henry Parrish Jr. This would be the only drive by Ole Miss that wouldn’t have Corral’s fingerprints all over it as he would throw or run for each of the next seven touchdowns by the Rebel offense.

A second straight three-and-out from Tulane led to the first of Corral’s four rushing touchdowns on the night. Ole Miss’s lone slip-up came from a Henry Parrish fumble that led to a Tulane touchdown, and even that didn’t phase them. They just kept scoring.

The breath was taken from the lungs of Tulane following a failed onside kick that led directly to a 50 yard bomb from Corral to Jonathan Mingo to put the Rebels up 33-14 halfway through the second quarter. Mingo had his best collegiate game, catching six passes for 136 yards and the aforementioned touchdown.

Ole Miss would roll into half with a 40-21 lead and some gaudy numbers to go with it. Lane Kiffin’s offense totaled 448 total yards at half with 209 yards rushing at over six yards per carry. They had 17 plays of 10 or more yards, and righted the ship of their third down woes this year, converting on seven of ten opportunities.

The third quarter was just beating the dead horse. Tulane was a boxer out on their feet, just getting bludgeoned by Ole Miss until Kiffin called off the dogs. The Green Wave began the half with a turnover on downs. Corral ran for his third touchdown five plays later, and on the ensuing kickoff, Ole Miss forced a fumble and scored two plays after that as Corral scrambled for his fourth and final rushing touchdown of the game.

Tulane would once again go three-and-out, and once again, Matt Corral made them pay for their sins, finding Braylon Sanders down the middle of the field for a 45 yard touchdown.

If you would have told me this game would have a combined 82 points, I would’ve expected it. Many saw this being a potential offensive showcase by both teams, but it was all Ole Miss. The Rebels defense stepped up in a big way tonight, holding a Tulane offense averaging 490 yards per game to a measly 305. They forced eight punts and a turnover-on-downs, six of which were three-and-out. The defensive line was stingy and unrelenting, meeting Michael Pratt in the backfield all night long. Tulane only had four rushes of 10 or more yards all night. It was a tremendous effort by a unit that has faced nothing but scrutiny all offseason and into the early stages of this season.

Okay, back to the offense. Corral’s final line ended up being 23/31 for 335 yards passing, 68 yards rushing, and 7 total touchdowns. Jerrion Ealy cracked the century mark tonight as Ole Miss rushed for 372 yards and six scores in this one. Another dominating effort on the ground. Braylon Sanders had a great game as well, snagging four balls for 74 yards and a score. It was all-around dominance. Kiffin’s squad finished the night with 707 total yards of offense, amplifying what many already know: This is the best offense in the SEC, maybe even the country.

The Rebels get a bye week, allowing them a necessary extra week of prep before they head to Tuscaloosa to face a top ranked Alabama team that was taken to the limit by Florida. They’re going to be heavy underdogs, but this offense scored 48 on ‘Bama a season ago. The problem was they gave up 63, but this defense is much improved. It’s going to be the must-see game of the week.